I consider myself to be a master substituter. I can make ketchup tomato sauce and salsa without tomatoes, I can make pizza without cheese, tomato sauce or wheat crust, I can make asian ginger dressing without soy sauce, I can make eggs out of flax seed. The one thing I never was able to do though was make chocolate out of chocolate. Knowing how excited my friend gets when I make something allergen free for myself, I couldn't wait to see her expression when I make her a substitution for chocolate that was safe for her to eat.
My journey to making my friend safe chocolate started with a routine trip to Whole Foods for some rice protein powder and some safe bullion cubes. As I was rounding the protein powder isle, I came upon chocolate free chocolate that was made from carob. I instantly knew I was going to buy it for my friend. The thing was though, it was just carob chips and I'm the kind of person who goes big or goes home, so I picked up some mini cupcake liners too because I was determined to make her Lily's Carob Cups (instead of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups). I quickly paid and headed back to campus.
Back in my apartment, I started by melting the carob--which was easier said then done. The carob didn't really melt like normal chocolate, rather it was more of like melting hard candy and was stringy when pulled. I got it to the point though where I was able to manipulate it enough to scoop it into the little muffin pans, add some peanut butter (which I am oddly enough not allergic to) and then add some of the melted chocolate on top. They weren't Reese's quality, but they were made with love which is just as important.
After they cooled, I was able to pop them out of the muffin pan, only to notice they were pretty hard. I placed them in the refrigerator to keep them from melting (not that they would have but I was just being safe) and went to bed. The next morning, I presented my friend with the container of carob cups at breakfast. I didn't get the reaction I was expecting--she didn't jump up and down or run to hug me, instead she told me she probably wasn't going to like them because of the chocolate taste. Semi-reluctantly she tried one, and ended up really liking it.
I was really happy she ended up liking her cups. Today, a week later, she returned the container to me which was empty. The fact of the matter is, one allergy to something as weird as chocolate or multiple allergies they are difficult. I never forget the people who have gone out of the way to insure I have a safe substitute and I am glad I was able to be that person for my friend!