What’s the best chocolate to buy? How do I get past that bitter taste? Why is dark chocolate more expensive? The simple answer – make your own.
You can source your own ingredients and tailor it to your taste by adding natural sweet ingredients rather than riding the sugar high roller coaster of inch expanding waistline from the 40p mass factory produced bar, that may contain traces of nuts. I find making my own chocolate is fun, inexpensive (you don’t want to eat as much, because it has a richer flavour and curbs your cravings immediately), tasty and lasts a long time unless my friend’s are around (there’s a long line of people who love my homemade treats). I would recommend the first time you make your own chocolate you only use half the amount of ingredients listed in the recipe and make smaller batches, so you can test out flavours. For the one’s pictured I used finely chopped hazel nuts, cacao nibs, dried figs, dried berries and some had a almond butter filling. It took me two attempts to perfect my chocolate making skills and I have so many flavour combinations I want to try!
- 3/4 cup of Cocoa Butter
- 1 cup of Organic Cocoa Powder
- ½ cup Coconut Palm Sugar (you can use Stevia, honey or maple syrup)
- 1 teaspoon of Real Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 cup of Coconut oil
- 20g of dark chocolate ~ 70% or higher of good quality dark chocolate (optional)
- Optional: Toasted chopped almonds, cacao nibs, dried fruit & almond butter
- Melt cocoa butter in a double boiler or a glass bowl on top of a small pot with an inch of water (make sure water isn’t touching bowl) over low heat.
- When cocoa butter is completely melted, remove from heat and coconut oil, chocolate (until melted), then add cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla and other flavor extracts. If using a solid raw honey, melt with the cocoa butter.
- Make sure all ingredients are well incorporated and smooth. At this point, make sure that no water or liquid gets in to the chocolate as it can cause the texture to get gritty! Be careful even with wet hands or a drop of water in the mold!
- Pour the chocolate into molds (I have silicon heart shaped ice trays,) or onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Let it cool then put the tray in the freezer.
- After 30min you will have beautiful, delicious homemade chocolates.
- These store for over a week at room temperature (If they last that long) or can be kept refrigerated for longer.
- Add some good thoughts, be creative, have fun & enjoy!
For something a bit more special
- Add some almond (peanut) butter to the centre of your chocolates. Fill the mould with half the amount of your mixture add a dollop of your almond butter and cover with more chocolate mixture.
- If you made your chocolate a little bit too sweet add some sea salt with dried lavender on top, of a mix of sweet and salty
- I like to add dried fruits finely chopped as they add sweetness naturally, experiment with apricots, figs, bananas, berries and apples etc…
- Wrapped these up in cute boxes and wow your friend’s with your chocolate making skills
- To keep it inexpensive look out for dark chocolate on sale and buy items in bulk, kids really love making these and my next batch are going to be Hello Kitty faces (stay tuned)