I am taking a little break to spend time with my family + brand new (and oh so delicious) baby girl. For the meantime I have prepared a few recipes ahead of time. This one is for the dark chocolate lovers among us.
Are you as much of a chocolate fiend as me?
I’ve always LOVED chocolate! These days I usually only have it as part of dessert – baked or melted into something.
Pregnancy however, seems to have brought back a childhood/teenage habit of snacking on chocolate ‘straight up‘. It really is amazing that I haven’t gained like a hundred pounds!
If you like snacking on straight up dark chocolate (like me) this recipe will allow you to keep snacking pretty much guilt-free. There is no refined sugar in this recipe and also the stabilizer soy lecithin (an ingredient of pretty much any commercially sold chocolate) is missing here.
This healthy dark chocolate is made of just a few natural ingredients – one of them being cocoa butter. I found mine in the health food store. Just make sure the cocoa butter you get is food-grade as it could also be sold for cosmetic use only (cocoa body butter).
If you don’t want to make the special investment of cocoa butter, I’ve also heard of successful homemade chocolate results with coconut oil (the more refined, the less coconut flavor). In that case the healthy chocolate HAS to be stored in the fridge. And with summer time ahead I would even recommend fridge-storage when using cocoa butter.
Unfortunately, snacking or melted use are the only options for this healthy chocolate. There are no stabilizers here, so chopping it up for use in chocolate chip cookies for example, doesn’t work. Trust me, I’ve tried and ended up with burnt chocolate that leaked all over the baking tray.
This recipe can be as simple or involved as you want it to be. Simple: You just melt all ingredients together and let it set up in any container (an ice cube tray works).
Involved: For more sophisticated results (shiny chocolate with snap) I recommend tempering the chocolate. For that you will need a candy thermometer. And for really cute chocolate designs there are silicon chocolate molds. Silicon makes unmolding a breeze!
- 50 grams (3½ tbsp) cocoa butter
- 30 grams (1½ tbsp) maple syrup
- 20 grams (2½ tbsp) cocoa powder
- seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- Melt the cocoa butter in a small sauce pan over low heat (or in the microwave). Stir in maple syrup, cocoa powder and vanilla bean seeds and whisk until smooth.
- Using a candy thermometer temper the chocolate for a nice shine and snap:
- Heat to 120 F (49 C) then let cool to 79 F (26 C) by it placing in the fridge and stirring every 5 minutes (takes 10-15 minutes). Now heat to 87 F (31 C). Do NOT let it get over that point.
- Pour into mold and chill. Store chocolate in the fridge.
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