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!
I tend to be more drawn to snacking on dark chocolate because, in comparison to so many other snack and dessert foods out there, it’s so much healthier!
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 at a health foods 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). That is one mistake with the ingredients you defiantly don’t want to make!
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 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. That being said, who could ever be sad about just snacking on this dark chocolate? It’s simply delicious!
This recipe can be as simple or involved as you want it to be, that’s yet another thing I love about it! As you’ve probably notice, most of my recipes are like that—easy to follow, simple ingredients and you can easily make it simple or more involved, if you so choose!
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!
Remember to share your results with me! I want to hear what you did with this recipe and see any and all pictures, of course! Happy snacking!
Healthy Dark Chocolate
- 50 grams 3 ½ tablespoon cocoa butter
- 30 grams 1 ½ tablespoon maple syrup
- 20 grams 2 ½ tablespoon 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.
Pin Healthy Dark Chocolate tutorial for later?
100% dark chocolate is typically made from pure cocoa solids and cocoa butter, without any added sugar. The process involves roasting and grinding cocoa beans to produce a liquid called chocolate liquor. This liquor is then pressed to separate the cocoa butter from the cocoa solids, resulting in unsweetened chocolate.
Dark chocolate generally contains cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and some form of sweetener. Additionally, it may include vanilla for flavor and lecithin as an emulsifier. High-quality dark chocolate often has a higher cocoa content, which contributes to its rich flavor and health benefits.
70% dark chocolate is produced by blending cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and a small amount of sugar. The exact ratio may vary among manufacturers, but the goal is to achieve a balance between the bitterness of the cocoa and the sweetness from the added sugar. This percentage refers to the proportion of cocoa solids and cocoa butter in the final product.
The cocoa solids found in dark chocolate are rich in antioxidants, specifically flavonoids, which offer various health benefits. These compounds help reduce inflammation and can contribute to heart health. Additionally, dark chocolate contains minerals such as iron, magnesium, and copper, all of which play essential roles in the body's functions. However, it's crucial to consume dark chocolate in moderation as it still contains fat and calories.
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