Saturday, February 19, 2022

Homemade Chocolate


It’s a wonder that this didn’t happen sooner in my kitchen, given how much I love chocolate, but I only recently got around to making my own. And it was FANTASTIC! I used this Minimalist Baker recipe, omitted the almonds, and used candy molds instead of a baking sheet (for bonbon-type confections rather than bars). 

The cocoa powder I used was Callebaut (I highly recommend it); the cocoa butter was Navitas Organics (I like it, but it’s the only one I’ve ever had and don’t have a point of comparison). As for the salt, I decided to finally try sea salt from Quebec’s St. Lawrence River, and this was a perfect application for it! It has smallish flakes, closer to Murray River salt than Maldon salt flakes. I’d consider vanilla bean paste instead of the vanilla extract next time, and obviously this is something you could flavor as you wish, perhaps with orange zest or cinnamon and chili. 

I got 30 chocolates and still had some melted chocolate left over. We give this 4 enthusiastic thumbs up!

1 cup cacao butter 
½ cup maple syrup (you could use a bit less if you prefer) 
1 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
1/8 tsp. sea salt (see note above) 

Melt cacao butter in a double boiler or in a glass mixing bowl set over a small saucepan with 1 inch of water over medium heat. Alternatively, melt in the microwave in a mixing bowl until completely liquid. 

Once melted, remove from heat and add maple syrup and whisk to combine. When the mixture is completely fluid with no separation, add cacao or cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk to thoroughly combine. 

Taste and adjust sweetness if needed (the original recipe writer prefers 1/3 cup, but I typically like things a tad sweeter than she does, and ½ cup was perfect for me). 

Pour the chocolate into candy molds (if you have them), mini paper cupcake liners, or simply line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the chocolate on top. Top with a sprinkle of salt, if desired. 

Set in the refrigerator or freezer to harden for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Once hard, the chocolate can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container, or you can refrigerate it or freeze it for long-term storage.

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