With Easter approaching, stores everywhere are packed with chocolate everything: eggs, bunnies, lambs, bars, slabs, truffles, and so on. Chocolate and Easter seem to go hand-in-hand. But sometimes the chocolate from the store is a little…dubious with respect to ingredients, quality, and ethical-ness.
So let me tell you a little secret: making your own chocolate is really easy.
You basically need only 4 ingredients: cocoa butter, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and vanilla. You melt the cocoa butter, stir in the other 3 ingredients, and boom. Done.
And liberating yourself from the chocolate at the grocery store is so, well, liberating. Now, you can make your chocolate suit YOUR tastes, top it with anything you want, sweeten it the way you want with a sweetener of your choice, source ingredients that fit your ethical standards, and use the quality of ingredients that fit with your lifestyle and your budget.
The results are totally delicious, and you know exactly what went into them.
Plus, I’ve written before about the joys of discovering how easily you can make certain favourite foods at home. Sometimes we assume that packaged foods have some kind of mystique, an unreplicatable (that’s not a word, I know) magic that is just beyond our kitchen abilities. Crackers, for example, or ice cream, or dark chocolate.
In the end, that’s just not so. With a bit of time (yes, making your own is sometimes not quite as convenient as just plucking a box off the shelf) and the right ingredients, you can whip up healthier, more customized, and more awesome versions of your favourites.
In my personal chocolate, I used a raw cocoa butter but a regular (non-raw) cocoa powder, You could use raw cocoa powder if you wanted to continue the ‘less-processed’ theme and also wanted the extra nutrient boost.
And, you can customize your chocolate with any or all of the following:
- sea salt
- nuts & seeds
- dried fruits including goji berries
- peppermint extract or other flavour
- orange, lemon, or lime zest
- cocoa nibs
- espresso powder
- almond butter or other nut/seed butters
- a tablespoon of coconut or other non-dairy milk for your own beautiful and vegan “milk chocolate.”
- fresh fruit, like raspberries or blueberries
- other superfoods, like maca powder
Homemade Chocolate with Pumpkin Seeds and Goji Berries (v, gf, raw)
- Author: Backyard Owl
- Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free option, naturally-sweetened, raw option.
- 1/3 cup (about 1.8 oz) raw cocoa butter
- 1/3 cup (sifted) cocoa powder
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- optional: 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds and goji berries (I used a super foods trail mix)
- optional: sea salt or himalayan pink salt, for sprinkling
- Sift cocoa powder into a medium-sized bowl.
- Melt cocoa butter in a homemade double boiler (set cocoa butter in a heatable bowl, and set that bowl over a pot filled partway with gently simmering water).
- Pour melted cocoa butter into your cocoa powder bowl, and add maple syrup (to taste) and vanilla. Whisk together.
- Pour into prepared pans – muffin tins, mini-muffin tins, loaf pans, a square cake pan – the sky is the limit.
- Top with nuts and goji berries or other preferred toppings.
- Set in the fridge to firm up. Store in the fridge when not eating.
© Backyard Owl 2015