Homemade, Healthy Chocolate
Homemade chocolates are one of the loveliest gifts to give, and you know for sure they will go down well with everyone. These chocolates can be made vegan and are sugar and dairy free. They are dark chocolate, and are made with only three wholesome ingredients, free of artificial flavourings and colourants. You can adjust the sweetness according to your taste and add in endless combinations of extras. These healthy sweet treats are suitable for all and are brimming with antioxidants and healthy fats, making them a nutritious snack.
I used silicone cupcake holders and other silicone molds I had at home but if you want fancier molds, try a bakery or homeware store, or even the Crazy Store.
Homemade Chocolate Recipe
Depending on how much you want to make, start with 2 chunks of finely grated cocoa butter. Grating it makes it easier to melt. I tend to make multiple batches and then flavour each one differently.
3 T (heaped) cocoa powder - you may need a bit more if using more cocoa butter
A squeeze or two of honey, or for vegan chocolate use xylitol. Adjust the sweetness according to your taste.
Coffee - use coffee bean oil and sprinkle some coffee beans over the top for decoration
Sweet orange essential oil - add in orange rind too
Nuts such as cashews, almonds and hazelnuts
Cayenne pepper for a bit of spice
Dried fruit - goji berries, raisins, cranberries
Biscuit - add in some crushed shortbread biscuit pieces
Dried strawberry or raspberry bits make for a stunning presentation when sprinkled over the top.
Melt the grated cacao butter in a bowl over steaming water. Use a whisk to ensure everything is melted and smooth then blend in your honey if using, and the cocoa powder. Lastly, add in your desired flavourings and whisk well. Pour the chocolate batter into molds, sprinkle on your desired toppings and leave to set in the fridge for an hour. Pop the chocolates out of the molds when set and place in a box with tissue paper for a pretty presentation.
You can also make chocolate ‘bark’ slabs by lining a shallow dish or baking tray with wax paper then pouring the chocolate batter over. Spread it out evenly then decorate with nuts, dried fruit, cacao nibs, coconut or whichever toppings you prefer. Leave to set then break up into smaller pieces.
Side note: I live in an extremely hot part of the country and was travelling across the land to visit family, so I put my chocs in a cooler bag with an ice brick to travel on the plane. The chocolate texture did change from the heat and cold variations, so I suggest you try to keep your chocolates at an even and coolish room temperature. Despite the changed texture the chocolates were all gobbled up in two days!
Have a very merry festive season!