This chocolatey go-to gift is extra special as it is homemade, deliciously healthy and can be made to suit any special needs or tastes.
Homemade chocolate is a huge hit in my family. It is made 'the original way' using just cocoa butter, cacao powder, honey and some vanilla for flavouring. You can add coffee bean oil and coffee grinds, berries, nuts or practically anything else for your choice of flavouring. Any parent or grandparent who enjoys chocolate will appreciate these delicious melt-in-your-mouth delites, especially if made by the kids!
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.
Cocoa butter - depending on how much you want to make, start with 2 chunks, finely grated (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 or sugar free chocolate use erythritol or xylitol (take note that these sweeteners may melt differently or may change the texture of the final product). Adjust the sweetness according to your taste.
Coffee - use coffee bean oil and sprinkle some coffee beans over the top for decoration
Peppermint - peppermint essential oil
Nutty - add in nuts such as cashews, almonds and hazelnuts
Peanut butter - blend in a dollop of your favourite peanut butter
Coconut- if you enjoy a coconut flavour, try substituting some of the cocoa butter for delicious coconut oil, and add in some flaked or desiccated coconut
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.
Gently melt the grated cocoa 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 cacao 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.
Store your chocolate in the fridge or in a tupperware in a cool place.
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