Chocolate. My friend. My best friend.
I like to eat chocolate pretty much everyday. One way or another, I find it. Or it finds me in the impulse buy section at the cash register at the grocery store.
In college, I almost ALWAYS had a small bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the freezer from which I would take a generous handful or two on a daily basis. One time my diet-conscious roommate asked me if I put them in the freezer so I wouldn’t eat too much at once. That might have originally been my strategy, but making chocolate ice cold in Florida only made it that much more enticing.
Chocolate makes me happy. Except when it makes me feel sluggish because I over-indulged. It’s a slippery slope.
The Beginnings of a Healthier Chocolate Experiment
My always experimenting in the kitchen husband asked me to get my hands on some cocoa butter more than a few years ago to try out a recipe for “healthy” chocolate he had found online. I eventually got the cocoa butter, but never could bring myself to try out the experiment. I will name procrastination and resisting trying new things as my excuses for not trying it sooner.
When we made the move from Las Vegas to the Phoenix area, that same original bag of cocoa butter made it’s way into the move. I don’t know how it survived the extreme temperatures of temporary storage, but somehow it did.
This past August, after more time passed and we were more than settled in to our new home, I finally decided to start trying to make my own chocolate with that first bag of cocoa butter. I questioned it’s shelf life, but decided to proceed forth anyway.
Experimental Recipe Success
The results were astounding. I couldn’t believe how good my own homemade chocolate was. And honestly how easy it was to make. I again questioned why our society insists on churning out products filled with sugar and white flour when something can taste just as good with ingredients that are actually not so damaging to our bodies.
My chocolates aren’t store shelf ready by any means. They can be quite messy because I haven’t mastered the art of tempering chocolate yet and the ingredients I’m using may never allow for that perfect final presentation.
Sometimes I will eat just one, and sometimes two or three pieces. But I have noticed that I am never led down the road of eating like 10 – something that has happened with a bag of York peppermint patties or Reese’s pieces on more than one occasion.
After just a few of my chocolates, my chocolate craving is satisfied and I can move on with my day. Minus the heavy feeling from sugar overindulgence and the guilt of having gone crazy with something that is not exactly good for me.
You will find that this recipe is easier to make than a batch of cookies.
- 1 cup food-grade cocoa butter
- 2 oz. (1/2 large bar) unsweetened chocolate
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (dutch processed is the best)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 10 scoops stevia (amount may very based on brand)
The ingredient that might be the toughest to get is the cocoa butter. I asked at Whole Foods once and it seemed to create confusion, so I have been ordering it on Amazon.
- Melt cocoa butter in a double-boiler (if you don’t have one, here’s a quick tutorial on how to easily make your own out of existing pots in your kitchen).
- Turn off heat and stir in unsweetened chocolate until it is melted and integrated with melted cocoa butter completely.
- Mix in unsweetened cocoa powder completely.
- Stir in vanilla extract.
- Stir in stevia. You might want to start taste testing after about 5 scoops, especially if it is a different brand than the one linked above, to get it to your preferred level of sweetness.
- Pour chocolate into molds.
- Allow to set at room temperature. Then put in the refrigerator.
I use silicone ice cube trays as the molds to make small, thin squares. The chocolate will eventually harden and can be broken into pieces if you only have a baking pan lined with parchment paper to start.
I have been experimenting with this recipe for quite a while now. I think the worst batch was the first batch, which was slightly under-sweetened, and I still loved it. I don’t think it’s possible to mess up this recipe. Once you have your first taste, I hope you agree!
I haven’t solved the problem of the chocolate being too melty when you touch it yet. So it’s good to eat with a napkin because a bit of the chocolate will come off on your hands. A small price to pay in my opinion. Despite the drawbacks, this chocolate is my go-to sweet snack and dessert on most days.
If you try these out (which I strongly encourage!), let me know what you think or if you have any questions. Happy chocolate-making!