You see, I’m a chocolatier. Wow. It feels good to say that. I bet it would mean instant friends at a party, or a long haul plane flight or sitting on the bus…
If you told Gareth a few year ago he was going to marry a chocolatier, I don’t know if he would have believed you, but he sure would have liked the idea! He probably would have married me then and there… after all chocolate is that amazing.
Now this chocolate recipe isn’t a wannabe healthy-pretend-to-be-real-chocolate thing. This is the real deal. It snaps from the block, melts in your mouth and has the perfect balance of bitter-sweet playing on your taste buds. Though it is certainly a dark chocolate, I’ve found most milk lovers to adore it too.
And it’s gourmet. It’s got all the quality ingredients from chocolate, without all the other gunk as a filler. Yay! Just pure chocolate bliss. It matches any flavour! You can go from pure chocolate to peppermint to rose petal to pink Himalayan rock salt and it works perfectly. Every. Single. Time.
What amazes me the most is its simplicity. If you can melt store bought chocolate, you can make this one. Even when I’ve rushed it, it just works.
I only have one caution: Never, ever tell people where you store it. And if you can’t help yourself, make sure whoever you tell doesn’t have the key to your house. Ahem. My dad has let himself inside a few times and helped himself to our not-so-secret stash in the fridge. He seems to think it’s alright as he takes some of mine and Gareth’s. Because that’s only fair. Right?
I’ve given a fair few people samples over the last few months (it’s taken that long because I never want to give up that much at once!) and the verdict is clear. Amazing.
And it’s pretty well the healthiest chocolate you’ll ever eat. Raw cacao and cocoa butter are packed full of antioxidants and magnesium (great for tired muscles) and honey is also full of antioxidants and is antibacterial.
I won’t lie and say it’s so satisfying that you can stop at one piece. It might be satisfying enough, but you sure won’t want to stop! We make sure we always have some of this chocolate on hand, divided into our personal supply. You may eat the whole block the first few times you make it, but if you always have it on hand with no risk of someone else eating it on you, it’s amazing how long it lasts, considering just how good it is.
The bonus: as long as you can handle some caffeine, this chocolate is relatively allergen free. It’s dairy free, sugar free, nut free, egg free, grain free…. you name it! It’s also paleo, can be made vegan and if you watch the temperature can be made raw! I use the best quality ingredients I can and buy in bulk to save (cocoa butters a wee bit expensive). Yep. We bought 10kg each of raw, organic, fair trade cocoa butter and cacao powder. You’ll get the best health benefits if you use raw organic ingredients where possible too! This chocolate would also make a lovely, amazing, the BEST gift. Ever.
Makes a few blocks (depending on their size, I sometimes do double this recipe and that’s a LOT of chocolate), Adapted from Our Nourishing Roots
1 1/2 cups cocoa butter (~335g)
1 1/2 cups cacao powder (you can use any cocoa powder) (~175g)
2/3 cup honey (or maple syrup) (~220g)
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Melt the cocoa butter in a double boiler. Once completely melted take off the heat and whisk through the cacao powder and then the honey and if using, vanilla. Let cool slightly, whisking occasionally (you can skip this step if needed, but it works better if you don’t, I think this gives it a better snap).
Flavour as desired and pour into chocolate moulds, silicon muffin pans or onto a parchment paper lined tray. Let cool completely (I put mine in the fridge). Store in a cool, dry place and savour at your leisure. Share only if desired.
Notes and suggestions: Avoid getting any water in the mix or it will seize, it hasn’t happened to me yet, and it still tastes good, but be warned! Add just a touch of coffee with the honey for an extra chocolate POW (I just avoid adding it as I eat some chocolate almost daily). Try using dates to sweeten like this recipe from My New Roots. Choc dip some strawberries or fresh fruit. Still a bit dark for your tastes? Try reducing the cacao powder (up to half the suggested amount). Try different flavour options.
Roasted nuts, my favourite is hazelnut or macadamia
Organic dried rose petals (I got mine from a tea centre)
Mix through some peppermint oil
Mix through some desiccated coconut
Dried fruit (I love my tutti fruity combo of dried cranberries, blueberries and flaked coconut)
Dried flowers (like lavender, or dandelion)
Chocolate crackle (brown rice puffs)
Superfoods (like goji)
Nutmeg and cinnamon
Dried herbs (basil works well)
Orange zest and almond
Any combination of the above!
What flavour combinations can you suggest?