After making homemade white chocolate, I realized how easy it was to make chocolate bars at home. After a complete flop at making dairy-free milk chocolate (oxymoron?), I decided it would be a whole lot easier to make dark chocolate. Plus, dark chocolate is more holiday-ish anyways.
This homemade chocolate would make the perfect gift for this holiday season (or any occasion, for that matter), because it is super simple to make, takes very little time, and is absolutely delectable. It tastes far better than Hershey's Special Dark chocolate, probably because this homemade version is made without artificial flavorings, milk fat, soy and PGPR. Really though, this chocolate is better because of all the love you put into it ;) Just neatly wrap the chocolate bars in parchment paper, wax paper, or cellophane bags and close with a sticker or tie with a ribbon!
Even though it might be easier to grab some fun-sized Snickers from the store, it isn't as loving as something homemade. I mean, I'm totally guilty of buying a bunch of junk food for presents (partly because I got to snack on a few
dozen myself), but now that I know how unhealthy those artificial products are--whether it's from the insane amount of sugar or hazardous level of hydrogenated oil--I certainly don't want to hand those out to the people I love. To me, it's like saying, "Happy Holidays! Now put on a few pounds and maybe raise your cholesterol too?"
I love you, I don't want to slash days off your life. I don't even want to slash MILLISECONDS off your life.
I know, I know, I may be taking this to the extreme, but after taking a few nutrition courses and completing a large number of research projects, I really don't want to give people such dangerous substances. Oh, and I also don't want to support the candy makers who live to shove sugar down our throats...
No, I'm not asking you to hand out carrot sticks (because quite frankly, everyone would hate that, even a rabbit), just give your friends and family (or even a complete stranger) some homemade guilt-free goodies this year :)
Homemade Dark Chocolate: [sugar free, low carb, GF, V]
(makes 4 bars)
56g (1/4 cup) Cacao Paste (or 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate)
42g (3 tbs) Cacao Butter
1/2 tsp Stevia Extract30g (1/4 cup) Powdered Erythritol, sifted (or powdered sweetener of choice)
3" of a Vanilla Bean, beans scraped
1. In a double boiler, add the cacao paste and cacao butter. Stir occasionally until melted.
2. Take off the heat and whisk in the stevia, then the erythritol, and finally the vanilla beans (chocolate should be smooth and silky)
3. Place chocolate molds on a large, flat plate (make sure that it will fit inside your fridge!), then pour the chocolate into the molds. Refrigerate until firm (~2 hours).
I'm sure these will keep well if wrapped tightly and kept in a cool, dark place for ~2 weeks. I stored my chocolate covered in the fridge.
I decided to compare the nutrition facts of my homemade dark chocolate with Lindt's 70% cacao chocolate. Lindt's nutrition label is on the left, my recipe's label is on the right:
As you can see, my homemade version is lower in calories, saturated fat, sodium, carbs and sugar.
Plus, because this recipe contains no dairy, your body can absorb the antioxidants in the chocolate!