Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Homemade Chocolate

After a couple weeks of vacation at our lake house in Minnesota, I am finally starting to get back into the groove of things here in Illinois. We have been working on the garden, letting the chickens roam, and making new stocks of bread, crackers, ice cream, and other necessities that I have already blogged about. So now it is time for something new!

Summer has always had a feeling of fun to it - as children it is a break from the grind and a chance to be care-free. I have memories of long afternoons at the pool, eating popcorn and ice cream for lunch, and riding my bike to and from friend's houses where we did the same exact things. Well, I've gotten the pool passes, aired up the bikes and the bike trailer, and made plenty of ice cream. I have also made pure, homemade chocolate bars to make the summer even sweeter. These chocolate bars are rich, dark, and not too sweet. Actually, I may dare say they are....healthy.

There are 3 simple ingredients. Cocoa butter, cocoa powder, and honey. Compare that to a Hershey bar and you'll see why I decided to make my own. They are equally as simple to make, and they are the perfect after-dinner morsel. For some reason one little piece of this lasts me longer than a whole store-bought chocolate bar. I think it is the richness combined with wanting to make it last - I wanted to savor every bite.

This is cocoa butter. I bought it off Amazon like I do everything. It smelled amazing  right out of the box. It is a heart-healthy fat, shown to raise HDL cholesterol. 

I melted it in a pot

You are supposed to mix equal parts cocoa butter and cocoa powder by weight, so I used my food scale to measure. 

Cocoa powder in

All mixed up with just 1/4 cup of honey added. I eye-balled it. 

My favorite part

Not so patient - his little finger got right in the bowl. I used a pie plate lined with parchment to set it, but may just use a cookie sheet next time for thinner pieces
Taa daa!!
This chocolate is kind of soft, which I prefer to chocolate that cracks when you bite it. It set in the refrigerator overnight. We enjoyed this for weeks.

Homemade Perfect Chocolate

8 oz cocoa butter
8 oz cocoa powder
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp salt (optional, but highly recommended)

Melt cocoa butter in large saucepan. Add in cocoa powder and salt, and when completely combined add honey. If you like sweeter chocolate, add a little more - but it really doesn't need it in my opinion. Pour into a parchment-lined cookie sheet, cake pan, or whatever else you might have. I even put some in some silicone cupcake thingies for fun. Set in fridge for 6 or more hours. Cut into pieces and enjoy!!

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