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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

raw chocolate: 85% dark


I love chocolate. Who doesn't? Some of the best quality chocolate is actually stuff you can make yourself at home, for the same price or cheaper than a good bar of Ghirardelli dark.

I will provide a few links for alternate recipes, but here is my basic recipe for 85% dark chocolate. You can mix it up as you like and make fruit and nut, add extra honey for more sweetness, add less for a darker bar, add milk powder for a milk bar (buttermilk powder, soy, coconut milk powder...), cayenne and cinnamon for a South American chocolate, candied orange peel and unsweetened cranberry... So many options. This should get you started! And do let me know what variations or improvements you come up with by commenting below.



85% Dark Chocolate

3 oz raw cacao butter
2 1/2 oz raw cacao powder
3 Tbs raw honey
pinch (1/8 tsp) finely ground Celtic sea salt
optional 1/2 vanilla bean

Make a double boiler with a glass jug in a pot of warm water on the stove top. Melt cacao butter down fully, very gently and slowly, in water that never bubbles. This should take about 30 minutes, certainly not less -- too quickly melted and cacao butter tends to turn grainy as it cools, so tempering time is important for a smooth chocolate.

Once melted down to a warm, clear, butter-like oil, add honey. Stir well for a few minutes and allow the honey to dissolve. Then add the cacao powder.

Remove jug from the heat, and stir well to remove any powdery lumps. Place on a towel so that the bottom of the jug doesn't cool too quickly on the countertop. If you want vanilla, here is where you add it. Score a vanilla bean pod in half, and use the knife to carefully scrape all the tiny seeds from the inside of the bean and add to chocolate. Also add the salt. Stir in well. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. It won't harden, just bring the temperature down a few degrees.

Now, place the jug of chocolate back into the hot water and melt fully again, stirring smooth the whole time. This will only take a few minutes, but do it over the same low heat as before.


Once melted, you can pour your chocolate into molds. Let cool to room temperature before moving to the fridge to harden.

Store chocolate in the fridge. It softens easily at room temperature because it is not properly tempered chocolate. For a bar with snap, see the 84% dark link below for instructions on tempering. I seldom have the time or patience for this, though. Store in the fridge for a few weeks, if you can keep your hands off it that long.

84% dark choc with honey
Wellness Mama's homemade chocolate




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