With some recent news touting the health benefits of chocolate, it is important to remember that not all chocolate is created equal. Most store bought chocolate brands contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup and use soy lecithin as an emulsifier (here’s why we avoid soy).
There are some good brands out there, but they are pricey and use many of the same ingredients as homemade versions (usually with sugar instead of honey though)!
In search of a GAPS friendly (and paleo, primal, etc.) healthy chocolate, I realized I’d have to make my own. This homemade version is smooth and delicious, and you can completely avoid the artificial ingredients. Organic homemade chocolate is also a good source of magnesium, and can be really healthy in moderation.
In the picture above, I used these silicone heart molds to make bite size chocolates (great gift idea!) and a mini loaf pan for the bar sizes. You can even find a mold specifically in a chocolate bar shape if you want to be really authentic!
I’m putting little jars of the homemade heart chocolates in my gift baskets for friends this Christmas, and also using them as healthy stocking stuffers on St. Nicholas Day at our house. Here is the basic recipe, but you can add mint or orange extract to taste, a teaspoon of brewed espresso, or some chopped almonds for a specialty taste.
- 1 cup of Cocoa Butter
- 1 cup of Organic Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
- ½ cup Raw Honey (I use Tropical Traditions Brand) or to taste- using half this amount or less will make a bittersweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon of Real Vanilla Extract or other flavors to taste
- Optional: Toasted chopped almonds, orange or mint extract, etc)
- Melt cocoa butter in a double boiler or a glass bowl on top of a small pan with an inch of water (make sure water isn't touching bowl) over medium heat.
- When cocoa butter is completely melted, remove from heat and add cocoa powder, honey, vanilla and other flavor extracts. If using a solid raw honey like Tropical Traditions, melt with the cocoa butter.
- Make sure all ingredients are well incorporated and smooth. At this point, make sure that no water or liquid gets in to the chocolate as it can cause the texture to get mealy! Be careful even with wet hands or a drop of water in the mold! [Note: I've also just melted all of this on very low heat in a small pan and not had a problem with it, but this isn't as reliable as the double boiler method]
- Pour the chocolate in to molds or onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a glass pan to harden.
- Let harden for several hours at room temperature until hardened and remove from molds. You can also stick in the fridge to harden more quickly. Will store for over a week at room temperature or can be kept refrigerated for longer.
Have you ever made chocolate at home? Would you try? How would you flavor it? Share below!