How to Make Homemade Chocolate

How to Make Homemade Chocolate

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Homemade chocolate. Just the idea of it is music to my ears. Chocolate that doesn’t have a ton of extra ingredients and can be made on demand. Chocolate that tastes decadent and can be dressed up any way you want. Chocolate made in my own kitchen. Yes, Please.

It was a moment of desperation that made me decide to make my own chocolate – the pandemic of 2020. We couldn’t get to the grocery store very often and, even when we did, the chocolate chips were often sold out. I had been thinking about making chocolate anyway, due to some possible food allergies, so it wasn’t too hard to make the jump.

Who am I kidding, I didn’t need much convincing!

You see, homemade chocolate is not just about taking already produced product and melting it into molds. It’s about starting with the raw ingredients – cacao butter and cacao powder, and adding your own sweetener and flavors.

Homemade chocolate is just one of many things you could be making at home to help stretch your food budget, and eat healthier at the same time!

Why Make your Own Chocolate?

Aside from having access to chocolate whenever you want it (even during a crisis), there are many great reasons to make your own chocolate.

You Control the Ingredients

Many store-bought chocolates include fillers and preservatives that aren’t great for you system. Personally, I am sensitive to soy and almost every mass produced chocolate includes soy lethicin. Others may want to avoid carrageenan, which may trigger inflammation and digestive issues. Homemade chocolate has just four of five simple ingredients.

homemade chocolate piled on a plate
Homemade chocolate includes the ingredients you want,
and not the ones you don’t, with endless opportunities for variation.

Homemade Chocolate is Healthy

That’s right, I said chocolate is healthy. Homemade chocolate starts with cacao powder, a derivative of the cacao bean that is less processed than other chocolate products. Cacao is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods you can find. It is one of the best sources of magnesium and contains iron, calcium, and amino acids, too. If you can add as few other ingredients as possible to this healthy product, you end up with a chocolate treat that, when eaten in moderation, can be quite good for you. Cacao butter, on the other hand, has fewer health benefits so the dark chocolate recipe below is a better choice when taking health considerations into account.

The other benefit of making your own chocolate is that you can use a more beneficial sweetener, and use less of it. Most store bought chocolate uses white sugar to balance out the bitterness of the cacao. Homemade chocolate can be made with maple syrup or honey. With both of these options, you can achieve a sweet flavor with less added sugar. You also get the added health benefits of honey and maple syrup, which are many. These sugars also don’t spike your blood sugar quite as quickly as white sugar so the sugar rush is less intense.

Endless Opportunities for Variation

Making your own chocolate at home allows you to experiment with different flavors and additives to make a chocolate that is all your own. Substitute mint extract for the vanilla extract for a peppermint flavor. Add chopped almonds, roasted pumpkin seeds, or dried cranberries. Sprinkle with sea salt or cinnamon. Add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for a kick of spice.

You can also shape your chocolate in any way that you want. Put it into candy or bar molds, or spread it out on parchment paper to make chocolate bark. Cut it into chunks to make your own chocolate chips. The final result is up to you!

ingredients for homemade chocolate
Homemade chocolate starts with a few simple ingredients,
and options for fillings.

Homemade Chocolate Ingredients

Here we’ll describe two variations on homemade chocolate depending on whether you want a milkier/creamier product or a dark (more bittersweet) product.

Creamy Chocolate

1/2 cup cacao butter* (in chunks or cut into shavings)
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon extract (vanilla or mint)
dash of salt
Optional Add-Ins:
(chopped almonds, pepitos, dried cranberries, chuncky sea salt, etc.)

Dark Chocolate

1/2 cup cacao butter* (in chunks or cut into shavings)
1 cup cacao powder
3 Tablespoons cup honey or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon extract (vanilla or mint)
dash of salt
Optional Add-Ins:
(chopped almonds, pepitos, dried cranberries, chuncky sea salt, etc.)

*Cococut oil can be substituted for cacao butter

Homemade Chocolate Instructions

Place your candy mold or a small plate with parchment paper in the refrigerator to get cold while you make your chocolate.

To melt your chocolate, use a double boiler or a pot with a metal pot or ceramic bowl placed on top.

Put 1-2 inches of water in the bottom pot and bring to a boil on the stove top. After it reaches a boil, turn off the heat and place the top of the double boiler (or bowl) on top and put the cocoa butter (or coconut oil) in to melt.

Remove the bowl from the double boiler and add cocoa powder, sweetener, and extract. Stir with a whisk to combine, then beat for about 30 seconds to thicken. Add your salt and mix-ins (if desired) and fold in with a rubber spatula.

Pour melted chocolate into cold candy molds or spread with the spatula onto the tray with parchment paper to a 1/4 inch thickness. Place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes, or the refrigerator for 1 hour. Turn out from the mold or remove from the parchment paper and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. The chocolate will hold its shape a room temperature.


How to make homemade chocolate PIN
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Carrie Williams Howe
Blogger & Homesteader at The Happy Hive
Carrie Williams Howe is an educational leader by day and an aspiring homesteader by night and weekend. She lives on a small homestead in Vermont with her husband, two children, and a rambunctious border collie. She is a Founder and Editor of Homestead How-To and also blogs about her family's homestead life at The Happy Hive.


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