I am no chocolatier. I am no pastry chef. I am just a mom who spends a lot of the time in the kitchen experimenting and playing. I'm also a mom who is learning to let go of [some] of her perfectionist ways and say "that's good enough."
And so it was with this attempt at chocolate making. I did some reading up on it; how to temper it, all the technique involved. Bah, too many steps, too complicated."Let's just go melt some cocoa butter, throw in some cocoa powder and some sweetener and run with it," I thought.
My apologies to the chocolate artisans who will clutch their chests at my amateur chocolate making technique, but for me this homemade chocolate was "good enough." And best of all, it's dairy-free, soy-free, and just oh-so-lightly sweetened with coconut sugar and stevia—or make it sugar-free by sweetening to taste with stevia alone (for some, an acquired taste).
Maybe one day I'll have that extra time to devote myself to learning the art of chocolate making and how to temper correctly. But for now, I've got a pile of dishes to wash and a diaper to change so I can live with a little "bloom" (bloom is that whitish discoloration that sometimes develops on chocolate. There is nothing wrong with it and it does not affect the taste—it's what happens when chocolate is not tempered correctly). If you can to live with some bloom, too, give this homemade chocolate a try. So easy! And if you can't do cocoa, use carob. Just be forewarned—this chocolate is intended to be nibbled on as you would a chocolate bar and not for baking chips. I tried breaking these into chips and adding to cookie dough—not recommended—they liquified during baking. One day I will figure that one out.
Low-Sugar and Sugar-Free Chocolate (or Carob)
Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Easily Sweetener-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Vegan | Easily ACD (use carob and stevia only)
Makes: Approximately 4 ounces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Set Time: 1-3 hours
2.5 ounces plus 1/2 ounce pure, food grade COCOA BUTTER (I order these chips)
1 ounce (approx. 1/4 cup) good quality COCOA POWDER or CAROB POWDER
0.5 ounce (approx. 2 tablespoons) powdered COCONUT SUGAR (see notes) (omit for sugar-free version)
2 scoops (about 2 pinches) pure STEVIA EXTRACT POWDER (add additional scoop for sugar-free version)
1. Using a double boiler, heat cocoa butter over very low heat just until melted. Make a makeshift double boiler using a pot filled with a couple of inches of water and place a larger stainless steel bowl on top.
2. Remove from heat and stir until completely melted.
3. Working quickly, whisk in cocoa powder, sugar and stevia. Whisk until smooth. Stir in remaining 1/2 ounce cocoa butter and stir until melted.
4. Pour into moulds or line a small, shallow, flat-bottomed dish with parchment, fill with chocolate. Allow chocolate to set until hardened in a cool place. You can rush the process by chilling in the refrigerator (probably another technique no-no). Once hardened, chop or break chocolate into desired sized chunks. I found these great silicon ice cube tray at Ikea and on Amazon and use them as moulds. Once hardened the bars pop out with ease.
5. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.
Cocoa Butter: I use these chips from ChefShop. They are much easier to work with than a solid block of cocoa butter. If a block is what you have, I suggest grating it prior to melting.
Cocoa Powder: The better quality chocolate powder you use, the richer the chocolate will be. I have been using raw cacao (cocoa, same thing) powder from Foods Alive. But the powder you use need not be raw.
Stevia Powder: I usually bake with NuNaturals NuStevia Vanilla Liquid. But for this recipe I am using the powdered form—NOW® Better Stevia pure extract powder (any brand should work, just ensure it is pure stevia with no fillers or additional ingredients).
Coconut Sugar: Coconut sugar can be quite coarse. For this recipe we want it milled to a very fine powder. This can be done in a high-powered blender or coffee mill/spice grinder. Coconut sugar is a sugar produced from the sap of cut flower buds of coconuts. Coconut sugar has been used as a traditional sweetener for thousands of years in South East Asian regions where the coconut tree is in abundant supply. It is lower-glycemic with caramel undertones. Amy over at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free offers a nice write-up on coconut sugar as does Kelly over at The Spunky Coconut.
Using Stevia in Combination with a Natural Sugar: Using a natural sugar in combination with stevia helps counteract the aftertaste of stevia that turns some people off. However, if you are following a no-sugar diet, stevia can be your best friend and can be the single sweetener used in this recipe. Just do not over do it, I suggest sweetening to taste. Some liken the taste of stevia to that of artificial sweeteners, but stevia is 100% natural and zero-calorie!
Congratulations Jan, you are the winner of Elana Amsterdam's Gluten-Free Cupcakes cookbook! I do not have your email, so please get in contact with me with your mailing address so that I can send you your book. xo
"Lexie - I just found your site. It was recommended by a friend. Awesome job! I'm looking forward to spending some time poking around here! :) I have an adorable granddaughter with a severe gluten allergy, she inspired me to go gluten-free and lo, it has immensely helped to clear up the eczema I have battled all my life!"