How to make chocolate with only four ingredients and that is dairy-free and vegan, full of high immunity antioxidants, as well as mood-boosting and anxiety-lowering powers. Customize with your favorite add-ins.
How to Make Chocolate
How to make chocolate that is rich in nutrients and without additives? The answer is to follow this quick four ingredient recipe. It only takes 10 minutes to mix up a bar of homemade chocolate, and an hour to harden. The resulting bar lasts up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Table of Contents For this Post
Making your own chocolate gives you a lovely healthy snack without artificial ingredients commercial bars contain.
How Does This Chocolate Taste
The flavor of this chocolate depends on the quality of the cocoa you use. However in general I have found this chocolate to be:
Deeply Chocolate Flavor
Creamy as you eat it
Melts beautifully in a recipe
Vegan, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar Free, Gluten-free
Make Your Own Chocolate for Health and Lower Anxiety
Studies show that dark chocolate can boost the brain, mood, memory and lower anxiety.
Specifically this happens when there is a high percentage of cacao from cacao beans in the chocolate. Cacao beans are high in soluble fiber, vitamins and minerals including magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. [source]
And cacao contains amino acid tryptophan that your brain uses to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin, which controls your feelings of overall happiness. Serotonin levels rise with the amount of cacao you eat, so it's best to eat dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao, 70% or higher. And, of course, it's best to eat chocolate with few preservatives.
How to do that? Make it yourself! Plus, think of the control you'll have regarding add-ins.
How to Make Chocolate with Four Ingredients
Let's break down the four ingredients you'll need.
1. Cocoa Powder: Remember to choose the highest quality cocoa powder you can to achieve the deepest chocolate flavor. Ghirardelli and Valhrona brands are recommended.
2. Coconut oil: Buying refined coconut oil will give you less of a coconut flavor, but also less nutrition. Coconut oil in general is full of healthy fats that support weight-loss, skin and cardiac function and is even antiviral.
3. Maple Syrup: The maple syrup can be exchanged for another liquid sweetener, such as monk fruit or agave.
4. Cacao butter: is probably the only ingredient you might not have in your pantry. I use this brand all the time. It's easy to buy at Whole Foods or online.
I've seen chocolate recipes online that leave off cacao butter, and just use cocoa powder, coconut oil and maple syrup - but they don't have the depth of chocolate flavor, the snappiness, and creaminess of commercial chocolates. And they are missing the nutrition cacao butter provides. I think cacao butter is essential for your chocolate bar's flavor and structure.
And don't forget the add-ins or toppings such as sprinkles, cacao nibs, dried fruits, raisins, nuts, and more.
What is Cacao Butter?
You can buy cacao butter in grocery stores such as Whole Foods or online. It is a soft yellow, and comes in bags of chunks or discs. And it smells heavenly. I may or may not stop in my pantry occasionally just to open a bag and sniff. Because cacao butter comes from the same beans that are used to produce chocolate and cacao or cocoa powder.
It is commonly used as an ingredient in hand-cream lotions but it is often included in food because of its health benefits. Cacao butter is full of both omega-3s and omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants, kind of like olive oil.
So let's learn how to make this chocolate bar recipe. But just before we do, I'd like to invite you to sign up for my free chocolate course! Five lessons are delivered to your inbox, teaching you five easy ways to make your own chocolate desserts..
Okay, so moving on with this chocolate bar recipe..
How to Make Chocolate Using This Recipe
The full step by step recipe is in the recipe card down below. But here is a quick summary of the steps. Oh, and a full video of me making the chocolate can be found here on Youtube.
Step 1: Melt the cacao butter in a pyrex measuring cup sitting in a pot of boiling water. You'll need to melt about ¾ cup full of cacao butter chunks or chips to achieve ⅔ cup melted, about 5 minutes, stirring.
Step 2: Add in the coconut oil and stir again.
Step 3: Add in the cocoa powder and maple syrup. Taste-test and add up to another teaspoon to make the chocolate sweeter. If you want to deepen the chocolate flavor, add a pinch of salt and ¼ tsp of vanilla.
Step 4: Pour into clean dry mold. Sprinkle or add mix-ins.
Step 5: Freeze the chocolate mold for 1 hour. I cover it lightly with foil to prevent freezer dullness.
Step 6: Remove bar from mold, wrap in foil or candy foil papers, and store in sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Store long-term in the freezer for two months.
Tips On How to Make Chocolate
1. Keep all bowls, molds, other tools and even add-ins completely dry. A single drop of water will cause the chocolate to seize or crumble. If this happens, add 1 tsp of coconut oil and keep stirring it in a pyrex cup in boiling water until all melts again.
2. Use high quality cocoa and cacao butter such as the brands I provided to ensure optimum flavor of your chocolate.
3. Use a polycarbonate mold for shine, although a silicon mold is fine too.
Use A Polycarbonate Mold to Make Chocolate
Can we talk about the mold for a minute? The mold here is so important to make a proper chocolate bar.
And I suggest you try to find a polycarbonate mold. I linked to mine in the recipe. It is clear hard plastic as opposed to rubbery dense of silicon molds. The advantage to a polycarbonate mold is it gives your chocolate a professional shine, like that of freshly tempered chocolate - a process that is time-consuming and involves thermometers. The alternative is a silicon mold which will certainly provide you with a chocolate bar shape, but with less of a shine.
FAQS About How to Make Chocolate
Apparently there are a lot of questions surrounding how to make chocolate so here are some answers.
How do you make chocolate bars at home?
Combine quality cocoa, cacao butter, coconut oil and maple syrup, melt and pour into a mold and chill.
What goes into making a chocolate bar?
Homemade chocolate bars can be made easily with a few ingredients. Commercial chocolate bars are a lot more complicated.
How do you make chocolate bars step by step?
First melt the four ingredients, then pour them into a mold and chill.
How do you make chocolate with 4 ingredients?
Again, just follow my recipe here. Melt together cocoa, cacao butter, coconut oil and maple syrup, pour into a mold and chill.
How Commercial Chocolate Bars Are Made
Finally I thought it might be interesting to share how commercial chocolate is made. Apparently it's not so far from my recipe aside from starting growing and picking fresh cocoa beans.
Step 1: Cleaning the cocoa beans
Step 2: Roasting the cocoa beans
Step 3: Removing the cocoa bean shell
Step 4: Grinding the inside, called nibs
Step 5: Cocoa is separated from Cocoa Butter
Both of these final ingredients are then used in processes to make various chocolate products. So our homemade process isn't that far off since this bar also uses a combination of cocoa powder and cocoa butter.
More Delicious Chocolate Recipes to Try
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How to Make Chocolate
Make Chocolate Bars
- Gather ingredients, cocoa, cacao butter, maple syrup and coconut oil
- Melt the cacao butter in a pyrex measuring cup sitting in a pot of boiling water. Stir until melted, about 5 minutes. You'll need to melt closer to ¾ cup of chips or wafers to achieve ⅔ cup of cacao butter, melted. If you melt too much, pour the rest into a container, refrigerate until it is solid and store in a dry cabinet.
- Add in the coconut oil and stir again until melted.
- Stir in the cocoa powder and maple syrup. Taste-test and add more maple syrup if you need it sweeter. Consider adding a pinch of salt and ¼ tsp of vanilla to boost the flavor.
- You can stir add-ins into the melted chocolate now, or sprinkle on the bottom or the top after you've poured into the mold
Pour into mold
- Pour the chocolate into molds.
- Freeze the chocolate for 30 minutes or 1 hour, covering it lightly with foil.
- Remove bars from mold, cover in foil or candy foil papers, and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
- The bars stay fresh two weeks in the refrigerator and 2 months in the freezer.