Now I know Easter was last week but if you’re like me, you wouldn’t have pigged out on chocolate or even touched the commercial stuff over the weekend. For those of you that are Orthodox, this is just in time!
It is no secret that I love chocolate, so it may seem a little surprising that I didn’t eat any. So, I’ve been following my cravings and made some today instead. It can feel intimidating to make your own chocolates from scratch. You probably feel like you need special equipment, thermometers, chocolate moulds etc. I personally don’t use any of that, as being a minimalist, you tend to do without things in the kitchen that would only be used twice a year.
I’ve always toyed with the idea of getting some gorgeous little individual chocolate moulds but I honestly don’t think I would end up using it. The novelty would wear off quite quickly. I use a small baking tray or a loaf tin lined with baking paper. I prefer to have a slab and then break off pieces.
There were 3 main things that I learned early on when making chocolate myself. Firstly, never melt the cacao butter on a high heat or they will separate when you cool them. The cacao butter will come to the top and the sweetener will stick to the bottom. It’s edible but not ideal. So make sure you’re always using the lowest heat that you can on your stove. If you feel like it still gets a little too hot, just remove the bowl from the heat for about 20-30 seconds and place back on or alternatively hand hold the bowl over the saucepan with the water. A great way is to either grate or chop the butter into smaller chunks.
Secondly, make sure that no water touches the mixture! You will thank me later.
And lastly, make sure you mix in the rice malt syrup well so that the ingredients blend better together.
Here’s the simple recipe. I hope you enjoy it!
- 1 cup cacao butter (around 120 grams), cut into small chunks or grated
- 3 tbsp rice malt syrup (also known as brown rice syrup)
- ½ cup cacao powder
- ¼ tsp peppermint extract or 4 drops of peppermint oil
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs
- Place a double boiler or a small stainless steel bowl over a small saucepan that is ¼ filled with water. Make sure that the bowl is bigger than the saucepan.
- Add the cacao butter and melt slowly over low heat.
- Remove from heat once melted and add in the rice malt syrup, cacao powder and peppermint extract and mix well.
- Pour the mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper and place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- The chocolate would have hardened quite a bit but still soft enough to sprinkle the cacao nibs on top and for it to set with the chocolate. Just press them in if they won't go in on their own. Put back in the freezer for another 15 minutes.
- The slab should now be hard and ready to eat! Break it into smaller pieces or wrap it up nicely as a bar for a gift.