Who doesn’t like some of the sweet stuff? As a woman with some challenges around menstruation, its a definite part of my life (and my period wellness kit!), but I don’t know too many people who don’t indulge in some chocolatey goodness. However, in the past year I’ve learned that regular, commercially produced chocolate isn’t the healthiest option – with loads of refined sugars, and often trace amounts of gluten, these are no longer options for me (and I hope once you’ve seen how easy it is to make, you’ll have a go at it too!). I’ve mentioned two brands before that I like to buy (in Australia, check out Loving Earth and Pana), but I really wanted to try making my own this time.
Ok, yes, chocolate is still chocolate, but I hope you’ve now picked up on the fact that I think life should definitely be a bit of fun, and what is more fun than chocolate?
So, on to the fun part! Making your own chocolate!
Choose two (or use all three if you like!): coconut oil, cacao butter, butter. Coconut oil gives the chocolate a smooth flavour and texture, the cacao butter brings good dose of creaminess, and dairy butter is creamy and gives the chocolate a great flavour. Clearly, if you avoid animal protein or fat, go with the plant options
Raw cacao powder. This is not cocoa, which is a processed version of the original chocolate bean, but the raw, unadulterated version (should be available at your local health store or maybe even at a major supermarket).
If you don’t want to have a super-dark chocolate, then you might want to add something to sweet in (though if you like your chocolate hit dark and bitter, go for it!). I’d steer away from regular sugar, perhaps try rice malt syrup (what I used) or honey.
Plain home-made chocolate is great, but you might want to add something in to give it a bit more flavour. I went with goji berries, coconut flakes and some almond dough left over from making almond milk. Other great options are berries (fresh, frozen or freeze-dried), nuts, seeds, or anything else that takes your fancy.
As you’ll be able to see from my pictures, I made a large batch this time, but I would usually make less. I had about 350-400ml of liquid as the base chocolate to fill the bottom of the tin I was using, but normally I’d just use about 125ml to fill a large dinner plate. For the sweetner, you should be guided by your own taste. For the amount of chocolate I made, I only used one dessertspoon-ful of RMS, because I don’t like my chocolate too sweet. For the flavours, just put in as much as you’d like! I used 4 tablespoons of cacao, because I like a good rich chocolate taste, but again, modify this to your own preferences.
1. Grab a pot, half-fill it with water and put it on to boil. Place a larger bowl over the top of the pot and add in your liquid bases – the coconut oil, butter or cacao butter.
2. Once your liquids have melted and combined, add in the sweetener. This is the only point you need to be careful – stir, monitor and taste the mix as you go, making sure the sweetener is completely dissolve. If it isn’t, it will ‘clump’ a bit when the chocolate is setting.
4. While your mix is cooling, grab your tin or plate and line it with baking paper. Gather all your flavours you want to add into your chocolate. Scatter them across your plate or in the tin.
5. Pour the warm chocolate mix over your flavour mix. With the deeper pan I used this time, the flavour bits were on visible once cut, but with the shallow plate your berries or nuts will be visible from the top which is visually appealing. If using a plate, take care not to over fill – this makes transporting it a bit tricky! Place your plate or tin into the freezer for around 30 minutes, or until set.
6. Remove from freezer, and break or cut into bite sized pieces, then store in the fridge. Try not to eat it all in one sitting!
My favourite thing about using these ingredients for home made chocolate? The good fats from the cacao butter and coconut oil are really satiating, so even when dealing with menstrual difficulties, I neither want nor need to eat it all at once (thus avoiding the chocolate-binge tummy ache!)
I’d love to know if you make your own chocolate, or if you gave this method a go!