For the past few months I have been indulging in delicious Simply Light chocolate bars that are both sugar and dairy free. I discovered them when a Trader Joes opened in our area.
But I must confess.. my addiction got out of hand and I literally spent $50 the first month on these bars. Oops.
You see being dairy and sugar free.. chocolate has been completely out of my reach for quite some time. Oh sure, I have made chocolate to coat things out of cocoa powder and coconut oil.. but it would just melt in my hands moment after picking it up. What kind of chocolate eating experience is that?? I lost interest.
Until today.. when the wheels in my head clicked into place and it came to me exactly how to make my own bar of delicious dark chocolate. With one trial batch I had a bar dangerously good. This chocolate is the SAME exact texture of regular chocolate, its easy to make and its WAY WAY cheaper than a bar of Simply Light.
Use it to coat cookies, or eat all on its own. Best part- there's no fancy tempering process. Its simple to make and even more impossible to screw up!
- 1/2 cup melted cacao butter.
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)
- 1 whole Vanilla Bean (optional)
- a hefty pinch of salt
- 5-6 Tbs (to taste) of Powdered Sugar or Powdered Xylitol or Powdered Erythritol (see note in directions)
- If you would like your chocolate to be 100% sugar free- select your sugar (either Xylitol or Erythritol) and place it in a coffee grinder. Blend until smooth and powdery. Set aside.
- Place a block of Cacoa butter on a cutting board and slice it down some. Place into a microwave safe bowl and microwave until fully melted. (this will take 2-3 minutes at the most).
- Remove from microwave and add the cocoa powder, salt, powdered sugar and 1 vanilla bean. (slice a vanilla bean in half. Using a sharp knife scrape out the insides of the bean at add that to the chocolate). The vanilla bean is optional, but will make a huge difference in improving the flavor of the chocolate. If you have vanilla powder that could also be used.
- Place the cup of mixed chocolate into the fridge for roughly 20 minutes so that it thickens slightly.
- Pour the chocolate into molds, or onto a sheet of parchment paper that has been placed in a small bread pan or small cake pan. You can also dip cookies or candy into the chocolate when it is at this consistency. (If you leave it in the fridge for too long and it becomes hard, simply place it in the microwave briefly to soften it to the consistency that you want). Add any toppings at this point then place in the fridge or freezer until it becomes solid.
You can top this chocolate in a number of different ways. I added lightly salted, roasted almonds to mine. Try adding dried cherries, dried cranberries, halzenuts, silvered almonds, sprinkles, shredded coconut, orange zest, crushed peppermint candy, dried lavender etc. It will all taste amazing.
If you want to flavor the chocolate itself you can add an extract that is oil based. (liquid or alcohol based will interfere with the chocolate remaining solid). Simply organic carries oil based Peppermint and Orange Extract. (they may have other flavors too). If using these just add a little bit at a time (start 1/4 tsp) until you reach the flavor that you want. If you make your chocolate -peppermint flavored you can leave out the vanilla bean as it may contrast in flavor.