pic by Charles
Homemade dark chocolates – some with cinnamon and almond, others with a touch of ground espresso and a coffee bean. Yum!

Christmas girl canstockphoto11703487

I love creating homemade, useful holiday gifts. And I love dark chocolate. (Who doesn’t!?) So this year’s DIY holiday gifts are a no-brainer: homemade dark chocolate!

 Making chocolate is so much easier than I’d imagined. You need only 4 essential ingredients, a spatula, wax paper and a double boiler. The rest is up to your imagination! For extra flavour you can add nuts, dried fruits, crushed candy canes or spices. To create chocolates rivalling Purdy’s in their beauty, use a silicone candy mold (I got mine at Chocolate Mousse, 1553 Robson Street). The raw ingredients aren’t always cheap but the yield is tremendous: for about $20 you get a fridge full of delicious gourmet dark chocolates.

Homemade Dark Chocolate From Christie’s Chocolate Factory

Ingredients 
200g cocoa butter (available at Quiddita’s on Commercial Drive or Pomme Natural Market on Davie Street)
1/3 – 1/2 cup maple syrup to taste
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
Optional: cacao nibs, nuts, dried fruit, etc
Melting cocoa butter
Melting cocoa butter
Instructions
1. Melt cocoa butter in a double boiler
2. Remove from heat and whisk in maple syrup until fully blended
3. Add cocoa powder, salt and vanilla and whisk until creamy
4. Add optional ingredients or spices
5. Pour into a candy mold or onto a baking sheet covered with wax paper
6. Refrigerate for 1 hour
7. Enjoy!

Raw cacao nibs
Raw cacao nibs

To some of the molded chocolates I added cinnamon and an almond; to others I sprinkled in ground espresso and added a coffee bean.

For the “cacao bark,” before pouring the chocolate onto wax paper I mixed in 1 cup of raw cacao nibs for extra fiber and minerals.

I taste tested the Cacao Bark on my friends at Spartacus Gym and it was a huge hit! In fact, my BodySculpt ladies were the ones who insisted I blog the recipe. Thanks, sistas! Happy baking!

 

Homemade Dark Chocolate From Christie’s Chocolate Factory! A Healthy(ish) DIY Holiday Gift" >