Friday, October 29, 2010

Homemade Coconut Dark Chocolate (Gluten free, Dairy free, Soy free, Sugar free)

So I know you have all been waiting with baited breath. I told you I was going to reveal to you today what I used my coconut butter for. Are you ready? I used it to make homemade coconut dark chocolate. If that doesn't make your mouth water, I don't know what will.

It was a work in progress that took a few days. But I definitely learned some things along the way, and I will share with you what I learned.

I based my first attempt off of a recipe I found on the internet. I used the double boiler method by placing a bowl with the ingredients over a pan of simmering water. The three components are cocoa powder, coconut oil, and sugar (I used stevia instead). Once they were melted and mixed together I tasted it and it was bad. I don't know if it is because I used the Hershey's Dark Cocoa Powder but it was chalky and nothing like the creamy chocolate I was looking for. I thought pouring it into a pan and letting it solidify would help things and they didn't. It just tasted like chalk in solid form. Part of the problem was the sweetener didn't mix in very well and cocoa flavored coconut oil wasn't very appetizing.

So I put it in a container and let it sit for a few days while I thought about what I could do to save it from being thrown away.

 This is where the coconut butter comes in. I thought that in order to achieve that creamy dreamy texture I needed something with more substance that would also keep the sugar incorporated throughout.

So I pulled my chalky chocolate out of the fridge and threw it into the blender with my coconut butter. I also was making hot sauce from a bunch of cayenne peppers that came into my possession in the blender on the right. But that is another story for another time. The important thing was that there was no cross contamination. Spicy chocolate is not my thing.

I poured the mixture into a wax paper lined pan and let it harden in the fridge for about 2 hours.
Then came the moment of truth. I placed it on a cutting board, peeled of the wax and broke off a chunk to taste... and what met my taste buds was pure ecstasy. To me it is the perfect dark chocolate. It was creamy, you got a hint of sweetness that balanced the bitter dark chocolate, and finished with a dreamy coconut overtone. I used a knife and chopped it into little chunks and placed it in a airtight container. I think you could keep it at room temperature but if your kitchen gets warm from lots of cooking it will melt into a big blob that is hard to deal with. So I would recommend storing it in the fridge or freezer. But honestly, I don't think it will last long enough to matter :).

Homemade Coconut Dark Chocolate (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Sugar Free)
1 cup Coconut Oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder - I used 3/4 cup and it was more on the bitter side, but I like that!
1 1/2 tsp Stevia (I used 3 packets)

Find a heatproof bowl and a pan that will fit under the bowl for your double boiler. Fill the pan halfway with water and bring to a simmer. Place all ingredients in the bowl and place over simmering water. Stir as it melts. Once it is melted, pour into a wax lined 8x8  or 9x13 pan, depending on desired thickness. Let chill in fridge for several hours and break apart or chop into desired size. Eat immediately or store in fridge or freezer in an airtight container.

This post is a part of Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.

I also have one quick announcement. I am leaving in about an hour to fly down to Mexico for ten days. I will be visiting my twin sister who lives there as a missionary. I am more than thrilled to have the opportunity to go and spend some time with my twin who I only get to see once a year! I know we will have a busy schedule, so I am not sure if I will be able to update. But once I get back I will definitely share lots of pictures and stories! 

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