“This is proper dark chocolate with no added flavourings, emulsifiers or powders. It’s rich and intense so best enjoyed in small pieces, letting it melt in your mouth to appreciate it’s pure flavour. Homemade chocolate bars make the best edible gifts. I’ve given my favourite toppings and flavourings below, but add whatever you like to your real chocolate.”
1. Line a large (35 x 25 x 2cm deep) tray with baking parchment.
2. Make a bain-marie by placing a glass or ceramic bowl over a saucepan of water. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Very slowly, melt the cacao butter in the bowl – taking it no higher than 40/45c. it’s important not to overheat it or the chocolate will taste grainy.
3. When the butter has melted, add the rest of the ingredients. This should lower the temperature – you want it to be 28-30c but just above will be fine.
4. Blend all of the ingredients together with a hand blender to get ride of any lumps and until smooth and glossy. Be careful not to overblend or the chocolate will stiffen.
5. Keep stirring the chocolate gently to cool it then, when around 28-30c, pour it into your lined tray.
6. Bang the tray on a flat surface and shake gently to get rid of any bubbles, then refrigerate.
To make your own chocolate bars, you will need chocolate moulds and your choice of the below toppings…
Wonder Berry Bar – goji berries, white mulberries, Incan berries, buckwheat groats and pumpkin seeds
Exotic Bar – dried mango, dried pineapple, toasted coconut flakes and cacao nibs
Fruit N Nut – chopped dried apricots and figs, raisins, Brazil nuts and almonds
Peppermint – add 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract to 90g chocolate, then fill the mould
Bitter Orange – add 1 teaspoon pure orange extract to 90g chocolate, then fill the mould and decorate with cacao nibs.
1. Melt the amount of homemade chocolate you want to use in a bain-marie, as above.
2. Once it has reached 28-30c, pour it into your moulds one at a time.
3. Bang the moulds on a flat surface and shake gently to get rid of any bubbles, then add your chosen toppings.
4. Transfer to the fridge immediately to set.
Recipe taken from ‘Clean Cakes, Delicious patisserie made with whole, natural and nourishing ingredients and free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar’ by Henrietta Inman, published by Jacqui Small. Photo by Lisa Linder.