Homemade Chocolate Recipe

Henrietta Inman shares a delicious homemade chocolate recipe from her new cookbook, Clean Cakes

Try this delicious homemade chocolate recipe. Photographer / Lisa Linder.

This is proper dark (bittersweet) 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 truly appreciate its pure flavour. To create a smooth chocolate with a glossy finish and a good ‘snap’ when broken, it is important to achieve the right ‘temper’.

Makes about 450g chocolate/5 x 90 g bars

250g cacao butter, chopped or processed into small pieces
125g cacao powder
90g maple syrup
1 vanilla pod (bean), split lengthways and seeds scraped out

1. Line a large 35 x 25 x 2 cm deep tray with baking parchment.

2. Make a bain-marie by fitting a glass or ceramic bowl over a saucepan of water. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the actual water. Bring the water to the boil then turn it down to a simmer. Very slowly melt the cacao butter in the bowl of the bain-marie. Take the cacao butter to no higher than 40–45C. If you think it is getting too hot but hasn’t all melted, take it off the heat to finish melting. It is important not to overheat it or the chocolate will taste grainy and be ‘bloomed’, with a white cloudy appearance.

3. When the cacao butter has melted and is at around 40–45C, add the rest of the ingredients. This should lower the temperature and we now want to bring it down to 28–30C; just above or below will be fine.

4. Blend all the ingredients together with a hand-held blender to get rid of any cacao powder lumps and until velvety smooth and glossy. Do not over-blend or the chocolate will stiffen too much. If it is too stiff, place the bowl back over the hot water and stir gently for a minute or so then remove from the heat.

5. Keep stirring the chocolate gently to cool it then, when around 28–30C, pour it into the lined tray. Bang the tray on a surface and shake it gently to get rid of any air bubbles and make a nice even layer of chocolate, then refrigerate.

6. Break up the set chocolate and store in a large glass jar or container in the fridge, where it will keep for at least three months.

Make your own chocolate bars
You need chocolate moulds measuring 15 x 7 x 1 cm deep. Wash the moulds with hot water, soap and a soft cloth, then dry with a cloth and polish with cotton wool before each use.

Make or melt the amount of homemade chocolate you want to use in a bainmarie. Once the chocolate is around 28–30°C, pour or ladle it into the moulds, one at a time. Each bar (with above dimensions) can take 90 g of chocolate. Shake the moulds slightly and bang them a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and make an even layer. Next, if you want to, add 40–50 g of toppings (see below for suggestions) and transfer to the fridge immediately to set. If you are in a rush, place in the freezer. Once set, the bars will fall out easily from the moulds.

Suggested toppings and flavourings:

Wonder berry bar
Goji berries, white mulberries, Incan berries, buckwheat groats, hulled hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds.

Exotic bar
Dried mango, dried pineapple, toasted coconut flakes and cacao nibs.

Fruit ‘n’ nut 1
Chopped dried unsulphured apricots and figs, raisins, Brazil nuts and almonds.

Fruit ‘n’ nut 2
Pistachio, hazelnut, dried cranberry and dried blueberry.

Add 1 tsp pure unsweetened peppermint extract to 90g chocolate, then fill the mould.

Bitter orange
Add 1 tsp pure unsweetened orange extract to 90 g (3 oz) chocolate, fill the mould, then decorate with cacao nibs.

Rose, orange blossom, raspberry, macadamia and sesame
Add a generous ½ tsp rosewater and ½ tsp orange blossom water to 90 g chocolate, pour into the mould
and then decorate with freeze dried raspberries, macadamia nuts and white sesame seeds.

Extracted with permission from Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman, published by Jacqui Small, $45.

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