Homemade Chocolate Bars. You will never go back.

So I received my special order yesterday. Organic Cocoa Butter. No, I am not going into the beauty bar business... too late for me. All the beach and baby oil pretty much set my fate. But I've earned every line on my face.

Back to food. That's my thing. If you can't tell I'm a chocoholic. There. I said it. My name is Mary and I live and breathe for chocolate. But I'm diabetic. Soooo. They do have sugar free chocolate. Typically made with commercial grade artificial sweeteners which, if you eat too much, like one piece, acts more like, let's be honest, a laxative. 

So once again, my thanks to Google, I have scoured the earth and found the secret. First. Swerve. Fabulous natural based sweetener with no side effects. Then, the cocoa butter. It's important because it not only has to be organic, it has to be slave free. You do realize that the problem with most chocolate is it's ingredients are coming out of places that are using child and slave labor. Companies like Ghirardelli provide strict guidelines on where there chocolate comes from. Many don't. 

So starting with their Cocoa, and adding Cocoa Butter from Kakosi, which brings it in from South America (very important that you avoid the Ivory Coast) I already feel better. A little Vanilla and that's all you need.

My first batch, not so good. I'm a little over confident, ignored some basics. Like sifting the Sugar and Cocoa together. Next batch I will. 

Here's the first. 

Not very sophisticated. I don't have my candy mold yet. Maybe it will arrive today! I'm hoping. Then I'll do batch two. Now though it doesn't look great, it does taste pretty good. I have to work out the ratio of cocoa to the cocoa butter. I used about equal amounts, which is very rich, dark chocolate. Now you can add a little powdered milk if you want it to be milk chocolate, but that's not on my eating plan. I like dark chocolate. It's healthier. This batch used hazelnuts. I was going for that Ferrero Rocher taste. And by the way did achieve the flavor. Next batch, I'm chopping up the nuts and using a candy mold. I do sense a known cooling sensation in the back of my throat using the Swerve. I've heard about this. I need to go see how to correct that.

Well, I can't wait for the darn candy mold. So I ran the Swerve through the food processor, which other than coating the entire kitchen in white powder, did not to anything. I was hoping for confectioners sugar. Ha! I need to hunt some down. But I think I improved the flavor this time. For me, anyway. Hubby liked round one. I liked round two. Darker, richer, less sweet.

OK. Recipe. Simple really. Although I apologize in advance there are no exact measurements here. I googled and googled but could not find a recipe! I did find some videos on YouTube, which appeared to be from Australia maybe.. but they were using vegetable shortening. And I couldn't find the recipe listing anything. I did run across a fabulous channel though... Nicko's Kitchen. I watched him make his version of chocolate, which of course had powdered milk... which if you can have, please go visit him. It of course looks very yummy and if I weren't diabetic and avoiding milk products and vegetable shortening I'd have just used this! Besides... his videos are great.

Take the cocoa butter, which comes in chunks, and put one or two in a heated sauce pan on very low heat, or double boiler if you're ambitious. Gently let the cocoa butter melt, and pour into a pyrex measuring cup to see about how much you have!

Now, take an equal amount of SIFTED Unsweetened Cocoa powder, or less if you like lighter chocolate, and whisk into the cocoa butter. Now whisk in powdered sugar, or swerve, or whatever you want to sweeten it until it's well, sweet enough. This requires a spoon. And an eager taster. Add a little vanilla extract if it suits you.

When everything is nicely mixed, it'll be pretty thin and liquidy. Just pour into a mold or a pan lined with parchment and toss it in the fridge for awhile.

It'll harden into chocolate. Seriously. And you don't have to keep it in the fridge, it will be like the kind in the store, only no preservatives or soy lecithin or thickeners or thinners or anything else you don't want. It's simply chocolate. Yum. 

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