I don’t know about you but I am a chocoholic. However, I also try my best not to eat too much of it, and when I do I prefer to eat dark chocolate.
Now because I try not to eat too much I resist the temptation to buy it, but sometimes my cravings get the better of me and I long to have some. So recently, when there was none in the house, I decided to have a go at making my own home made chocolate, or a version of it. I had never considered home made chocolate before or how easy it would be to make.
I was lucky enough to have some Bioglan Raw Cacoa powder in the house as I received it free with the Tesco Orchard Programme and Bioglan.
As for it being Vegan – well it just is! For those of you on specialised diets not only is it Vegan, hence dairy free, but also gluten free. If you use sweetener instead of sugar then it would also be suitable for diabetics as well. I am not sure if it counts as nut free, when it uses coconut oil 😀 . If you are on a weight loss diet they work out at about 53 calories for each petit four – assuming you make 12.
I searched around the web but most of the recipes were quite complex and involved all sorts of methods involving roasting, grinding, conching, and /or tempering, and used all sorts of complicated equipment to boot. So I decided to try something far more simpler and here it is.
makes 12 Petits Fours or about 100g of Chocolate
Weighing out the ingredients for my home made vegan chocolate
20g Cocoa powder
55g Coconut oil
5g Flavouring (optional)
Two bowls, one large, one small
12 Petit Four cases or small moulds
Spoons for stirring and for filling the cases
Mixing the ingredients for home made vegan chocolate
Place the hot water in the large bowl.
Put all the other ingredients in the small bowl and place carefully in the large bowl.
DO NOT GET ANY WATER IN THE SMALL BOWL.
Stir occasionally until the mixture amalgamates completely and all visible lumps vanish.
Remove the small bowl from the large one and dry the underneath carefully.
Pouring the home made vegan chocolate in to the moulds
Spoon the result into small greaseproof paper petit four cases, or moulds, and refrigerate until set.
I was delighted with the result. Chocolate Yaahh!!!
It was solid enough to peel off the paper cups with out leaving half behind and with out it sticking to my fingers.
The taste was just right for me. Not too sweet, but neither was it too bitter.
It was smooth but not silky smooth but then neither did it feel very coarse and grainy.
It was solid enough to have the feel of real chocolate but it did not have the “snap” to it that is associated with good quality chocolate.
I used Bioglan Raw Cacao for my cocoa powder, but any cocoa powder should do.
If you do not need to be Vegan than I suppose you could use butter instead of coconut oil.
Again the non Vegan out there could both sweeten and at the same time turn the chocolate to milk chocolate by adding in some condensed milk. Not too much or it wont set.
I make my own vanilla essence and used a small amount of this to flavour it.
My preferred sweetener is a dessert spoon of agave nectar. If you use sugar then I would use icing/powdered sugar as the heat involved would probably not melt any grains of sugar. I am sure a powdered artificial sweetener would work. However, on the up side, a dry sweetener may possibly make the chocolate set a little harder, therefore with a better snap to it.
Why not top each one off with a piece of fresh fruit which will make a delicious contrast to the dark chocolate.
You can add in dried fruit and/or nuts and set it in little piles.
Use it to coat fresh fruit.
Set it in a small oblong, or square, dish to get a “bar”
Add some rum (or other spirit/liqueur) and ground almonds, before it sets. Then after chilling roll into balls for truffles. Dip in more of the mix to coat them.
No Scales? Then the cocoa powder and coconut oil weights equate to an equal volume of each. I used a 60ml measuring cup. Then I added a table spoon of agave nectar and a teaspoon of vanilla essence.
All pictures were taken by and belong to the author M E Park.