Did you know that you can make your own healthy homemade chocolate? Homemade chocolate that’s dairy-free, soy-free, AND refined sugar-free? If you’re a chocolate lover, you have got to try this recipe! I’m calling it Paleo chocolate, because it’s the aforementioned dairy-, soy- and refined sugar-free, but don’t be deterred if you’re not Paleo; this is a super delicious chocolate for ANYONE who loves healthy eating and real food.
This is not a complicated recipe. It only calls for five ingredients, and one of those ingredients is a pinch of salt. 🙂 If you’re feeling intimidated by the idea of making your own chocolate, don’t be! I don’t do complicated recipes, so I promise you that this homemade Paleo chocolate recipe is super simple.
What is Cocoa Butter?
Cocoa butter is the fat found in cocoa beans. It’s used in most commercial chocolate and has a delicious flavor and texture.
Like coconut oil, cocoa butter is also a very healthy fat. When it comes to making chocolates, cocoa butter has one distinct advantage–cocoa butter chocolates will not melt at room temperature! I love coconut oil chocolates as much as the next person (and have developed quite a few of my own coconut oil chocolate recipes), but I also really like having a homemade chocolate recipe that can be stored on the counter, given away as gifts without having to worry about refrigeration, or thrown in my purse when I’m in need of a chocolate pick me up when out and about.
The raw version of cocoa butter is called cacao butter. I personally use cacao butter in my recipes, because it’s supposed to contain more nutrients, but you can use whatever you prefer.
Where to Buy Cocoa/Cacao Butter
Cocoa/cacao butter may not be an ingredient that you normally keep in your pantry, but it’s really easy to find when you know where to look. Health food stores like Whole Foods will likely carry cacao butter, but I always buy my cacao butter online because it’s MUCH cheaper online. My current favorite is this cacao butter, but that’s mostly because it’s the best price I’ve seen. I’ve tried a number of other brands and they’ve all been delicious!
Preventing Your Chocolate from Seizing
I’ve never actually had my chocolate seize while making this recipe, but I know it’s a possibility. (If you haven’t worked with chocolate much before,”seizing” is when your chocolate becomes a grainy, paste-like consistency instead of remaining smooth and fluid.)
To prevent your chocolate seizing, make sure that all the equipment and tools you use are completely dry. Exposing your chocolate to small amounts of water can cause it to seize.
I also recommend melting your cocoa butter in a double boiler, instead of directly in a saucepan. Letting your chocolate get too hot while melting can also cause it to seize.
When you remove the double boiler from the saucepan, place it on a towel on your counter and dry the outside of a double boiler before you pour your chocolate into your baking dish to cool. This will eliminate the possibility of dripping water into your cooling chocolate.
Notes on the Recipe:
This makes a very dark chocolate. If you prefer your chocolate sweeter, you can add more honey to taste.
I’m listing cocoa butter in this recipe, but I actually use cacao butter myself. Either can be used interchangeably here.
I list cocoa butter in grams here, because most cocoa butter comes in big chunks and it’s impossible to get an accurate volume measurement. I use my kitchen scale to weigh my cocoa butter. If you don’t have one already, I have this one ; it’s inexpensive and has worked well for me for the past several years.
If you are planning on baking with your chocolate, I suggest instead using my homemade chocolate chips recipe. It’s nearly identical to this one, but it contains a small amount of tapioca starch to keep the chocolate from melting in the oven.
Equipment You’ll Need:
Double boiler and a pan that fits underneath the double boiler
8×8 baking dish lined with parchment paper (can also use a different size, but chocolates will be thicker or thinner)
- 168 grams cocoa butter
- 3/4 cups cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt, or more to taste
- Melt your cocoa butter in your double boiler. Once it's completely melted, turn off the heat.
- Add your cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, and salt. Use an immersion blender to thoroughly mix all ingredients. While you can do this by hand with a whisk, I highly recommend using an immersion blender, as it does a superior job of blending the honey in with the rest of the ingredients.
- Line an 8x8 glass baking dish with parchment paper. Pour the chocolate mixture into the dish.
- Cool chocolate in the fridge. Once hardened, chop chocolate into chunks. You can make them as big or as small as you want!
- Store chocolate in an airtight container at room temperature, or in the fridge or freezer for longer-term storage.