Homemade Three Ingredient Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is basically woman’s best friend. It helps cheer up a bad day, celebrate a good day, and pairs just as well with breakfast coffee and pancakes as it does with dessert ice cream or wine. Plus, as an added bonus, it even provides you with antioxidants!
My husband and I love to travel and I have had a lifelong love of nearly all things chocolate. One of my favorite things to do is take a local food (or beverage) tour when traveling. I find it brings vacation memories alive when I enjoy that particular treat again at home 🙂 Last December we visited the Taza Chocolate Factory just outside of Boston, Mass and took such a tour. Taza specializes in a stone ground chocolate using just sugar and cacao nibs for the unflavored chocolate. I love how the texture of their chocolate is different than the mainstream chocolate most widely available, plus it reminds me of the chocolate we enjoyed on our honeymoon.
Now I haven’t made Taza’s style chocolate (yet) but basically, this tour is what began my quest to make my own chocolate. I decided to make it the first time on my 30th birthday, one of three new things I tried to celebrate my three decades. I promise this is a recipe that will be tasty (even if it doesn’t temper correctly).
To enjoy these goodies yourself, you need a few items
- bowl/sauce pan to make a double boiler
- food scale to weigh ingredients
- silicone mold of your choosing
Chocolate making is all about ingredient ratios. Exact weights are important because all the ingredients are meltable and to achieve the correct ratios everything needs to be exact. Volume can differ based on how much the ingredients compact when measuring (think about brown sugar doing that) so in this case weight is preferable. One feature I really like about my digital scale is that I can zero the weight. This helps me ignore the weight of the bowl for example.
The photos demoing this recipe are of my 70% chocolate. I come to this calculation based on my use of 2.5 ounces cacao butter, 1 ounce cocoa powder, and 1.5 ounces powdered sugar. Since 3.5 of the 5 ounces are cocoa pod based ingredients (3.5 divided by 5) the chocolate percentage is 70% cocoa. And I thought I wouldn’t use math after highschool!
Once everything is prepped, we want to start with the double boiler. The water should be warm, but not boiling. Boiling temperatures will burn the cacao butter and negatively affect the texture. I like using my medium size glass (pyrex) mixing bowl over a small saucepan because it allows me to keep an eye on the water. Note: the water level should be able to touch the bowl. The cacao butter will only take a few minutes to melt and you will want to whisk it throughout the melting process.
It is also super important that none of the water, not even a drop, makes it into the bowl as this can make the chocolate sieze up and go grainy. *note* if this happens, you can still use it for ice cream topping or a homemade hot chocolate, but it wont make a good piece of solid chocolate.
Once the cacao butter is melted, we are ready to add the cocoa powder and powdered sugar! I prefer to do this by sifting them into the cacao butter (a mesh strainer works great here) so I can minimize any clumps. Super basic step, right?
Whisk away! I was so surprised the first time I made this with how quickly the ingredients incorporate and transform themselves into chocolate. The pictures above were all taken in less than sixty seconds.
Powdered sugar is what I use in chocolate making because it dissolves very quickly. Quickly however is not as soon as all the ingredients are incorporated. I recommend you plan to keep the liquid chocolate on the double boiler for around five minutes to give the sugar the best opportunity to fully dissolve. You wont notice any undissolved sugar until it has hardened however.
Tempering the chocolate is the hardest part of this process (and not just because of my impatience). Essentially what you want to do is slowly cool the chocolate before it goes into a mold. Tempered chocolate is the super pretty shiny finish chocolate has once solidified. Untempered chocolate will still taste good, but the finish will be very matte. I won’t go into the chemistry details but essentially tempering assists with building the crystalline structures of the chocolate. Don’t worry though, badly tempered chocolate can be remelted and retempered.
I also temper by the seat of my pants…aka I use zero fancy tools or even a thermometer. Between reading several dozen chocolate recipes and a few dozen trial and error batches of chocolate making, I have found that using myself as the gage works best for me. Your lip is a very nerve dense place and can therefore notice the temperature changes quite well. Once incorporated, whisk the chocolate every minute or so and then touch the whisk to your lip. If you feel the heat before the whisk even touches you then it is still too hot. Keep whisking and testing the temp to your lip until you can nolonger feel the temperature difference at all. Dark chocolate needs to be cooled to about 90 degrees, so body temperature is a good estimate. For me, the tempering process is about 15 minutes.
One of my favorite parts of chocolate making is choosing is the mold I can use for the chocolate. Each shape is so individual and can add so much personalizing to a gift. The puzzle is one of my favorites because it holds exactly five ounces (one whold batch of this recipe) and is perfect to use for a gift because it really plays well with having two different levels of chocolate. Above you see my 70% and 90% chocolates intermixed in the puzzle pattern. My other favorite mold is a lego shape. It was a birthday gift from my sister in law Nora, and is a super great mold choice for making a filled chocolate 🙂 P.S. These molds are only $4.99 at Michaels Craft Store!
Once you spoon the chocolate into the molds you want to put it in the fridge for 30-60 minutes, depending on how big/thick/intricate your mold shapes are. A thin, flat candy bar mold would probably need a little less time.
Once out of the molds, the chocolate is ready to enjoy or package and gift! Hopefully your chocolate tempered well and came out with that perfect shine.
Homemade Three Ingredient Dark Chocolate
70% Dark Chocolate
- 2.5 ounces Cacao Butter
- 1.5 ounces Cocoa Powder
- 1 ounce Powdered Sugar
90% Dark Chocolate
- 2.5 ounces Cacao Butter
- 2 ounces Cocoa Powder
- 0.5 ounces Powdered Sugar
- Measure the Cacao Butter into one bowl. Measure Powdered Sugar and Cocoa Powder together into their own bowl, zeroing the scale in between
- Warm the double boiler without allowing a boil, then melt the Cacao Butter
- Sift the Powdered Sugar and Cocoa Powder into the melted Cacao Butter
- Whisk Away!
- Keep chocolate on double boiler for 5 ish minutes to allow all sugar to disolve
- Whisk and temperature test every minute or so until chocolate has been tempered to appropriate temperature (see notes above on my recommended tempering process)
- Spoon chocolate into your desired mold and place in fridge to cool, most molds 30-60 minutes
- Remove from mold and enjoy or package for a gift!