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Author Notes: My intake of added sugars in a day is really low. A gram here and a gram there, totally 8-10 grams a day. Given that a 1.8 ounce Snickers bar has 27g, or that a 12 ounce can of Coke has 35g... you can do the math. As I reduced sugar, I definitely got more sensitive to its taste, and I've grown to love the sweetness in 90-95% dark chocolate. Lindt gives you the option of a plain bar. But, you know, sometimes you feel like a nut! You can make a nice dark chocolate from cocoa butter, cocoa powder, a bit of coconut oil and vanilla, and some sweetener. There is a small amount of sugar in cocoa powder, but that is it. This recipe was inspired by http://minimalistbaker.com/diy-dark-chocolate-almond-bars/ with just a few modifications and timings.
If you want "sugar free" use liquid Stevia. If you want the equivalent of 95% cocoa, add 1T & 2t of pure maple syrup, and so 90%: 2T & 2t; and 85%: 0.25c & 2t; and 80%: 0.25c & 2T & 2t; and 75%: 0.5c & 1t; and 70%: 0.5c & 2T & 2t... these will load the 17g piece of chocolate with between 1-6 g of sugar —Brian Coppola
Makes 22 17g pieces
- 280 grams cocoa butter (I buy Kakosi on amazon)
- 100 grams 100% powdered cocoa (I use Scharffen Berger) and a future edit I will use cocoa paste, instead
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla powder)
- 55 grams chopped roasted cashews
- 4 drops liquid Stevia (see description for maple syrup options)
- Melt the cocoa butter in a double boiler and keep the temperature at 115F or less. I find that it melts fine and so it is not worth shaving it first. Be careful near the end of the melt, as the temperature can start to rise as the solid disappears.
- Remove from the heat and stir as it cools. At 98F, add the oil, the vanilla, the cocoa powder, and the sweetener. The temperature will drop to 94-95F as you stir well to create a smooth and homogeneous chocolate. I switch from a spatula to a small serving ladle, to get its temperature up to that of the chocolate.
- Continue to stir. As the temperature reaches 93-94F, add the nuts and mix well. Whole roasted almonds are also good (including the chocolate crusted ones).
- At 90F, ladle the chocolate into your mold of choice, or spread onto a parchment covered sheet pan to make a bark.
- I favor a slow, room temperature cooling instead of popping this into the cold of the refrigerator. So after 10-15 minutes I cover the molds lightly with clear wrap and leave the chocolate alone for 3-4 hours.
- Break into pieces and store, wrapped, in the refrigerator.