I love options in everything, especially when it comes to recipes since…
1.) I can’t follow a recipe to save my life
2.) My food mood is always changing and…
3.) I prefer to play with ingredients I have on hand.
These reasons pretty much are the entire catalyst for my new book YumUniverse Pantry to Plate, because I know I’m not alone. This is how most of us busy peeps cook day to day, right?
So when I want a treat, I usually whip up some easy, homemade, dairy-free chocolate and use one of the many options at the bottom of this post to play. I make bars, truffles, bark—it’s easy to freestyle and suit the ole food mood. Which in the case of chocolate, is Mexican. Spicy.
I’ve been busy planning the PTP cookbook tour these past few weeks and managing the most recent session of the GFBA, but I wanted to get this recipe posted just in time for Easter. Try these fun molds to make festive shapes and Easter bunnies like this guy…
Sorry about the ears, buddy… [guilty]
1 cup raw cacao butter
3 tbsp cacao/cocoa powder
Pinch fine ground sea salt
2–4 tablespoons maple syrup*
1 tablespoon cocoa aminos (optional, but adds great depth of flavor)
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod (optional, here’s how to prepare)
*You can try other sweeteners, but maple syrup tends to create the smoothest texture. When I’m trying to watch my sugar intake, instead of maple syrup, I use 1–2 teaspoons of monkfruit sweetener ground to dust in a coffee/spice grinder. This creates a smoother texture since it can’t dissolve in the fats of the cacao butter. You can also grind 1–2 tablespoons of coconut sugar and/or Sucanat to sweeten your bar instead. Sometimes, I’ll even use the blender to mix everything well.
Let’s get started.
1. Get a double boiler going on your stovetop with a pot of boiling water below. You’ll be melting your chocolate with steam, instead of directly on a burner.
Sometimes, I don’t use my double boiler, and instead kitchen hack a boiler with one large pot, a sieve, and a medium pot.
2. While the double boiler heats, shave or grate your cacao butter. Use the shaved amount to make 1 cup total. Grating/shaving helps it melt uniformly.
2. Now, place all ingredients in the dry, top pot or saucepan of the double boiler…
… whisk together until melted.
3. Pour melted chocolate into molds, and allow to cool and harden on the counter or in the fridge. Then pop out and enjoy!
Time to play:
1. Use truffle or bon-bon molds to make chocolates filled with apricot jam, boozy compote, or roasted cashew butter. Just pour a little chocolate into the bottom of the mold to harden, then after it’s solid, place a dollop of your topping in the center and fill the rest of the way with melted chocolate.
2. Fold in some crispy brown rice cereal for a Crunch Bar.
3. Pre-roast some nuts, seeds, coconut, and/or incorporate dried fruit for nice texture and flavor.
4. Try the following additions to flavor your chocolate:
—Cinnamon, cayenne, chili powder, lime zest
5. Sprinkle a plain chocolate bar with flaked Maldon salt—yes!
If you try any of these, share a pic—me and my inner sugar demon wanna see.
Just @YumUniverse and tag #yumuniverse
Want more options and recipes to freestyle with?
Pre-order a copy of my new book
YumUniverse Pantry to Plate empowers people to cook on the fly with confidence. And if you pre-order, you can access bonus recipes and tips for more pantry-to-plate cooking right here.
Now, I want to hear from you. What will you do with your homemade chocolate? Enjoy it plain? Make truffles? Crunch bar?? Tell us with a comment below.