I think my purpose in life is to make chocolate bars. I would love to make honest good dark chocolate bars for living. Just like those crafty bars Dick Taylor or Dandelion make. I’m salivating just thinking about pure, rich, bitter, mildly sweet chocolate. I prefer chocolate that is made with two or three ingredients, cocoa and sweetness, without emulsifiers or artificial flavors. A high quality dark chocolate could easily convert you from being a milk-chocolate person to a dark-chocolate person.
Lately I see more and more hand-crafted chocolate bars or organic pure dark bars and it makes me happy. They are not cheap, but they are definitely worth their price (ranging from $6 to $12.)
4 reasons to make your own chocolate bars: 1) removing the bars from the molds is extremely satisfying. 2) the process is therapeutic. 3) you control the sweetness and choose your own flavors. 4) it’s a great gift.
For the first batch, I used the thermometer, after I read David Lebovitz‘s post about chocolate tempering. For the second batch I didn’t have patience to use a thermometer, so I used my intuition and they came out perfect.
Hand-Crafted Chocolate Bars
- Chocolate bar trays or mold (Another option is to line an English cake tin with parchment paper and make one large bar)
- ¾ cup (3 oz. / 85 grams) pure dark chocolate, unsweetened
- ¼ cup maple syrup* – taste after you mix with the chocolate to check if it's sweet enough for you
- Pinch of salt
- Optional toppings – black figs, cherries, raisins, toasted almonds, toasted hazelnuts, toasted coconut, sea salt, vanilla bean seeds, chili flakes, caramel, mint oil
- Chop the chocolate and add it to a clean, dry metal bowl. Put the bowl over a saucepan filled with 1 cup of water (double boiler) over low heat. Let the chocolate melt slowly, don’t stir it. Meanwhile prepare the flavors/toppings you want to add to your bars. If you decided to use nuts and dried fruits, roughly chop them.
- Once the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the pan and wipe the the bottom of it. Add maple syrup and salt and mix it gently.
- Pour the chocolate into the molds (or spoon it). Gently tap the molds on the kitchen counter a few times to distribute the chocolate evenly. Top the bars with the toppings and press them in gently with your finger.
- Put the bars in the refrigerator immediately for about 20 minutes to harden. Remove from the molds, eat or wrap them in baking or parchment paper and store in the fridge.
- If you’re using sweetened dark chocolate then don’t add or add less maple syrup,