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, slightly bitter and mildly sweet chocolate. I prefer chocolate that is made with two or three ingredients, cocoa and sugar and 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 $4 to $12.)
So why to make your own chocolate bars?
a. because removing the bars from the molds will give you a satisfaction and excitement of a six-year-old.
b. the process of making it is therapeutic and meditative.
c. you can control the sweetness and choose your own flavors.
d. they make a fantastic gift.
To make chocolate bars you’ll need a big chunk of 100% unsweetened (Belgian is good) chocolate, a thermometer, and 2 trays of chocolate molds.
For the first batch, I used the thermometer, based on David Lebovitz‘s post about chocolate tempering. But for the second batch I didn’t have patience to use a thermometer, so I used my intuition instead and they came out perfect.
- - You'll need a chocolate bar mold or any plastic container (You can also line an English cake tin with parchment paper and make one large bar)
- -3/4 cup (3 oz. / 85 grams) dark chocolate, unsweetened (You can use sweetened dark chocolate but then it's not necessary to add the agave)
- -1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (1.3 oz. / 40 grams) agave or maple - taste after you mixed it in the chocolate 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
- - If you use sweetened chocolate, don't add the agave!
- 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 the bowl. Add the agave and salt to the chocolate bowl 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. Quickly top the bars with the toppings you choose and press them in gently with your finger.
- Put the bars in the refrigerator immediately until firm. It takes about 10 - 20 minutes take minutes to harden. Store in the fridge.