How to make your own chocolate bar.
How to make your own chocolate bar.
Ok, so at Berrilys we sell amazing, organic raw cacao nibs. But what can you do with them?
Are you kidding, there are so many things you can use these small nuggets of goodness for. Just sprinkle some on your muesli for a tasty crunch, or bake them in cookies. You could even blend them into a smoothie.
But if you're feeling adventurous why not just make your own chocolate bar.
Now, when making chocolate at home, most of you won't have access to some of the huge industrial machinery needed to make that smooth tasting chocolate you buy from the market. Most homemade chocolate will still keep a slight grainy texture. But, hey, your bar won't have all the additives and nasties in it that are in most of the mass produced ones. It will also be your bar, your own creation, channel your inner Willy Wonka. Just, don't go all Augustus Gloop on us, ok.
The Ingredients, well, sort of.....
When making chocolate, you can find many recipes online with directions about, add an exact amount of this, or an exactly measured spoon of that. But seriously, it's really down to individual taste. Nowadays, you get chocolate bars that say on the front how much chocolate is in them, so if you liked that dark 80% bar you bought last week, then, just make sure that 80% of your total ingredients are organic cacao nibs. You see, chocolate making is all about percentages and you. If you wanted to make a 70% chocolate, just use 3 cups of cacao nibs and 1 cup of sugar. If you want to add anything else, organic sour cherries etc., just replace some of the sugar with the other ingredients and if you're a fan of milk chocolate, just add powdered milk, so easy.
Once you have you ingredients together you have to decide whether you want to roast your nibs or not. I mean they are your nibs, no one can tell you what to do with them. It's completely up to you if you want raw nibs or roasted nibs. What someone does with their own nibs is a personal, private choice, don't let the man tell you what to do! Anyway, if you want to roast you nibs, just pop them in the oven, spread out on a flat tray, for about 10-15 mins at 150°C/300°F.
Now you have sorted your nibs out, chuck them in a blender with your sugar and any other flavorings. Keep any chopped fruit or nuts out for now, unless you want them blended into a paste.
Keep blending until the nibs have gone past the paste stage and have turned into more of a melted, liquid chocolate. Once you are at this stage, you can add in any 'chunky' bits that you want, like chopped Berrilys hazelnuts, chopped Berrilys organic apricots or any other Berrilys product. Although, you may want to avoid Berrilys organic tomato powder, not a great flavor combination that one.
If you got to this stage, always do what the greatest chefs do, taste you food. If it's not sweet enough, add more sugar. If it needs more tomato, add more Berrilys organic tomato powder.
Once you are happy with it, you can now do a thing called tempering. This is where you raise and lower the temperature so the chocolate becomes shiny and 'snappable'. You don't need to do this stage as it just delays the eating time and it's really hard to explain, so just google it if you are a real perfectionist. If you just want to eat the chocolate quickly, we won't judge. Just pour your mix into a mold and leave in a cool place to set.
The hard part
Now for the most complicated thing, the trickiest part of the whole recipe, who's going to eat it all? You can share it with your loved ones, give it to your kids or donate it to a charitable organisation. Or you could lock yourself in the cupboard under the stairs and refuse to come out until you have scoffed the lot, while your family frantically try to beat down the door and steal all of your hard work.
But whichever way you enjoy it, you can be safe in the knowledge that there are no additives, pesticides or preservatives in that chocolate and it probably tastes great!