I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Over the last 2 years I’ve begun to really trust myself and try more adventurous recipes.
We’ve always cooked about 60% from scratch but our recipes were pretty tired and standard – stir fry, pasta sauces, meat & veg…
With the arrival of Baby Bear came the desire to lessen our damage on the planet and ourselves, that’s where my “zero waste” journey really began. It seemed to tie in nicely to my mission to feed the family healthy, homecooked food. Shopping at bulk stores meant I started buying veggies I’d never tried to cook before, I searched online for healthy versions of my usual recipes and I enjoyed producing “fancy” meals from scratch (and the savings/health benefits that came with that).
Now that we’re firmly in the Toddler Years my son has had tastes of all kinds of things I’d never dreamt of giving during his first year. One of these is chocolate, grandparents love to lavish it on him (which is only right, it is a grandparents duty to spoil with love and treats) and as I’m partial to it myself it was becoming increasingly difficult to a)hide it from him and b)buy it packaging free so I decided to make my own! Bold I know!
I scoured the Internet and tried a few recipes, they ranged from easy to complicated, the results from fudgey to brittle, and none of them quite hitting the spot or me. I decided to amalgamate the ideas out there and add flavours which appealed to me, the final recipe that I settled on is dense enough to use a silicone mould and store in the fridge but wouldn’t hold up to being left on the counter for long on a warm day (much less so in warmer countries). It also works well as a bar then chopped into rough cubes.
I love having a supply of chocolate on hand, or knowing that I can whip a batch up from things I will always have in my kitchen. I find that one piece more than satisfies my sweet tooth whereas I could easily eat a whole bar of store bought chocolate without even thinking about it!
- Saucepan and bowl (or microwaveable jug)
- Silicone mould (or baking pan lined with parchment paper/cling film)
- Hand whisk
- Measuring cups & spoons
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup cocoa (or cacao) powder
- 3/4 tsp mint extract
Heat the honey and coconut oil in the bowl over a pan of boiling water (or put both in a glass jug and microwave in bursts until melted)
Whisk together adding the mint extract.
Add the cocoa powder and whisk until combined and shiny.
The mixture will be liquid, you can continue to whisk as it cools to make it easier to pour into shaped moulds or if you’re short on time you can pour it straight away into a pan. I use a silicone loaf tin and it ends up about a cm deep.
Then simply put into the freezer for a couple of hours or into the fridge overnight. A solid bar will take longer but it’s easy to see when it’s done.
Pop out of the moulds and store in an air tight container in the fridge (or freezer, your choice) or if making a bar chop into you’re preferred size and store.
This recipe when cooled in the fridge can become fugey on the bottom and more brittle on top as the mixture settles but will have a more consistent texture if frozen or made into thin bark.
No packaging, no hidden ingredients and entirely adaptable to your own tastes. Orange instead of mint would be delicious as would adding nuts, seeds or dried fruit. Cacao nibs are a lovely addition and next time I make cookies I’m going to try it out as a topping for them.
I’d love to hear about your flavour combinations!