Make Your Own Chocolate Bark
Great to throw together for a party or just enjoy at home.
This is a really fast and easy solution to the all-too-common "I've run out of chocolate" problem so many of us experience. (Happened to me last night.) If you have raw cacao powder, coconut oil, and sea salt, you're covered. How cool is that?
High quality, organic, fair trade chocolate is not only decadently delicious, but can also good for you. Just don't go eating it all day long. My feeling on chocolate is that it's meant to be savored and enjoyed, a little at a time.
Cacao beans (where all real chocolate begins) are rich in magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, and manganese. And they contain more antioxidant flavenoids than red wine, green tea, or blueberries. They're also high in resveratrol, a potent antioxident that protects and supports the immune system.
What's the difference between cacao and cocoa? Good question, my friend. What you're looking for here is "raw cacao". Why? Here's the low-down, straight from the folks over at foodmatters.tv:
Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocao beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cacao and removes the fat (cacao butter).
Cocoa looks the same as cacao, but it's not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that's been roasted at high temperatures. The roasting changes the molecular structure of the cacao bean, which reduces the enzyme content and lowers the overall nutritional value.
Making your own chocolate with raw cacao is where it's at! And it couldn't be easier.
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup maple syrup (or raw honey)
pinch of sea salt
pinch of cinnamon, optional
pinch of cayenne, optional
chopped nuts/seeds/dried fruit, optional
- Over the lowest possible heat, heat coconut oil in a small saucepan. You can even create your own double boiler to further remove the cacao from the heat.
- Once coconut oil has melted, remove saucepan from heat, and immediately stir in cacao powder and maple syrup, until well combined.
- Mix in sea salt. (Mix in cinnamon and cayenne, if you like.)
- Pour mixture over parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with optional nuts, seeds, dried fruit.
- Place in freezer to harden.
It will melt quickly (remember that coconut oil is liquid at room temperature), so don't leave it out too long, unless you're planning on eating it all in one sitting -- with your friends, of course.