One of my little indulgences in life is chocolate. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and can bypass lots of desserts without too much effort but when it comes to chocolate? Well, chocolate will almost always get a yes from me!
And so it was that I found myself slipping into a habit of thinking that after every dinner meal I needed to finish off with a piece of chocolate. And then it seemed like one piece led to two, and then three, and then arggh! How did I eat so much chocolate!
On top of that, when I looked at the ingredient list in most chocolates, there was lots of sugar and dairy, a couple of things I was trying to really cut down on in my diet. I started to wonder if there was a way I could just make my own chocolates so I could indulge once in a while but have better control over the ingredients.
I was happy to discover there was a way to make your own chocolates and I settled on a simple method that only needs four ingredients (and none of those four ingredients are milk or sugar).
My Homemade Chocolate with Agave Nectar
For the last several months I’ve been enjoying my homemade chocolate recipe that I sweeten with agave nectar instead of sugar. Rather than always keeping store bought chocolate around the house as was my previous habit, I now just make this recipe once in a while as a little treat.
The base of this recipe is cocoa butter that you melt and then add in a bit of cocoa powder, agave nectar, and vanilla. Pretty simple!
To be safe, I decided to purchase cocoa butter that was labeled as “food grade”. I also liked that it came in wafer form so it was easy to measure and melt. Here’s the link to the cocoa butter I purchased on Amazon (*Affiliate link*): Nuvia Organic Cocoa Butter
The other ingredients are all easy things that I can find at Aldi (the agave, cocoa powder, and vanilla). Of course if you want to boost the flavor even more you can try more expensive cocoa powders and/or real vanilla.
Once all those ingredients are combined, I pour the mixture into small molds to harden. I like this candy mold that’s a little more shallow and makes nice dainty chocolates. Sometimes you can find these at the craft stores too and then you can use your 40% off coupons. 🙂
A Few Things That Didn’t Work
Not every batch of my homemade chocolate was perfect however. I tried making a salted version, but in every batch where I added some salt to the mixture, the salt all sunk to the bottom. This meant when I poured it into molds, the first ones poured had no salt, and the last ones poured had way too much salt. Alas, I gave up on a salted version.
I also used to put the poured chocolate immediately in the refrigerator to harden. Several times (but not every time) this resulted in “bloom”, a whitish film on the top of the finished chocolates. I now just let the chocolates harden at room temperature and so far that has prevented any bloom.
Finally, I tried some versions of this recipe with coconut oil added. However I didn’t care for the final taste – AND – those chocolates would not stay solid at room temperature. I much prefer a version without coconut oil that doesn’t melt.
Enjoying My Homemade Dark Chocolate
If you’re looking for a simple way to indulge in some chocolate once in a while, but you want more control of your ingredients, this method might be the answer for you too. It does create more of a homemade dark chocolate (rather than milk chocolate), but that’s my preference anyway!
I’m also enjoying that I’m able to create nice bite-sized chocolates using a smaller batch recipe batch so that I don’t over-indulge However this recipe can be easily doubled or tripled if you’d like to make a larger batch for sharing or gift-giving.
Here’s how to do it:
Homemade Chocolates Sweetened With Agave
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa Butter
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
- 1 Tbl Agave Nectar
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Begin by melting the cocoa butter. I use my glass measuring cup in the microwave to do this and heat for 1 minute, stir, and then heat for 1 more minute. At this point there will still be some unmelted pieces, but after a couple minutes of stirring, they will melt too with no need to heat again in the microwave.
- Place the cocoa powder in a bowl. Pour the melted cocoa butter over the top and stir. If the mixture is too thick at this point, put it back in the microwave for 10 seconds. You want the mixture to be very liquid.
- Finally, stir in the agave nectar and the vanilla extract.
- Pour the mixture into candy molds and let them set at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours to harden. Once hardened, the chocolates can be popped out of the molds.