Tasty Thursday – CHOCOLATE!!

ImageToday’s Tasty Thursday video is courtesy of Jen Lucas, a good friend and sorority sister from college days. Please check out her website to learn more about her work with life coaching!

Salted Cinnamon Maple Dark Chocolate

by Jen Lucas

 

  • 4 oz cacao butter (or ½ cup liquid or about 1 cup solid chips)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (2 oz by weight)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract or ½ tsp almond extract
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp maple syrup (increase by 1 or 2 Tbsp for sweeter result)
  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • cinnamon plus additional salt

 

Makes approximately 14-15 oz. of chocolate

 

  • In a double boiler, simmer water and place cacao butter and coconut oil in top pan. Heat until melted.
  • While fat is melting, prepare surface(s) for chocolate. Easiest method is to use parchment paper on a baking sheet to make chocolate bark. My favorite flavor has the paper covered with sea salt and cinnamon.
  • Once the fat is melted in the pan, remove from heat. Add ¼ tsp salt and either vanilla or almond extract to the oil with a whisk. Add maple syrup and whisk until blended. Add cacao powder in two batches and whisk each time until thoroughly mixed.
  • Taste. If you want sweeter chocolate, add a little more maple syrup and whisk until desired sweetness is reached. When everything is mixed thoroughly and before the chocolate cools, pour onto the parchment paper, using a silicone scraper to transfer all chocolate to the tray.
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer or refrigerator to solidify. Freezer takes 10-20 minutes. Fridge takes closer to 30 minutes. Once solid, break up the pieces and put in a jar. Keep cold.

 

Notes on variations:

  • You may substitute honey, but I don’t recommend substituting it 100% for maple syrup. 100% honey doesn’t blend throughout and leaves the sweetness uneven in the batch. In addition, it doesn’t taste as sweet when warm, and it’s difficult to gauge by taste if you have the right sweetness. Substituting honey for half the maple syrup provides a great flavor variation and blends well. I often make this recipe with a combination of maple and honey.
  • Try other flavors by using little paper muffin cups and putting different spices or foods in them with the chocolate. Some options are black pepper, cardamom, shredded coconut, any seeds or nuts, and dried fruit. Enjoy the exploration.
  • For peppermint chocolate, add ONLY 2 or 3 drops peppermint essential oil after the cacao powder and mix well before pouring out on parchment paper.
  • You may make this recipe with all cacao butter or all coconut oil or any combination in between. Using all coconut oil creates a chocolate that melts in your fingers because coconut oil is liquid at 78 degrees.

SOURCES:

You can buy these ingredients at your local health food store, or online at Amazon.com. Jen’s favorite, extremely high-quality, cacao powder is here; cacao butter here.

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