How to make the best, zero sugar, organic dark chocolate at home!
Even when I was on a strict bikini competition diet (aka bodybuilding diet), I always found a way to sneak chocolate into my diet as a way of getting some fat! My coach found that funny – but it was within the macro target so it was fine.
And when I eat them, I felt good because of all those great health benefits I have read in various blogs. “Cacao contains more antioxidant properties, polyphenols and flavanols than many other ‘superfood’ like acas berries”. They say antioxidants may:
- reduce risk of developing cardiovascular disease
- reduce risk of developing cancer
- slow down the aging process <————- THIS I WANT! lol
But let’s be honest – eating 10g of chocolate a day wouldn’t change a thing. I still age, and I may still develop some heart conditions in the future. I don’t think my future will be any different just because I eat chocolate or not. Let’s say, chocolate makes me happy, period. But I always felt bad coz no matter how good the chocolate was, they used refined sugar from no known origin and had some weird additives I did not know much about.
I’ve been a fan of Valrhona Guanaja chocolate, 70% cocoa minimum. It is said to be the king of chocolate – the best thing to use for chocolate desserts!!! They also only use cacao butter as additional fat instead of cheap vegetable fat. Anyways, I always had them in a bulk bag of 3kg!
How much sugar is really in those commercially available chocolate bars anyways? and what other ingredients do they use?
The Valrhona Guanaja 70% – 40g of serving, 220kcal, 17g of fat, 12g of total carb, 6g of fiber. 12g of sugar and 4g of protein. 40g is not that much, guys. In any case, if you eat more, then you will easily go over your daily sugar limit, only from eating chocolate!
I also love white chocolate. White chocolate consists of cacao butter, milk powder, sugar and additives. It is the main ingredient in baking my favorite matcha brownies and muffins. If you baked something with white chocolate, you may have realized how sweet they are. I have been looking for unsweetened white chocolate but there aren’t any! I saw organic white chocolate somewhere but it was so expensive! Anyways, I think I should make my own white chocolate soon once I buy a machine to extract cacao butter from cacao nibs!!!
Valrhona 70% dark chocolate has the following ingredients:
- Cocoa beans
- Cocoa Butter
- Emulsifier (soya lecithin)
- Natural Vanilla Extract
Emulsifier? What the hell is that? I know that it is something which mixes oil and water, but why do you need it in chocolate? They says it provides the right consistency of the chocolate so it is easier to mould into plates and bars. Quite often commercial chocolates add other additives like E 492 (sorbitan tristearate), which prevents the surface of chocolate looking white.
Natural vanilla extract – it may enhance the aroma of the chocolate but if I do it by myself, I don’t really need it, I mean I can add the real thing in it when I process it anyways.
Anyways, here is a nice graphic from http://www.healthcastle.com/chocolate.shtml it explain the ingredients of different kinds of chocolate. Even the best quality chocolate like Valrhona, they do not say what kind of milk, soy lecithin, and sugar they use. Soy? May be it is GMO! Milk from cows treated with antibiotics and hormones? Scary isn’t it…
THEREFORE! My own version of beans-to-bar chocolate would only contain the most essential ingredients: cacao beans, cacao butter and some kind of sugar substitute. Since I am obsessed of making my food creation as low carb as possible, erythritol, aka zero calorie sugar, was the best option! Thank god I have no issue with those alcohol sugars…. anyways, it’s not that I eat a huge bowl of it every day! I don’t need other stuff like soy lecithin – I don’t need my chocolate to look pretty, I am not entering into competitions!
I used organic cacao nibs from Sri Lanka, which are already peeled and crumbled form of cacao beans. You can start with beans if you really want to do it from the beginning – but you have to roast the beans and peel the skin…. I had enough of that when I made chocolate hazelnut spread (roasting hazelnuts and removing skin), it made a huge mess and it was only 500g of it. So let’s skip that step!
There was a recipe on the internet for making 70% dark chocolate.
- 1.2kg cacao nibs
- 600g sugar
- 200g cacao butter
My machine can take a bit more so I used:
- 2kg organic cacao nibs
- 333g cacao butter
- 1.25kg erythritol
Erythritol is less sweet than refined sugar so I needed to add more. It was supposed to be 1428g, but I wanted to see if I could reduce the sweetness further. 1.25kg was good for me!
I made the serving to 10g so it is easier for me to count calories… 🙂
Net carbs = 0.4g!!! It contains 5.3g of fiber, no sugar!!!!
So…. to begin with, nibs needs to be conched (stone ground) over 3 days to ensure the smooth taste… yap, I bought a machine from the US! Some say 5-7 hours are enough but oh no, it is far from good!!! Some people use a slow juicer but come on, I have no time for that! It looks so messy and you will probably waste a lot because they get stuck everywhere.
Need to start slowly with adding nibs, otherwise your floor will be covered with sticky cacao paste. One of my dogs managed to sneak into the room where the machine was, and came out covered with paste! lol
I normally conch for a day with cacao nibs alone until it gets very smooooooth. THEN add cacao butter and erythritol.
This is pure organic cacao butter. My next goal is to extract cacao butter from cacao nibs by myself. They are ridiculously expensive and hard to get hold of good organic quality. The pulp can be dried and made into cacao powder. Isn’t this cool?
What makes chocolate taste better is the amount of cacao butter you put inside. Most of the cheap commercial chocolate bars use vegetable oil, god knows what kind. Cacao butter is incredible, it adds the most amazing aroma to the end product. I guess you can also put some coconut oil to reduce the production cost but if it is just for me, why save a few bucks?
When it is done, I just normally put the chocolate in some containers directly, and makes some bars in the molds we have. I don’t really care what they look like. They all taste amazing! AND…. guilt free! Zero sugar, truly!!!!
Et voila!!! it is pretty enough for me!
I am soon posting some recipes using this home-made chocolate! My favorite chocolate fudge brownies using zucchini and almond butter…. yummy!!!