how to make real chocolate

Why make your own chocolate, I hear you ask? Simple:

my real roasted almond chocolate, made in 5 mins last night.

1. The version you make is real chocolate (no additives, no fillers) and it's healthy. Yes!
2. You can control what goes in it. No refined sugar, no lecithins and flavours or other nasty shite we're not designed to eat.
3. You can make any flavour you want, and it takes all of 5 minutes.
4. It. Tastes. Better.

I've been making my own chocolate for the past two years now, mostly with coconut oil and butter as the base. Never could get the texture to match store-bought chocolate, not to save my life. But I've mastered it now. Oh yes. Heheheheh. Want me to tell you how? Cacao butter my friends, cacao butter.

Cacao butter is the alchemistic vegetable fat extracted from the cacao bean. It's packed full of good stuff like vitamin E and essential fatty acids omega 6 and 9, much like olive oil. So you don't have to feel bad about the 'butter' part of it, okay? It's also used in beauty products. I make a nourishing lip and body balm out of it.

Below is the recipe for basic chocolate, followed by flavour ideas. The 1/3 cup quantity of cacao I list yields a medium-strength chocolate. Adjust to your liking. Likewise with the sweetener - I like my chocolate slightly bitter, not too sweet.

Basic chocolate recipe

100g cacao butter (fair trade)
1/3 cup raw cacao powder (fair trade)
1 - 2 tbsp rice malt syrup (or your preferred healthy sweetener)

Melt the cacao butter and rice malt syrup over a double-boiler (bain-marie) then whisk in the cacao powder. Add your bits and bobs (see below) if using and stir well to combine. Pour into chocolate moulds or on a plate and either sit on the bench top or pop in the fridge or freezer to set. I like to store the chocolate in the fridge, although it's not strictly necessary because cacao butter is solid at room temperature.

Bits and bobs to add

dry-roasted nuts - almonds or hazelnuts are good
1 tablespoon nut butter of your choice (makes it extra fudgey and lush)
peppermint oil
shredded coconut, lightly toasted or blended into coconut butter for the most amazing coconut rough you've ever  tasted!
organic sultanas
dried cranberries or cherries (no added sugar)
frozen berries (as suggested by a lovely reader)
dried orange zest ("zest your orange, let it dry for a couple of days on the bench then using a coffee grinder, blend it to a powder" - again, suggested by the same very clever reader!)

P.S I know cacao butter can be a little pricey, I know. But I see chocolate as a treat. I don't buy facials and manicures, I buy cacao butter!

Give it a go and let me know how you like it and what, if any, clever flavours you come up.


  1. Thanks Maria - this sounds pretty delish! I have an idea though I have yet to test it - you can get freeze dried raspberries and blueberries - they may taste pretty good too. Another idea is using dried orange zest - zest your orange, let it dry for a couple of days on the bench then using a coffee grinder blend it to a powder. Also whats wrong with lecithins? Are they bad? Cheers Mel

    1. Berries would be AMAZING, especially raspberries, yum! I love your dried organge zest idea, in fact I've added your suggestions above! As for lecithins, have a read through the posts I've now linked to... 1. I'm not a huge fan of derivatives, our bodies aren't really designed to process them, and 2. lecithins can be sourced from GM soy crops overseas, so you have to watch out with that.


  2. Great recipe, but I was wondering if you could you use maple syrup as an alternative for the rice malt syrup?


    1. Hello, yes! You can use whichever sweetener you prefer - I've updated the most to reflect that. Thanks for the reminder :)

  3. Hello Maria, have made this twice now! Is delicious. Much prefer it than the coconut oil versions going around! Am wondering, do you ever have issues with the rice malt syrup sinking to the bottom of the mix as it is setting, so most of the sweetness is at the bottom rather than evenly mixed through? I stir it thoroughly, so not sure what else I can do? Any suggestions!?

    1. I had that issue the first time I made it, but not since then (and I've made it 505839933 times since then!). The trick, I found, is to add the syrup to the cacao butter whilst the butter is melting, so that it heats up along with it. Then whisk whisk whisk. I also found sticking it in the freezer immediately so that it hardens quickly and doesn't have time to sink helps. Hope that does it for you.

  4. This recipe sounds amazing! I can't wait to try it out! Cheers :)

  5. Where do we buy cacao butter?

    1. You can find it at most good health food stores.

  6. Wow Maria, I just made this (with added hazelnuts I'd roasted earlier) - pretty impressed! It just melts away so quickly! I've molded one into a heart to give my husband as an Easter present when he's off shift. :)



Flickr Photostream

Twitter Updates

Meet The Author