Easy Vegan Dark Chocolate

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved chocolate. Growing up, I had a major sweet tooth that has definitely blossomed with age. Although I love all sweets, I’m definitely a purist. My favorite treat is without question dark chocolate. This being said, my partner (who is the only person I’ve met who gives my sweet tooth a run for her money) and I go through a lot of chocolate and not just any chocolate. We like our chocolate to be fair trade, non-gmo, organic, vegan, high cacao content, and well, taste amazing—but we’re not picky, I swear ;) ! We also don’t want to pay an arm and a leg! This is where things get tricky. There are some amazing brands out there; and although, I really think they’re worth the 5$ price tag: at the rate we go through chocolate, we could’ve afforded to go on vacation!

This last spring I finally decided to get creative. Why not make it? How hard could it really be? So it turns out, chocolate is actually one of the easiest things to make. Seriously, you start with three ingredients.

  • 1 ¼ cup Coconut oil or cocoa butter

  • 1 1/2 Cacao powder ( I like my chocolate dark. If you don’t, adjust the cacao to ¾ cup or up the sweetener. You can also use cocoa; it just isn’t as nutritious as the superfood cacao!)

  • 4tbs Your choice of sweetener—adjust quantity for your taste/lifestyle (I typically blend cane sugar and monk fruit sweetener which gives it a stone ground taste, but this one is really up to you)

  • 1 tsp of sea salt (optional)

  • 1 tsp of cinnamon (optional)

  • 1 tsp of vanilla (optional)

I’ll be honest. Cocoa butter does work better because it is more solid at room temp and creamier. Honestly though, it’s just not something I have on hand all the time, and I find coconut oil to work just fine. Since I use coconut oil in everything, I always have it, and it works best for me!


Directions

So it’s pretty simple. First, pull out a baking pan, and line it with wax paper. You can also use rubber ice cube trays for perfect squares, but I don’t mind mine different sizes. It gives them character! This will be used to solidify your melted chocolate!

If you have a double boiler, things are going to be a lot simpler. You can get cheap ones on amazon, and honestly, they just make things so much easier for many recipes.

If not, add about  2 inches of water to a saucepan and heat to a simmer on medium-high heat setting. Reduce to medium and put your ceramic or glass mixing bowl on top. The biggest thing here is to have the bowl not touching the water, it should look similar to a double boiler, as it’s the same idea! Personally,  this is not ideal for me—too many moving parts. But if it works for you, Godspeed!

If you do have a double boiler, it’s the same process. You put the water in the bottom half, and it leaves space between the chocolate in the pot and the burner—this helps the chocolate not to burn!

The double boiler ready to be whisked!

The double boiler ready to be whisked!

Once it is simmering set it to medium. This is when I add my coconut oil. Allow it to melt until it is liquid. Next, add your cacao and your sweetener. At this point you can turn your burner off and move the pot to another burner. The biggest thing here is not letting the sugar burn. Whisk it until you have no clumps! After this, the world is your oyster! Add whatever you like! I like to add sea salt, vanilla, and cinnamon! Sometimes, I even add nuts or peanut butter! It’s really all up to you! How much you add is also up to you! If you like really salty chocolate, add more salt! The kitchen is about being creative and having fun!

Next thing we do is pour the melted chocolate on the pan you lined with wax paper earlier. After that, you simply put it in the freezer. Voilà, you have dark chocolate!

Melted chocolate poured onto the lined pan from earlier + a golden retriever never far when mama’s cooking!

Melted chocolate poured onto the lined pan from earlier + a golden retriever never far when mama’s cooking!

I keep my chocolate in the freezer because I like it a bit crunchy, but if not I suggest keeping it in the fridge. It just doesn’t do great at room temp! Personally, I think this is a small price to pay for delicious, organic, and vegan chocolate on hand! I use Wilderness Family Naturals raw cacao powder, Topwil unrefined and cold pressed coconut oil, and a mix of Lakanto Monkfruit sweetener and Wholesome Turbinado Sweetener! These brands work best for me!!

If you make this recipe, let me know! Comment or tag me on Instagram at @localinourished! Enjoy friends XOXO!