Making your own chocolate is much easier than you think and you only need a handful of ingredients. If you are a fan of dark chocolate but can never find a bar to match your ideal taste then this is the perfect recipe for you as you can control the level of sweetness. You are also in control of the toppings which means that you can add your favourite flavours to create your ideal chocolate bark.
I used fresh raspberries and flaked coconut but you could add any flavour that you wish; citrus flavours such as lime and orange would be delicious. You would just need to add some zest to the bark and a small amount of juice instead of the vanilla essence. A traditional fruit and nut bar with raisins and a selection of your favourite nuts would work well or you could even add some swirls of nut butter instead of the coconut milk. The options are endless and it is all down to your imagination and personal tastes.
I used a combination of cacao butter and coconut oil for the base of the chocolate but you can just use coconut oil if you prefer. I find that the addition of cacao butter adds a bit more creaminess but if you want to leave this out then just replace with the same quantity of coconut oil. If you like your chocolate dark (70% or more) then reduce the amount of honey that you use in the recipe accordingly.
I used RawCo coconut oil to make my chocolate, the texture and taste of the oil works with both sweet and savoury dishes and I found that it suits this recipe perfectly. You can find out more about RawCo coconut oil on their website where they have a list of stockists.
A few tips for preparation…
When mixing the honey into the cacao butter and coconut oil mixture you need to ensure that it is thoroughly combined. If it is not mixed in properly then the honey may separate from the chocolate mixture during the setting process. To make sure that this is avoided you can use a hand immersion blender to mix in the honey and the cacao powder. If you do not have a blender you can whisk together thoroughly with a hand whisk.
When melting the cacao butter and coconut oil you should try to keep the mixture as close to room temperature as possible. To do this set the water on a very low boil so that the ingredients melt slowly and evenly. Once the cacao butter and coconut oil are melted you can remove from the heat for the remainder of the process.
The chocolate will take a few hours to fully set but this will depend on the size of the baking tray that you have used. I used a fairly small baking tray with dimensions of 27 x 16 x 4 cm; if you use a larger tray then it will set quicker and you will have a thinner bark.
Once the chocolate bark is ready to eat you will need to keep it stored in an air tight container in the fridge. It will be fine for a couple of weeks – not that it will last that long in any event!
Raspberry & Coconut Chocolate Bark
Servings: 12 – 15 sections of bark
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours and 15 minutes
For the chocolate:
125g cacao butter, chopped
100g coconut oil
125g cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
For the toppings:
Handful of fresh raspberries, halved length ways
2 tbsp coconut milk
2 tbsp dried coconut flakes
1. Slowly melt the cacao butter into a heat proof dish over a pan of boiling water.
2. Once melted add the coconut oil and stir until melted and combined.
3. Take off the heat and add the honey, bit by bit, until all combined.
4. Using a hand blender will ensure the mixture will not separate when set.
5. Sieve the cacao powder, bit by bit, into the mixture until it is all combined.
6. Add the vanilla essence and stir; set the chocolate mixture on one side.
7. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper; I used a 27 x 16 x 4 cm tray.
8. Gently heat the coconut milk until luke warm then set on one side.
9. Pour the chocolate mixture into the baking tray spreading evenly.
10. Using a spoon drizzle the coconut milk over the chocolate.
11. Use a skewer to break up the coconut milk and create a swirl across the bark.
12. Add the raspberries and flaked coconut and place into the fridge to set.
13. Once the chocolate is fully set you can break into sections and enjoy!
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