I came up with this super simple way to make chocolate bark at home when I discovered that making chocolate from cocoa beans involves a lot of equipment…
I often make this with carob rather than cocoa powder, which has a different flavor but I really enjoy it.
I find the natural sugars of carob give the bar a more balanced sweetness, whereas when I use cocoa powder I need to use more sugar to add sweetness.
I’ve gotten so many people asking me the same 2 questions about this recipe:
Q1. Can I use a different kind of oil or no oil?
A: No, if you want a solid chocolate bar, you need to use either coconut oil or cocoa butter. I list coconut oil because it’s easier to find and cheaper than cocoa butter, but those are the 2 options for this recipe. You can’t use olive or walnut or any other liquid oil, unless you want a liquid chocolate.
Speaking of which, if you don’t want to use oil, then try pureeing a banana with cocoa/carob powder or making the date-based option for my chocolate truffles – they’re my go-to chocolatey treats if I want something without sugar or oil.
Q2. Can I use white sugar instead of unrefined? Q2b. Can I use stevia?
A: I find coconut sugar to be the best texture and flavor for this bark. I grind it up in a coffee grinder so that the sweetness is more even, since sugar doesn’t dissolve in oil. I have tried this with brown or white sugar, but because they’re crystallized rather than unrefined, they don’t grind up well. That results in a bar that has crunchy sugar bits that don’t dissolve – which would be fun if you like it crunchy, but the sweetness is really uneven and when you make it with cocoa powder the bitterness really comes through.
You could definitely use stevia, but you’ll need to replace the sugar with cocoa/carob powder to keep the ratio of wet to dry the same and create a solid bar. I have no idea how much stevia you would want to use.
Simple Chocolate Bark Recipe
- 6 Tbsp coconut oil
- 8 Tbsp unrefined sugar reduct to 6 Tbsp if using carob powder
- 4 Tbsp cocoa powder increase to 6 Tbsp for carob powder
- Chopped almonds
- Chopped Brazil nuts
- Coconut flakes
- Dried cranberries
- Fresh berries or thawed frozen berries
- Finely chopped fresh hot pepper
- Finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- Orange or lemon zest
- Grated fresh ginger or chopped crystallized ginger
- Swirl of nut butter
- Grind the sugar in a coffee grinder until it’s a fine powder.
- Melt the coconut oil in a pot on low heat. Stir in the sugar and cocoa/carob powder until it’s smooth. If you’re using a flavoring, like hot peppers or orange zest, stir that in as well.
- Line a pan with parchment paper, and pour in the liquid chocolate. If you’re using toppings, sprinkle them on top.
- Put the pan in the fridge to set, which takes 20-30 minutes depending on the temperature in your fridge.
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