Nothing beats homemade desserts, but while many people are proud of their homemade damper and pavlova, few explore the rich, sumptuous, surprisingly healthy world of DIY chocolate. You don't need expensive ingredients or specialist equipment to create delicious chocolate treats in your own kitchen. Cocoa beans or powder?
If you're determined to make chocolate in the traditional way, you'll need to track down cocoa beans, the correct roasting and grinding equipment, and to wait several days for your batch to be processed. Cocoa powder is the quick, easy and affordable alternative, which can be indistinguishable in the final product as long as you choose a good quality brand. What you need
- 2 cups cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup cocoa butter or dairy butter
- 1 cup water
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Measuring cups
- Chocolate moulds
Customising your chocolate
- Heat a saucepan of water until it simmers. Meanwhile, mix the cocoa powder and butter into a thick paste.
- Immerse the cocoa mixture in the heated water and bring back to simmering. Then remove the heated cocoa mixture and transfer to a bowl.
- Combine the two sugars and salt. Mix together in a bowl or food processor until smooth.
- Add the combined sugar and salt to the cocoa mixture. Pour in milk slowly while stirring thoroughly to remove any lumps.
- Pour the mixture into shaped moulds or other containers, then refrigerate for at least six hours or until the chocolate hardens.
You can make lots of little tweaks to this basic recipe to create chocolate of your desired consistency and flavour. For a firmer finish, pour the chocolate in thinner layers, use less water, or use cocoa butter in place of dairy butter. Thicker layers produce a softer, fudge-like consistency.
If you want to include touches like raisins, nuts and coconut, these should be added to the finished mixture just before pouring. Custom chocolate creations in Coolangatta
Whether you're a certified chocoholic or shopping for the chocolate lover who has everything, visit Max Brenner
at The Strand Coolangatta for mouth-watering menus and creative gifts.