5-Ingredient vegan dark chocolate bars

It shouldn’t be that hard for vegans to find a yummy chocolate bar, and with this recipe it’s not difficult to make one either.

The base of these vegan chocolate bars starts with a mixture of a little coconut oil and mostly cocoa butter.

This gives it deliciously potent chocolate aromas, with a lovely creaminess.

If you only use coconut oil, the chocolate is almost too melty to hold on to and way too hard right out of the freezer. This coconut oil-cocoa butter combination makes for the perfect base!

Use maple syrup for subtle sweetness.

Two optional flavour enhancers are sea salt and vanilla extract, which contrast the sweetness well and complement the flavour of the chocolate beautifully.

It isn’t essential, but this will take your vegan dark chocolate bars to next-level dreaminess.

DarkChocolate2 - 5-Ingredient vegan dark chocolate bars
The sugar content is so low (only 2g sugar per half-bar serving!) that you don’t feel bad at all for indulging daily. Picture from Pexels

Ingredients

  • Chocolate
  • 210 g finely chopped cocoa butter
  • 30 g coconut oil
  • 96 g cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted; you could even use half cocoa, half cacao for flavour)
  • 30 ml maple syrup
  • 1 healthy pinch sea salt (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional )
  • 15 g cacao nibs

Method

  1. Add 5 cm of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a rolling simmer over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to medium and set a medium glass or ceramic mixing bowl on top, making sure it’s not touching the water (this creates a "double boiler").
  2. To the mixing bowl, add finely chopped cocoa butter and coconut oil and let melt, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or whisk – about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Once melted, carefully remove bowl from heat (turn off stove-top), add the cacao or cocoa powder to a fine mesh strainer, and sift it over the melted cocoa butter (otherwise, it can be clumpy). Use a whisk or wooden spoon to mix until fluid and thoroughly combined.
  4. Add maple syrup and stir once more. At this time, you can also add the (optional) salt and vanilla .
  5. Taste and adjust flavor as needed. I added about 2 tbsp maple syrup total (as the recipe is written; but adjust if altering batch size), but it’s completely up to you and how sweet you prefer your chocolate. Add more vanilla to enhance the chocolate flavor and add depth of flavor, salt for saltiness, or more cacao/cocoa powder for intense chocolate flavor.
  6. Pour your chocolate into molds of choice. You can also just pour into paper cupcake liners, or an 20x20cm baking dish lined with parchment paper. At this point, sprinkle on your cacao nibs. I also sprinkle on a pinch more salt.
  7. Carefully transfer to freezer (Settle on a baking sheet or plate so it lies flat and is stable while chilling). Remove from molds once the chocolate is set – about 1 hour.
  8. Store covered in the refrigerator for several weeks or in the freezer for even longer. Let it cool to room temperature before enjoying, as it’s creamier and the flavours are more pronounced when it’s warmed up a bit.

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