I do love chocolate. I always have, and I will until the day I die (likely with a bit of melted chocolate gripped tightly in my fist). When I cut dairy out of my diet, I knew right away I’d have to say goodbye to milk and ice cream, but I had already been drinking mostly almond milk, and have found some sorbets that aren’t bad. It wasn’t until I was standing in the grocery store, looking at the selection of chocolate and realizing 99% of it was made with milk, that I knew had to figure something out- fast. It didn’t take much time online before I discovered a few gluten and dairy free recipes that promised delicious chocolate. I tried a few and came up with my own adaptation.
The beauty of chocolate is it’s versatility. You can flavour the chocolate itself, or add things to the mix for some extra crunch or texture. I have used mint and orange essential oil separately and love them both. Keep in mind that essential oils are considered “volatile oils” and need to be handled with caution. If you are using true essential oils in a recipe, you must have a carrier oil so that you can eat the food safely. Coconut oil is a natural carrier for these oils, so with these ratios, you don’t have to worry about the safety of essentials in this chocolate.
I must say that a few squares of the mint chocolate makes a pretty awesome mocha… make sure it gets melted completely in hot espresso, then top with hot almond milk. You can even froth some almond milk for the top if you’re getting really fancy!
Chris loves peanut butter (for some reason). In the interest of keeping my “good-wifey” status in the house, I made a batch of peanut butter chocolate for him and he loved it. I just let the first layer of chocolate harden, spread a layer of peanut butter on top (it could have managed a thicker layer), poured another layer of chocolate overtop the peanut butter and stuck it in the fridge for a few minutes while it chilled. I made a batch of “Aero” type bars too by mixing the chocolate with some Rice Krispies. In another batch I added a scoop of espresso to the chocolate mixture for some delicious kick. There are so many options!
I use unrefined coconut oil as much as possible both in my skincare and food, but it tends to carry a heavy coconut flavour and aroma. I didn’t want all of my chocolate to taste like coconut, so I use the refined oil for this.
Keep in mind that coconut oil melts extremely quickly. If your chocolate is at room temperature for too long- your beautiful chocolate squares will be chocolate blobs before you know if. It still tastes delicious, but is not nearly as pretty… Try to not let the entire batch of chocolate get warm when you eat some. Constantly popping the chocolate in and out of the fridge can cause the texture to get a bit grainy.
I don’t have any candy or chocolate molds, so I just poured my chocolate onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet and cut it when it cooled. You’ll have to keep in mind how warm your kitchen is when making this, and adjust accordingly. It was a warm day when I made these, so I put the cookie sheet in the freezer for a few minutes before pouring. The cold tray caused the bottom and sides of the liquid chocolate to firm up quickly, instead of forming a big, thin puddle. If it is a cool day and your chocolate is setting up in your glass mixing bowl, you can place the bowl on an oven element on the lowest possible heat setting. You don’t want to cook the chocolate, just warm it up a bit.
Gluten and Dairy free Chocolate
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/4 c refined coconut oil
2 Tbs honey
1/4 tsp essential oil
1. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place in the freezer.
2. Make sure the coconut oil is in liquid form. If it is not, hold the jar under warm water until the oil has liquified.
3. Whisk all ingredients together well. If the chocolate is not sweet enough for your taste at this point, add one or two tablespoons of confectioners sugar to the mixture.
4. Remove the cookie sheet and parchment paper from the freezer and pour the liquid chocolate onto the paper. Place the sheet back into the fridge or freezer on a flat surface until the chocolate has completely cooled and hardened.
5. Cut and serve. Store in the fridge.