This vegan, dairy-free, and paleo homemade sugar free dark chocolate recipe is incredibly tasty and simple to make. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to make homemade chocolate with just a handful of clean ingredients!
It sounds bananas — except when you find out just how easy it is to make sugar-free chocolate.
Sugar Free Dark Chocolate is Incredibly Easy To Make – At Least It Should Be
Did you know you could make chocolate at home from scratch? What’s more, did you know it takes five minutes???? In terms of hands on time, it goes mix, stir, pour, [wait], eat — that’s it.
Chocolate is nothing more than cocoa, cocoa butter, sweetener, and flavorings, like salt and vanilla, which enhance the rich flavor of the chocolate. At least it should be. That’s all you need to make truly special dark chocolate. But most manufacturers tinker with that formula, for one reason or another.
When you buy Hershey chocolate chips, Reese’s peanut butter cups, or a hazelnut Russell Stover chocolate bar, they contain additives like soy lecithin. These additives make them shelf stable or hold a shape (like chips that stay chip-shaped when you heat them) or resist “bloom” — that light brown or white-ish powdery look that chocolate gets when it is old, freezer burned, or heated and cooled too quickly. You’ll see a teeny bit of it on these chocolates, but it doesn’t affect the taste or enjoyment of the chocolate in the slightest.
And it’s a sign of the simple composition of these chocolates.
Milk Chocolate Lovers Need Not Apply
You’re either a dark chocolate person or a milk chocolate person. If you’re looking for a sugar free milk chocolate, you probably have a pretty wicket sweet tooth and you will NOT like this chocolate. I’m sorry, but it’s the truth.
This is designed to be dark, rich chocolate, meaning heavy on the cocoa and light on the sweetener. The high cocoa-to-sweetener ratio means you can taste the complex, almost-(pleasantly) burned flavor of the bitter roasted cocoa. But if you’re not a person who loves 72%-85% dark chocolate bars, this might not be the chocolate for you. If you are, you’ll love the great taste of this pleasantly bitter homemade sugar free dark chocolate.
This is the Chocolate For Everyone Else
Raw cacao powder and raw cocoa powder actually have a number of health benefits, including being filled with magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants. Unfortunately, commercial milk, dark, and white chocolate products are filled with unwanted ingredients.
Commercially-made candy bars and dark chocolate truffles are made with far more ingredients than they need to be, which is not only unhealthy, but (in my experience) interferes with the chocolate taste that — call me crazy — I want. (Looking at you, Godiva.) I may be a total chocolate snob, but I want my chocolate to have a, well…chocolate flavor. When I bite into most grocery store chocolate, I can practically taste my blood sugar spiking. Ick.
Then there’s the commercially-available sugar free candy and sugar free chocolate products that come with warnings about a laxative effect??? Even though it has no sugar, sugar free chocolate candy is filled with sugar alcohols, like maltitol or erythritol. I am absolutely not putting that anywhere near my body, and I imagine you don’t plan to either.
Even good quality chocolate products can be produced in a factory that may also process cashews, pecans, and other tree nuts, gluten, dairy, or other allergens – making it risky for anyone who needs to stay nut-, dairy-, or gluten free to consume.
The safest and best sugar free dark chocolate out there is right in your own kitchen.
A Few Notes and Tricks For Your Homemade Dark Chocolate
- Chocolate base: The base of this recipe is cacao butter (also known as cocoa butter), which is a creamy saturated fat that is solid at room temperature. It may be available at a health food store, but I get mine on Amazon. If you can’t find cacao butter, you can use coconut oil. However, if you do use oil, you must keep the chocolates chilled, even once they are set. Coconut oil will be too soft at room temperature.
- Sweetener: This recipe works best when sweetened with liquid stevia. I provided a ballpark number of drops, but just keep adding drops until the mixture is sweetened to your taste.
- Sweetener alternative: If you do not have liquid stevia, you can use granulated monk fruit sweetener (I recommend Lakanto) or granulated stevia (I recommend Sugarless Sugar). If you can find powdered stevia or monk fruit (Lakanto makes it), use that instead. Use another sugar substitute at your own risk, since I haven’t tested the flavor or texture outcome of other products. As a general rule, the larger the grain, the grittier your chocolate will be.
- Grams of net carbs: If you use stevia or monk fruit as the sweetener in this recipe, the chocolate will be low carb, suitable for diabetics, and keto-friendly, with only 1 gram of net carbohydrates. (Although it is not billed as such, this is keto chocolate)
- Sugar alternative: If you don’t have dietary restrictions that limit added sugar, you can use coconut sugar or maple sugar, but I would strongly recommend that you pulse it in an espresso or grinder or food processor so that it will be as fine as possible before you incorporate it into the recipe. Do not use a powdered sugar, white, refined sugar, or a liquid sweetener, such as honey, agave, or maple syrup.
- Heating tips: Make sure you’re heating your cocoa butter slowly, microwaving in short increments and stirring in between (or, use a double boiler), the cooling slowly as well. You always want to use low heat and change temperatures slowly to prevent the chocolate mixture from seizing. So let it come to room temp to solidify before you store in the fridge, rather than trying to refrigerate or freeze warm chocolate in an effort to chill more quickly. This also helps to prevent bloom, that dusty white layer than can develop on the outside of chocolate after condensation forms.
- Candy molds: You will get more bloom on your chocolate if you use rubber molds. Try to stick to silicone or, if you prefer to make chocolate bars, use lightly greased ceramic mini loaf pans.
- Storing: You can store your homemade chocolate in an airtight container on the counter for one week, or in the freezer for six months.
Recipes To Make With Sugar-Free Chocolate
This homemade chocolate recipe is an incredibly easy recipe to make. Once your chocolate is prepared, you can use it in a number of recipes, including:
- Dark Chocolate Almonds: Dip almonds (or other nut/seed of choice) into your sugar-free chocolate while it’s still melted. Cool on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper in the fridge.
- Almond Bark: Use your sugar-free chocolate in place of regular chocolate in this recipe.
- Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies: You can use your sugar free chocolate in place of chocolate chips in this brownie recipe.
- Tahini Fudge: You can use your sugar free chocolate in place of baking chocolate in this fudge recipe.
Enjoy This Easy, Homemade Dark Chocolate Recipe
I think I am making this seem much more complicated than it is, when in fact, it is a simple recipe with lots of potential little tweaks to make it exactly as you want it to be. Or, exactly how your sweetheart wants it to be. Because nothing says I love you more than a homemade gift… except, of course, homemade chocolate!
- Mix the cacao butter into the cocoa powder, 1 Tablespoon at a time. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl periodically to make sure it all gets incorporated.
- Stir in the vanilla, stevia, and salt.
- Divide between two lightly greased mini loaf pans or a lightly greased chocolate mold (Here is the heart mold, but here is a more traditional bar mold).
- Allow it to set at room temperature for 30 minutes, then transfer to the fridge to set completely.
- Store in the fridge until you're ready to eat it. This gets a little mess if kept at room temperature.
If you prefer, you can use coconut oil instead of cocoa butter, but these will not stay solid at room temperature. So, make sure you keep them in the fridge.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 chocolate
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 14mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g