Simple Honey-Sweetened Chocolate and GAPS Chocolate Chips!

Simple Honey-Sweetened Chocolate and GAPS Chocolate Chips

Handmade chocolate, fragrant with cocoa butter and vanilla bean and enhanced by just a touch of coffee. Chopped fine, this simple chocolate becomes chocolate chips for truly spectacular homemade chocolate chip cookies. Poured into molds, this chocolate can easily become homemade candy, such as these GAPS Peanut Butter Cups. And simply cut into bars, you can make homemade chocolate bars for snacking or even s’mores!

Homemade chocolate chips are surprisingly easy to make, despite the ease with which most people can simply buy a package of chocolate chips from the store. For many people, store chocolate chips are not an option. Whether from principle or allergies, I have good news: you can make chocolate chips at home!

What’s wrong with store-bought chocolate chips? Most store-bought chocolate chips are made with soy lecithin to make the texture smooth. If you are allergic to soy, this can be very frustrating. Plus, even if you aren’t allergic to soy, I doubt it is ideal to eat soy lecithin when you are committed to a whole foods and traditional foods diet.

Store-bought chocolate chips also almost always are sweetened with white sugar or evaporated cane juice. If you are on GAPS (a low-starch, probiotic, gut-healing diet), this is tricky because I have yet to see a chocolate sweetened with honey anywhere besides random companies on the internet (which I think are too pricey).

There are two typical problems you run into when making homemade chocolates. Fortunately, I do not think it is too hard to avoid either one. Just follow my steps, and learn a little about chocolate and how it behaves in the kitchen by reading below!

The first common problem is how to temper chocolate to make it set up at room temperature. I do not know that much about it except for what I have learned looking at recipes that call for it. They usually start with unsweetened, dark, or milk chocolate from the store, which is then melted (but not too hot!) and cooled (but not too cool!). It sounds like a headache unless you know what you’re doing.

An easier way to temper chocolate is by using a microwave like Ina Garten recommends in this recipe, but I do not like to microwave food anymore if I can help it. Even though the chocolate is properly tempered in the microwave method, I don’t want the worry that I am destroying nutrients in the chocolate. Plus, we don’t even have a microwave anymore! And most importantly, my version of making chocolate is way easier!!

The second common problem is keeping your melted chocolate from seizing into a grainy mass. This is problem is one that you need to pay attention to with my recipe below. But don’t worry! If you understand why melted chocolate seizes, then you’ll be well-equipped to keep your chocolate smooth and gorgeous.

I read this description of seizing chocolate somewhere, and it finally made sense to me: melted cocoa butter with cocoa powder and sweetener added is best treated like a soft solid. It’s not really liquid. This is why chocolate can seize when melted if even the tiniest bit of water touches it. Think about when you add a small amount of water to flour: it becomes a balled up thick paste.

The same thing happens when you get a drop or two of water, say from condensation or a slightly damp kitchen tool or the steam from the water simmering beneath your melted chocolate. That small amount of water will turn your smooth melted chocolate into a grainy ball of chocolate. And it can happen suddenly, too! Keep your water simmering gently, and take care that every tool you use is bone dry.

On the other hand, if you add a significant amount of water or liquid to the melted chocolate, then it doesn’t seize up. There is enough liquid going into the mixture all at once that you will not be left with a grainy mass, but simply a softer chocolate after it is cooled. So when you add vanilla or coffee to your melted chocolate, do not fear!

Why add coffee to chocolate? I have noticed that a few of my favorite cooks add coffee to anything they make with chocolate or cocoa powder. The idea is that the coffee is just enough to enhance the flavor of the chocolate, but not enough to taste like the coffee. It is just that the chocolate tastes better. I have tried it, and it is true!

Simple Honey-Sweetened Chocolate and GAPS Chocolate Chips

But of course, you can leave it out. Or use decaf or a coffee substitute if you wish. Remember that coffee is GAPS-legal, but most coffee substitutes like Teeccino and Dandy Blend are not GAPS-legal because of the use of grains in the mix.

A note on cocoa butter: Cocoa butter is the white solid fat that comes from the cocoa pod. It is most recognizable as “white chocolate”, which is simply cocoa butter sweetened and flavored. The cocoa butter fat is much easier to digest for GAPS people when compared to cocoa powder or chocolate in it’s typical bar form. Fortunately, I have an excellent source of cocoa butter on my resource page. The cocoa butter is pure, organic, fragrant, delicate, and absolutely gorgeous!

(Even so, after your digestive problems have subsided, you can start consuming cocoa powder if you can tolerate it on GAPS. You can see the official answer here, in the GAPS FAQ page under “cocoa”.)

Equipment Needed:

Handmade Chocolate

3/4 cup cocoa butter (buy cocoa butter here)
3/4 cup cocoa powder (buy cocoa powder here)
6 tablespoons raw honey (buy raw honey here)
1 tablespoon brewed coffee (buy organic, fair-trade coffee here)
scraped seeds from 1 vanilla bean (buy vanilla beans here)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (buy high quality extracts here)

  1. In a glass bowl set over simmering water, melt cocoa butter completely. Turn the heat off and, using a whisk, add cocoa powder gradually and incorporate completely until there are no lumps. Add honey and vanilla seeds from scraped vanilla bean (reserve the bean for another use). Whisk until smooth. Add vanilla extract and coffee and whisk until smooth again.
  2. Let cool, stirring every 10 minutes or so, 30 minutes total. Use to make candies, or pour into molds and let harden.

Simple Honey-Sweetened Chocolate and GAPS Chocolate Chips

GAPS Chocolate Chips (Chunks)

3/4 cup cocoa butter (buy cocoa butter here)
3/4 cup cocoa powder (buy cocoa powder here)
6 tablespoons raw honey (buy raw honey here)
1 tablespoon brewed coffee (buy organic, fair-trade coffee here)
scraped seeds from 1 vanilla bean (buy vanilla beans here)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (buy high quality extracts here)

  1. In a glass bowl set over simmering water, melt cocoa butter completely. Turn the heat off and, using a whisk, add cocoa powder gradually and incorporate completely until there are no lumps. Add honey and vanilla seeds from scraped vanilla bean (reserve the bean for another use). Whisk until smooth. Add vanilla extract and coffee and whisk until smooth again.
  2. Pour into a glass pan or jelly roll pan and let harden at room temperature. Then chop into small bite-size pieces. Use in chocolate chip cookies or other baked goods!

Cocoa butter is difficult to find, and even when you do it can be low quality and have a rancid taste. Fortunately, I have a tried and true source for pure, organic cocoa butter on my resource page. Check it out by clicking here!

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.