After a long time being disappointed by unnecessary ingredients in commercial plain dark chocolates, such as soy lecithin, flavoring and things derived from milk, I decided to have a go at cooking my own chocolate. It should be like a plain dark chocolate and has no ingredients beyond fat, cocoa and sugar.
My starting point was the recipe shown in this video: youtube.com/watch?v=YR5Giafbi1s. However, after a few attempts, I noticed two problems. First, the result of the dark chocolate recipe was too grainy. Second, and as a result of my attempts to solve the first, dilute the sugar and cocoa powder with water or milk led me to difficulties in keeping the mixture homogeneous.
After some research online, ti seems that this a real problem for homemade chocolate: even the extra fine sugar is grainier than the ideal and the only way to solve this issue is by slowly beating the mixture for long hours. Not satisfied, I decided to play with the quantities and try to use as minimum water as possible to dilute the sugar. After many attempts, it worked! :-)
The procedure and quantities below are the final recipe I am using (enough for 315 grams of dark chocolate).
120 grams of cocoa butter
90 grams of icing sugar
30 grams of hot water
75 grams of cocoa powder
Melt the cocoa butter over boiling water in a bowl large enough for all the ingredients in the end. Warm the glass that will be used to measure the water. Get 30 grams of boiling water and add to the sugar in a warm bowl, mixing them together to dilute the sugar (this should be done quickly so the water do not cool down). Add this mixture to the melted cocoa butter, keeping them over boiling water. Add the cocoa powder (using a sieve, if available), turn off the heat and mix them to get a very dark and bright mixture.
This mixture would need about 20 minutes to cool down before going into molds and to the fridge. During this time, the ideal would be to keep mixing them gently and continuously. However, this is quite boring and not totally necessary. What I do is stir them for about 10 seconds several times throughout the 20 minutes. This is important to break the sugar particles, to keep the mixture homogeneous and to air it (professionals say this is important for the taste).
I would say that 12 hours in the fridge is enough, but I have never taken this step really seriously. After a couple of hours the mixture is solid enough to be removed from the molds, but I think it still needs some hours to get properly set.
The video below shows how the mixture looks like after about 10 minutes cooling down.
And here it is me pouring it into molds.
The final texture is still a little bit grainy, but the flavor is amazing! Also, remember that this has only 3 ingredients (4 if you count water)!
You can just replace the water with espresso coffee and everything works the same and you will get a bit of a coffee flavor in your chocolate.
Another option that I have tried is vanilla extract (not flavoring), but the I do not think it is worth the cost: the taste and smell is too discrete for me. Maybe I am not using enough, but I do not htink so.
According to my readings tempering (melting and cooling the chocolate repeatedly) could improve the smoothness of the chocolate bar and its resistance to melting. I am still testing, but the results so far are not convincing. So, I do not recommend.
In the section below I give some tips on where to buy the ingredients in Brazil. So, it is written in Portuguese.
O açucar de confeiteiro que eu uso é convencional e o cacau em pó também (note que deve ser 100% cacau e não deve ser o alcalino), porém, a manteiga de cacau não foi fácil de achar. No final das contas, estou comprando de um fornecedor (Gobeche) que vende várias coisas ligadas a chocolate via americanas, e recomendo!