Homemade Chocolate Challenge
April 8, 2007 1:03 PM   Subscribe

How do you make your own chocolate?

Mrs. Plinth is on a restricted diet that disallows eggs, dairy, nuts, and soy. Unfortunately, one of her passions, chocolate, is on the out list since pretty much every chocolate product contains soy lecithin. Gah.

So I'm looking for a recipe for making semi-sweet chocolate from cocoa powder as the starting point.

I've seen this recipe for chocolate syrup, but I'm looking for something that I can use as a direct replacement for chocolate (ie, something that I can dip things in or use for chocolate chips) - I've seen recipe guide for substitution of cocoa powder for chocolate.
posted by plinth to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You may have some luck with the results of this google search: chocolate without soy, though most hits have to do with soy-free chocolate you can buy. It looks like this site may have some useful instructions for actually making chocolate.
posted by wryly at 1:17 PM on April 8, 2007

You could satisfy your wife's chocolate cravings by buying her chocolates from Cluizel - one of the best chocolate makers and no soy.
posted by vacapinta at 1:23 PM on April 8, 2007

This Chocolate Tart is vegan and absolutely delicious. However, you'll need a kickass blender to make it.

Also, the crust I listed there was for ease and not vegan but if you wish, I'll type up a vegan crust option for you.

Oh, crap, I just saw your more inside which means you want a dip, not something more solid. If I were you, I'd try making this without the coconut butter (oil), which is the ingredient which hardens the tart. So, just try the syrup and the cocoa. You should end up with something thick and delicious.

For a chocolate pudding, try this:

2 cups coconut meat
3/4 cup coconut water (at room temp)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup agave nectar (health food store'll have it)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tbs vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt

Again, put 'em in a kickass blender and puree till completely smooth. Eat straightaway or chill to firm it up. Great topped with fruit or nuts.

For kickass blenders, I recommend VitaMix or Blendtec brands. For Coconut Butter, I recommend Omega Nutrition brand (organic and least coconutty in scent/taste). For cocoa powder, Green & Black's taste great and is organic. Same for Cocoa Camino and it's half the price.
posted by dobbs at 1:34 PM on April 8, 2007 [2 favorites]

Best answer: That is a hell of a challenge, making chocolate yourself.

The thing is, the soy lecithin is useful in making chocolate because it's an emulsifier that prevents ingredients from separating (particularly in processing). It also changes the texture, so manufacutrers can fudge with (HA! I kill me.) the cocoa butter content.

There has been some fuss over the fact that soy is often GM, and there are non-allergenic non-GM alternatives. One of those is called ammonium phosphatide.

So, if you go store-bought, keep an eye out for that in the place of soy lecithin. You may have more luck finding it in granola-all-natural products, but I've seen it in Cadbury products as well. Or if you go the make your own route, try this out as a substitute. I also have a Lindt bar here with me that includes barley (I think, it's in Spanish...).

(I don't make chocolate, but my parents sell it, I eat a lot of it, and I am a chemical engineer).
posted by whatzit at 1:40 PM on April 8, 2007

Just a heads up: The reason the recipe you found was for chocolate syrup, rather than chocolate, is because soy lecithin is chocolate's emulsifier. I.e., it's what *makes* chocolate syrup solidify into chocolate.

This site says you can use extra cocoa butter as a replacement.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 1:58 PM on April 8, 2007

Certain gourmet chocolates contain no soy lecithin. The lecithin is used to combine the cocoa with the cocoa butter, so if a bar contains no cocoa butter, it probably won't contain lecithin. For example Domori's Puro bar. (Also possibly their Cru 100% bars; the site doesn't say explicitly.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:58 PM on April 8, 2007

Or, what whatzit said. Should've previewed.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 1:59 PM on April 8, 2007

Mmm; thinking again my explanation may not be quite right -- but it's true that the Puro bar doesn't contain any lecithin.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:03 PM on April 8, 2007

Okay - here we go - on their press page, Domori says "Among the few companies in the world to make almost all of its chocolate without emulsifiers like soy lecithin."
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:06 PM on April 8, 2007

Bonnat doesn't use soy lethicin. Tell your wife you're getting her the most expensive chocolate in the world :)

Also mentioned in that article but not mentioned above is Amedei.
posted by stereo at 2:10 PM on April 8, 2007

Not quite what you asked, but also solves the problem - she totally has to try raw chocolate. You can make your own (haven't tried that yet) or order directly from the site, which is pricey but AMAZING. Like, really really amazing. Much better than 'normal' chocolate, plus it has no eggs, dairy, nuts or soy!

(I have no affiliation whatsover with the site, just LOVE the raw chocolate).
posted by different at 2:20 PM on April 8, 2007

Actually, the Noka article that stereo cites says:

The makers whose chocolates do not contain lecithin are Amedei, Domori, Bonnat, and Cluizel.

They're all available to be ordered online.
posted by vacapinta at 2:34 PM on April 8, 2007

If you're looking for something cheap and not gourmet:

it's Passover right now. Products that are kosher for Passover do not contain soy. If you live near a sizeable Jewish community, Passover chocolate chips (which will probably be dairy-free) should be going on sale this week since Tuesday is the last day of Passover. You could stock up.

This is probably not a good solution if she needs to avoid things processed in a factory where nuts are processed, though.
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:35 PM on April 8, 2007

and more on point: I would think you'll have a hard time making actual chocolate out of cocoa powder because cocoa powder is what's left over after they extract cocoa butter from cocoa beans. Good chocolate starts with chocolate liquor (which hasn't had the butter removed) and is supplemented with extra cocoa butter. You can sub cocoa powder + any kind of oil for chocolate in baking, but I don't think it would have a decent taste/texture for plain eating/dipping/etc. Plain unsweetened chocolate (Baker's brand, for example, claims they don't add anything) would be a better starting point.
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:56 PM on April 8, 2007

When you've finished making your chocolate, here's how to make your own creme-filled chocolate Easter egg with it.
posted by jfuller at 6:42 PM on April 8, 2007

Chocolove is another manufacturer that produces chocolates without soy lecithin. This may vary from bar to bar so check the ingredients.

Chocolate Emporium (kosher, specializing in dairy free) sells soy free chocolate chips.
posted by stuart_s at 7:50 PM on April 8, 2007

If there's a Cost Plus World Market in your area, they've been carrying a variety of high-end chocolate bars.

I'm working my way through a Bernard Castelain bar right now (and it is good). Ingredients on the label: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, bourbon vanilla. That's it.

The Weiss bar I have stashed away is also free of lecithin. The website for Chocolats Olivier says that at least some of their bars are.

They're not cheap: World Market is selling them for $5.39 each, this place is selling them online for a little more (or less if you buy a bunch), but for the enjoyment, they're well worth the price.

To me, no eggs or dairy or nuts seems to really limit what you could do with substitutions. If it were me, I'd go right for the bars rather than try to glom together a recipe experiment.

Here's a chocolate bar database that includes ingredients on each bar.
posted by gimonca at 9:03 PM on April 8, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the help - I've made many things from scratch that are in the 'impractical' category, but it looks like this is beyond the time/equipment curve for me.
posted by plinth at 6:34 AM on April 9, 2007

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