Cacao Crunch Chocolate

Have you ever made your own chocolate?  I know you’re probably thinking, “who has that kind of time?”  You do!  You know those DIY projects that are more a novelty than anything else?  This is not one of them.  This chocolate is not just an item to sit on your shelf like a trophy to impress your friends with your culinary bravado;  this chocolate is really, freaking good!  There is absolutely nothing wrong with store bought chocolate, but the benefits to making your own are many:  1) you get to enjoy a fun trip to the natural foods market to buy all sorts of exotic ingredients;  2) you can control the quality of the ingredients; 3) you can buy really high quality ingredients and make really high quality chocolate for very little money; 4) your house will smell like Hershey, PA; 5) you can experiment with flavor combinations (Chipotle?  Earl grey?  Raspberry? Go for it!);  6) you get to lick the bowl… of melted chocolate.  I could go on and on.  The truth is, this is a really simple, fun, yummy project that is perfect for someone who likes to play in the kitchen. 

One final benefit:  ever had a friend who had a rough day and was in need of a little tangible piece of love?  These will keep in your freezer, and are perfect to have on-hand for emergencies. 

Love and chocolate,

Amanda

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Cacao Crunch Chocolate

3 ounces cocoa butter

1 ounce cacao powder

4-6 tablespoons maple syrup

1 ounce cacao nibs

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch sea salt

Directions

1.  Combine cocoa butter, cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt over a double boiler.  When the cocoa butter has melted, whisk until totally smooth.

2.  Line a mini-muffin tray.  Divide the cacao nibs evenly among the paper cups.

3.  Fill with chocolate.

4.  Let set in the refrigerator.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

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