Maple pecan, cranberry and goji berry homemade chocolate

23 December 2014

I only tried making my own chocolate for the first time this Saturday, I thought it would make a wonderful treat for guests over Christmas, and a sweet treat for me too! I'd always thought it would be difficult, but it turned out to be so easy and so delicious that I wanted to share it with you.  All natural organic ingredients, and no processed sugars - chocolate that's good for you!  Packed full of great health-boosting ingredients and it looks great!  Make some to share with your loved ones this Christmas.  This is adapted from a recipe by Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella

Makes one huge bar of chocolate

For the Maple Candied Pecans

– 100ml of maple syrup

– 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

– 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

- 100g pecans

For the Chocolate

– 175g pure cacao butter

– 150ml maple syrup

– 100g raw cacao powder

– a handful of goji berries

- a handful of dried cranberries

– a pinch of sea salt

Pre-heat the oven to 200C

Place the maple syrup and coconut oil and cinnamon in a pan on a low heat. Stir gently until everything is nicely mixed in and the coconut oil has melted.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread the pecans over the paper. Pour the mixture onto the nuts and stir everything together. Place the tray in the oven for about ten minutes, until they’re golden brown but not burnt. You may want to stir the mix once during this time.  While the pecans cook, fill a saucepan with water and place it on a hob. Add the cacao butter to a bowl and place this on top of the pan. Stir gently over a very low heat until melted.
Once the cacao butter is melted, pour it into a mixing bowl with the raw cacao powder, salt and maple syrup. Use a spatula to mix it all together, and allow it to thicken – be patient with this, it will take a few minute to thicken but it’s an important step.
Line a dish or baking tray with a new sheet of baking paper and pour the chocolate mix over it, so that it is about a centimetre deep. Then sprinkle the pecans, cranberries and goji berries over it, using a spatula to gently press them into the chocolate so that they stick.
Place the chocolate tray in the freezer to set for about 2 hours. Once it is really solid, remove it from the freezer and break it up into large chunks.
You can store the chocolate in the freezer if you want to keep it for a while but this chocolate won’t melt if you leave it out at normal room temperature.  Enjoy!