I was thinking that I posted my bakeable milk chocolate chips from scratch with cacao butter and cocoa powder like a year ago. That’s when I actually went back and looked, and I realized it was actually like two. The recipe is well overdue for an overhaul, especially since I have learned so much about chocolate since I made it.
Why would I take another stab at it? Don’t get me wrong: it was tasty, delicious, durable chocolate–everyone told me so. But it was frigging ugly–and the reason for that is that adding the soy milk introduced enough liquid water to cause the chocolate to seize…. Which, ironically, actually worked really well for creating a solid bakable chip.
But there was room to keep messing for a better chip.
Why, you ask, would you want to make homemade chocolate chips? Well, there’s the glory factor. Duh. You can be all like, b**** please, I know how to make chocolate. It doesn’t take very much time, and you can jump from this recipe to using it in moulds for candy bars, bark, dips, and homemade chocolate candies.
And then there’s allergies. If you are (or someone you love is) allergic to dairy, nuts or soy, and you can’t get your hands on something like Camino semi-sweet (Canada) or Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (USA), well then, you’re pretty much scroo-d, cause all of the other major brands I’ve ever found anywhere have a may contain on one or all of those. They’re kinda on the expensive side, whereas if you find a good price on your cacao, you may be able to make it for considerably less. And dark chocolate is not safe if you’ve got a dairy allergy, even if it doesn’t declare milk. This poor labeling and high level of cross contamination is a problem, and you should use care in assuming that chocolate is safe.
Vegans, too, might also have a tough time finding chocolate, because either they have to contend with dairy, or the big unknown that is sugar used in making the chocolate (animal products used to refine it? Maybe, maybe not).
But in specialty/health stores, you can usually find cacao paste and cacao butter–cacao paste being the dark brown, unsweetened raw product from the plant that makes chocolate, and the butter (which is not a dairy product) being the yellow fat from the cocoa plant. Is cacao butter and cocoa butter the same thing? More or less, yes. In fact, you may see the words used (somewhat confusingly) interchangeably, but purists may tell you that cacao generally refers to “raw” product and cocoa is more processed and may be subjected to higher heat (eg. cocoa powder).
Being as those so-healthy chocolate antioxidants mostly don’t even survive minimal processing, we’re not going to make a pretense of this being healthy. Just like with crazy cake. It’s chocolate. It contains sugar. Enjoy it in infrequent doses as it is (I make it like 2x a year).
If you want to pretend it’s healthy, you’re going to have to get used to eating just the raw cacao paste, and I’m pretty sure that a tiny bite will cure you of that compulsion, as it did for me.
If you want to temper your chocolate, the Kitchn has a great guide on doing it without a thermometer. Be forewarned, however, this process can add up to an extra half an hour. Required? For some things, yes, but not if you’re going to chop these chips up and eat them or throw them in cookies. I sometimes do a half-job by seeding the cooling chocolate with a couple oz of tempered allergy friendly chocolate chips before pouring it onto a plate, and it does do much to improve the “snap.”
So how do these hold up compared to my previous ones?
Appearance is 100% better. Seized chocolate is ugly. Tasty enough, but ugly. This looks like good chocolate, although it may have tiny pinpricks of icing sugar here and there.
Room temperature? Both are solid. You can pick them up and snack on them without getting chocolate goo all over your fingers.
Snap? Better with these–if you go through the trouble of tempering. You can’t temper the other ones.
Baking? They’re a little bit more melty in baking, but within acceptable ranges in a proper chocolate cookie dough.
- 1.5 oz cocoa/cacao butter (food-grade)
- 2.5 oz cacao paste
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- A couple of ounces of allergy-friendly tempered chocolate (optional, for tempering)
- You'll require either a double boiler on the stove (bottom filled with water, of course) or a bowl set over top of a pot with water (bain marie). Set it on medium low or low heat.
- Melt your cacao paste and cacao butter in the bottom of the pot, keeping heat low. I know the temptation to rush is high, but chocolate can burn easily. Stir it regularly to keep the chocolate moving.
- Once the chocolate is mostly melted, turn heat to low.
- Add the icing sugar slowly, using a spatula to press and blend it into the chocolate, smoothing out any clumps.
- Once sugar is added and chocolate is as smooth as one can make it, continue onto tempering (if desired), or allow it to cool slightly and pour onto a plate lined with parchment paper. Chill until set, chop, and use as chocolate chips.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge to prevent fogging.
- A small kitchen scale is necessary.