So I have a confession to make. When I was living in Sydney, about 2-3 times a week, I would go to Maloney’s Surry Hills and buy 2x Pana Chocolate bars and demolish them – you know, for all the hard work I was doing on my MBA! My two favourite flavours were ‘Mint’ and “Sour Cherry and Vanilla”.
Now that I am in NZ, Pana Chocolate is 30% more expensive and isn’t feasible to consume as much as I am used to. What is a girl to do when she is a lil piggy and needs her chocolate fix? Eating normal chocolate is one option, but I totally can’t eat that in the quantities I want to without becoming as round as Violet Beauregarde.
Plan B requires making ones own – which turns out to be economical, easy and DELICIOUS!
This recipe is fairly flexible, I found all these ingredients at Goodfor in Parnell and Wise Cicada in New Market – the Sour Cherries and Cacao Nibs are Ceres Organics but I am sure there are other brands. The sour cherries are nice chewy nuggets – a great contrast to the crunch of the cacao nibs. If texture is your jam, you’re going to enjoy this!
The cacao butter and coconut oil are also pretty interchangeable – experiment with one or the other and/or using less or one more of the other for different textures.
Best of all, breaking apart the bark requires absolutely NO technique – if you’re “presentation challenged” this is a really forgiving recipe. However, if you are on the OCD spectrum, this can be poured into a chocolate mould for perfect symmetrical proportions. Whatever you want to do is ok with me – if in doubt, send me some and I’ll taste test.
- ½ cup raw coconut oil
- ½ cup raw cacao butter
- ½ cup pure maple syrup or rice syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1 cup raw cacao powder
- ¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup dried sour cherries, chopped
- ½ cup cacao nibs
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
- In a double boiler, gently melt the coconut oil and cacao butter. You can do this by putting a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water.
- Remove from heat and add maple syrup and vanilla paste.
- Working quickly, add the cacao powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix well.
- Add the sour cherries and cacao nibs.
- Spread mixture onto the paper-lined baking tray - about 6mm thick.
- Place in freezer for 1-2 hours or until set.
- Once set, break apart chocolate into pieces of bark.
- Store in an airtight container in fridge for 1-2 weeks.