Stevia Chocolate Making

These are a couple of sugar-free chocolate recipes I developed during the years I was on a sugar-free diet. Please email me if you have suggestions for the recipes or if something isn't clear. I can be reached by email at "nadine (at) ualberta (dot) ca".

I chose to use Stevia as a sweetner because it has some health benefits and has been used for successfully in Japan for decades without reported problems. Also, stevia is incredibly sweet, just one teaspoon of stevia extract powder can replace 1 cup of sugar!

The amount of stevia to use in a chocolate recipe is very much personal preference, so please use the amount in the recipes below as a starting point. If you like your sweets relatively unsweetened, cut the amount given below in half. By starting with a small recipe, like those below, it is less expensive to both learn what sort of chocolate you like and to learn how to make chocolate.

Chocolate making is somewhat tricky - for example, chocolate burns easily so don't over-heat it. Chocolate must be "tempered" (see below) or it doesn't have a nice crunch and has an ugly grey pattern on it. Regular chocolate also hates water, so don't get any water or condensation into the chocolate mixture.

You will likely have to search around to find the food-grade cocoa butter used in the recipes below. Sometimes, it can be found at a health food store or a Bosch kitchen store. It might be possible to use regular milk powder instead of non-instant. If you use regular milk powder, you will need much more than the amount listed below. A Bosch kitchen store may also be a source for non-instant milk powder.

In the recipes below, 1 square of chocolate is 1 ounce or 28 grams of chocolate. I use the "Baker's" brand of unsweetened (100% pure) chocolate. There is a review of unsweetened chocolate in the magazine "Cook's Illustrated", issue November 2002. Other brands of chocolate rated better than Baker's, for example, Callebaut rated as the best buy, so it may be worth considering the use of a different type of chocolate.

For stevia, I've used both "Now" brand and "KAL" brand with equally good results. Details from the packaging of the two products are:

   Now brand "Stevia Powdered Extract", contains Stevia powdered leaf        
   extract (Stevia rebaudiana) Standardized for a minimum of 85%  
   steviosides. 
 
   KAL brand "Pure Stevia Extract Powder", contains Stevia extract         
   (Stevia rebaudiana)(leaf) Supplying 80% steviosides.

Milk Chocolate
Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate, Dairy Free

Milk Chocolate

1/2 square unsweetened chocolate, melted 1 1/2 squares worth of cocoa butter, melted 1/8 tsp stevia (adjust quantity to taste) 4 tbsp non-instant milk powder Mix the above ingredients, then temper the chocolate (see below). Pour on wax paper, allow to harden, then indulge! Back to Start

Dark Chocolate

1 square unsweetened chocolate, melted about the same amount of cocoa butter, melted 1/8 tsp stevia (adjust quantity to taste) 1 tbsp non-instant milk powder Mix the above ingredients, then temper the chocolate (see below). Pour on wax paper, allow to harden, then indulge! Back to Start

Dark Chocolate, Dairy Free

Please note that the following recipe tastes a little waxy. I believe, but haven't tested, that chocolate liquor should replace most of the cocoa butter. There is a source for chocolate liquor at http://www.chocosphere.com/ but I haven't tried ordering it yet.
1 square unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 1/4 squares worth of cocoa butter, melted
1/8 tsp stevia (adjust quantity to taste)

Mix the above ingredients, then temper the chocolate (see below). Pour on wax paper, allow to harden, then indulge!
Back to Start

Tempering Chocolate

Chocolate requires "tempering" to taste its best. Without tempering, its texture is soft and unappealing and an ugly grey pattern forms on it. With tempering, the chocolate has a snap to it and is attractive and shiny.

By simply stirring the chocolate as it cools, the chocolate will be somewhat tempered, but better results are achieved by using a little more effort. If you have a thermometer, try taking the chocolate down to 80 degrees F (27 C) stirring frequently, then carefully back up to 88 F (31 C). Then stir until the chocolate starts to thicken. At this point, it can be used for dipping or poured onto wax paper until it hardens.

There is more information in wikipedia at "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate".

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Copyright Nadine Leenders

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