Making homemade chocolate is so easy and so rewarding. This Cranberry and Pistachio Homemade Chocolate is gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and vegan with a nut free option.
After creating this homemade chocolate recipe I realised something. It's probably time that someone held an intervention. I know you guys want more dinner recipes and I am so on the job, trust me. But I just could not help myself. I love chocolate too much, I couldn't not post this recipe. If you're like me and in need of a major cacao detox then probs stop reading. Go and browse my other, non-chocolatey recipes because this one is not for you. If you're not in need of a cacao detox or, like me you're in sweet, sweet denial, then read on my friend. Read on. This homemade chocolate is the business. The bees knees. Why you ask? Well, let me enlighten you!
Health Benefits of Cacao
Below is a list of all of the great things about cacao (that I happen to tell myself daily to enable my current state of cacao detox denial).
- Cacao is rich in magnesium, an essential mineral used in over 300 enzymatic reactions throughout the body. This mineral is highly beneficial for the nervous system, helping to reduce anxiety. Magnesium is also essential for heart health as it is important for nerve conductivity.
- Iron is found in high amounts in cacao.
- Cacao is high in antioxidants which can benefit the cardiovascular system and help to reduce inflammation.
- Feel good substances present in cacao like phenylethylamine, work on neurotransmitters to help positively affect our mood. Hence why chocolate makes us feel good.
This chocolate recipe is also refined sugar free, containing only 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to sweeten. It is also dairy free (vegan) and gluten free.
How to Make Homemade Chocolate
If you haven't made your own chocolate yet then you need to try this recipe. You might be surprised at just how easy it is to make. We use just 4 simple ingredients as the base - cacao powder, cacao butter, pure maple syrup and almond butter. The first step is too gently warm the cacao butter in a saucepan until it is melted. Add in the cacao powder and whisk until it's nice and smooth. Add in the almond butter and maple syrup and continue to whisk for a minute or so and then turn off the heat. Continue whisking until the mixture is really smooth and there are no lumps.
Pour the chocolate mixture into a baking paper lined tin - a loaf tin works well if you prefer a thicker chocolate or a brownie tin can be used if you prefer a thinner, bark style chocolate.
Now add your toppings and pop the chocolate into the fridge or freezer to set. The freezer is much quicker so if you're impatient like me then this is your best option.
This chocolate can easily be made caffeine free or nut free if need be. It is also very versatile and you can really use whatever toppings you like depending on what you have on hand. Here are my suggestions for substitutions:
- Swap cacao powder for carob powder for a low caffeine option.
- Use tahini instead of almond butter and leave out pistachios to make this nut free.
- Swap dried cranberries or pistachios for any other toppings you like. You could use sultanas, toasted almonds, toasted coconut, buckwheat groats - feel free to get creative!
Liked this dairy free chocolate recipe? Here's some more:
Chocolate Jaffa Cupcakes with Chocolate Cashew Frosting
- 100 grams cacao butter
- ¼ cup cacao powder
- 70 grams almond butter
- 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup pistachios roughly chopped
- ¼ cup dried cranberries no added sugar
- In a small saucepan on a very low heat add the cacao butter. Stir until completely melted.
- Once the cacao butter is melted, add the cacao and stir through using a whisk.
- Add the almond butter and maple syrup and whisk until mixture is smooth.
- Line a slice tin with baking paper and pour in the chocolate mixture. Sprinkle pistachios and cranberries evenly across the surface.
- Place in the refrigerator and leave to set for approximately 2 hours or the freezer for approximately 30 minutes. Once set, slice with a knife or break into chunks.
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This looks great but is there anything I can substitue for cacao butter and almond butter. Can I just use butter?
They are both pretty important ingredients - the cacao butter gives it that chocolatey smootheness and making it firm while the almond butter gives it the right chocolate texture. You can definitely try tahini or another type of nut butter and you could try substituting the cacao butter for coconut oil. Just be aware if you use coconut oil it needs to be eaten straight out of the fridge ????
Hi Sarah, I just made your beautiful recipe this morning. Absolutely delicious! I was just wondering how long would you suggest it would last in the fridge in an airtight container? One week or two? Or would you suggest to keep it in the freezer and eat it straight from there? Thank you, for another delicious recipe yet again.
Oh wonderful, I love this chocolate recipe. It keeps well for around one week or, as you have mentioned, you can pop it into the freezer. I just let it soften for a little bit once I take it out of the freezer, before eating. Enjoy!