Snow days demand chocolate and bread

Today the federal government was closed. So we both stayed home! Trev was working from home, and I was … not working from home. I was making chocolate and whole wheat english muffins. I also made us huge vegetable omelets for breakfast and ate a lot of soup. Life is good.

This is the view from the front door, which is all the farther I've ventured out so far today.
This is the view from the front door, which is all the further I’ve ventured out today.

When I was in high school, my breakfast was one of my mom’s granola bars in the car on the way to early morning marching band practice. Now, breakfast is my favorite meal. I don’t eat as late as I used to, so I always wake up starving. Since we learned in journalism school that photos work better than words when trying to tell a story, here is the story.

Usually, my breakfasts look like this:

Oatmeal topped with banana and almonds and a hellavu lot of cinnamon.
Oatmeal topped with banana and almonds and a hellavu lot of cinnamon.

They can sometimes look like this on semi-important days (like a snow day).

Spinach, onion and peppers in a delicious omelet.
Spinach, onion and peppers in a delicious omelet. Yes, my strawberries have cinnamon on them. That’s just how they wanted it today.

And sometimes, when we’re just being ridiculous, weekend breakfasts can look like this:

Whole wheat pancakes with bananas, blueberries, strawberries, homemade chocolate chips and greek yogurt on top.
Whole wheat pancakes stuffed with bananas, blueberries, strawberries, topped with homemade chocolate chips, honey and plain yogurt. And yes I did eat all of that.

I know, I know. It’s very decadent (some might say slightly obscene). But such are the eating habits of two young professionals who love food.

I first started making chocolate months ago, and I’ve found lots of great recipes on the Internet such as this one, this one, this one and this one. From these lovely blogs, I’ve created a simpler version combining all the good stuff. To make chocolate, you really only need three things: Equal parts cocoa butter, cocoa powder, and a tiny bit of sweetener like honey, maple syrup or sugar.

I’ve used five ingredients here.

So sue me.

Here is my recipe in pictures for all you visual people our there!

I use cocoa butter (purchased online on Rose Mountain Herbs, which is a great way to order bulk ingredients!). Cacao powder (one of four splurges I do at Whole Foods), coconut oil (not needed, but it makes for a more fudge and tropical tasting chocolate), cinnamon and honey. You can also add vanilla, but only vanilla that does not contain water.
Cocoa butter (purchased online on Rose Mountain Herbs, which is a great way to order bulk ingredients) is a key ingredient. Without the butter, it doesn’t have any fat to hold it together. Cocoa powder, coconut oil, cinnamon and honey are also added. The coconut oil is not necessary, but makes the final product more fudgy. Cinnamon is also optional. You could also add vanilla, but only vanilla that does not contain water.

I’ve learned through trial, error and a follow up Google search that water causes the cocoa butter to seize up. This is not pleasant and does not make good chocolate.

To pacify my “champagne taste on a beer budget,” I like to splurge on four things at an organic grocery store. They are cacao powder (less treated to preserve the natural antioxidants and vitamins in cacao – it tastes so much better and more exotic), raw local honey (much sweeter than the regular), coconut oil and apple cider vinegar.

Get them measured: 1/3 C. cocoa butter 1 Tbsp. coconut oil 1 Tbsp. honey 1/4 C. cocoa powder 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Measure those beauties:
1/3 C. cocoa butter
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. honey
1/4 C. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
I always use my janky double boiler (one large pot with boiling water and a small pot held over it). I choose the ingredients that I do because they've never been heated or treated. I don't want to ruin them. Plus, I think chocolate is easy to burn??
Melt the coconut oil and the cocoa butter together in a double boiler. I always use my janky double boiler (one large pot with boiling water and a small pot held over it). This takes all my patience, but I try to not get it too close. I don’t want to ruin or burn my special ingredients.
It should now officially smell like delicious chocolate over your stovetop. This is the best part of making chocolate.
It should now officially smell like delicious chocolate. This is the best part.
Stir in the honey next until it melts and gets incorporated. Then do the same with the cocoa powder and eventually the cinnamon.
Stir in the honey next until it melts and gets incorporated. Then do the same with the cocoa powder and eventually the cinnamon.
It takes some patience as the honey is always the last thing to decide it wants to melt together with everyone else. When all is combined, pour into an ice cube tray, or the best Amazon purchase of the year (a heart-shaped chocolate mold all the way from China!).
It takes some patience as the honey is always the last thing to decide it wants to melt. When all is combined, pour into an ice cube tray, or my best Amazon.com purchase of the year (a heart-shaped chocolate mold all the way from China!).

Freeze, and enjoy!

Precious little hearts. They're so irresistible.
Precious little hearts. All that’s missing is the wine.
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4 thoughts on “Snow days demand chocolate and bread

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