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Happy Halloween! If you don’t feel like gorging on sugar but don’t want to miss out on candy, did you know that you can make your own low carb chocolate bars? It’s actually pretty quick to do. And, making your own keto chocolate bar is actually much cheaper than buying one!
Is Dark Chocolate Keto?
Strictly speaking, almost all commercial chocolate is not low carb or keto friendly. Sugar is almost always the main ingredient. Some people following a low carb or keto lifestyle choose to occasionally eat very dark chocolate (think 70% or more cacao!) in small amounts, because it has lower sugar content than others.
You can also buy sugar-free chocolate. Unfortunately, often times this is sweetened with maltitol, which actually has a significant glycemic impact and is not really suitable for low carb or ketogenic lifestyles.
A few sugar-free chocolate varieties use stevia, which is better, but not everyone likes the taste. Besides, the price can add up.
So, I’ve been on a mission to make a keto chocolate bar recipe for a while now. This one has gone through about half a dozen trials, and it’s finally ready for you!
How Low Carb Dark Chocolate Works
The thing is, making chocolate is a bit of an art and a bit of a science. Even regular, sugar-filled chocolate can be finicky. It can seize, melt too easily, be too sweet or not sweet enough, have the wrong texture… the list of possible issues goes on.
It becomes harder when we want a keto chocolate bar. Stevia can have an aftertaste, monk fruit usually isn’t ideal on its own, and erythritol resists dissolving.
But when you bite into the perfect, luscious chocolate bar, you know exactly why they are worth all the testing.
So, after many trials and poring over commercial chocolate ingredient labels, it came down to the right ingredients first and foremost.
Here are the ones that work best:
Choose (food-grade) cocoa butter.
Some homemade chocolate recipes use coconut oil or even dairy butter. While you can do this, I don’t recommend it.
Real cocoa butter creates a deeper chocolate flavor, and more importantly, it keeps the chocolate solid at room temperature. You can try substituting coconut oil in this keto chocolate recipe if you must, but just know that it will melt pretty easily.
Baking chocolate over cocoa powder.
Baking chocolate can be expensive, so I attempted homemade keto chocolate bars with cocoa powder several times. I tried, I really did.
And please, please, please… trust me when I say not to do it with cocoa powder.
Cocoa powder is too dry and yields a chalky, gritty result. Even with plenty of cocoa butter.
Baking chocolate creates that melt in your mouth result you’re looking for.
If all you have is cocoa powder, you’re better off making keto fudge like this instead.
Sweeten with powdered erythritol – in moderation.
Erythritol provides sweetness that is probably closest to sugar. But, it doesn’t dissolve well and crystallizes easily.
Using the powdered form of erythritol encourages dissolving and discourages crystallization.
Cut erythritol with inulin.
You may notice that many commercial low carb chocolate bars contain inulin. Sometimes it’s even included in regular chocolate that contains sugar!
So, what is inulin? It’s a natural, prebiotic fiber.
In this keto chocolate bar recipe, the inulin serves three purposes:
- Inulin counteracts the cooling effect of erythritol, because inulin actually has a slight warming effect.
- Inulin delays and reduces crystallization, which is an issue when using erythritol.
- Inulin adds a tiny bit more sweetness.
Stabilize with lecithin.
Virtually all chocolate – whether you’re looking at keto chocolate bars or just plain chocolate with sugar – contains lecithin. Usually it’s soy lecithin, which isn’t great, as soy can be estrogenic.
The purpose of lecithin in chocolate is to act as both an emulsifier and a stabilizer. It helps give chocolate that silky smooth consistency and prevents ingredients from splitting.
My low carb chocolate recipe uses sunflower lecithin, so you can get the benefits of the lecithin and still avoid the soy. In this case, it even helps the erythritol dissolve a little better.
Enhance flavor with vanilla and salt.
You might think that you can skip the vanilla extract, or that salt doesn’t belong in chocolate. But, you need a bit of both to bring out the flavor in your low carb chocolate bars.
How To Make Keto Chocolate Bars
Now that you know the basics of what each ingredient is for and how it works, let’s talk about the basic technique.
The good news is, making a keto chocolate bar is pretty straightforward with the right tools and ingredients. There are 4 basic steps:
Get a double boiler.
A double boiler is basically a heatproof bowl or saucepan sitting over another saucepan on the stove, with boiling water in the lower one. The one on top heats up from the steam coming from the boiling water, but never touches the boiling water or the heat directly.
Please, please don’t try to make chocolate right on the stovetop without a double boiler. You will burn the chocolate, or make it seize, or just end up with an inconsistent texture.
Melt the cocoa and baking chocolate.
To make your low carb chocolate, melt together the cocoa butter and baking chocolate in the double boiler.
Gradually include the sweeteners, stabilizers, etc.
Ehisk in the powdered erythritol a little at a time, then whisk in the inulin gradually. The trick here is to whisk a lot and try to get them to mix in without clumping.
Stir in the sunflower lecithin and sea salt, then heat and stir until it all dissolves.
Add the vanilla extract last, after removing from heat, because extracts lose their potency when heated (except in baking).
Chill to solidify.
Pour your liquid keto chocolate into molds and chill to firm up.
See? Nothing complicated about the process, as long as you follow the directions. 😉
How To Store Store Chocolate Bars
Like any chocolate, you can store low carb dark chocolate in a cool, dark cupboard. You can also refrigerate it if you want it to be more firm and melt less easily.
More Low Carb Recipes To Love
Tools To Make Low Carb Chocolate Bars:
Click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Double boiler – For melting the chocolate. I thought I could get away without one for years, and wondered why my melted chocolate would curdle or burn so easily. This works so much better!
- Chocolate bar molds – The silicone makes the chocolate pop out effortlessly. And, this one comes in a set of 4 so that you can make multiple bars at once.
- Chocolate chip molds – Try these instead if you want to make sugar-free chocolate chips shaped just like real store-bought ones.
- Mini whisks – These are handy when working with liquids in small amounts or in a shallow container. They’re perfect for making low carb chocolate, because sugar-free sweeteners can take a bit more effort to dissolve.
Low Carb Keto Chocolate Bar Recipe
Learn how to make low carb chocolate bars! This is the best way to make a keto chocolate bar that tastes like the real thing. Includes which sweeteners to use and the best method.
Click underlined ingredients to buy them!
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RECIPE TIPS + VIDEO in the post above, nutrition info + recipe notes below!
Melt cocoa butter and baking chocolate in a double boiler over low heat.
Stir in the powdered erythritol, a little at a time. Stir in the inulin, a little at a time. Stir in the sunflower lecithin and salt. Heat until everything is smooth and dissolved.
Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract.
Pour the melted chocolate mixture into molds. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until firm.
- Recipe makes 2 standard-size chocolate bars.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Carb count excludes sugar alcohols. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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