Set up your double boiler by adding a few inches of water to a medium saucepan, and topping with a heat-proof bowl that is slightly larger than the circumference of the pan. Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water. Bring the water to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat.
Meanwhile, if you have a large piece of cacao butter, chop it into small, even pieces. This will help it to melt quickly and evenly, without scorching.
Add the cacao butter to the bowl and whisk or stir gently but often, to reduce the risk of scorching.
Once completely melted then sift in the cacao powder and stir to thoroughly combine. *Turn off the heat and remove the bowl from the pan.**
Leave to cool for just a couple of minutes, before giving a final mix.
Pour the mixture into the candy mold/s of your choice and leave them in the fridge or freezer to set. You can then transfer the chocolate to an airtight container in the fridge (or keep it in the freezer).
*If you want to add any sweetener, then add it at this point, sifted into the mixture.** Add any additional flavorings at this point (read FAQs!)How To Store:Due to being untempered, this homemade dark chocolate is best stored in the fridge. Untempered chocolate is more likely to melt at room temperature and doesn't have the same 'snap' as tempered chocolate unless chilled. To temper the chocolate, you can follow this method.I don't know the exact shelf life of this 100% dark chocolate, due to it never lasting long enough before I eat it all. However, when comparing this to my white and milk chocolate recipes, I would imagine that you can store it in the fridge for between 2-3 months. You could also keep this stored in the freezer for 8-10 months, or possibly longer.Further Notes & Recipe Variations
You can use coconut oil instead of cocoa butter if preferred. This can be somewhat easier to work with but can melt at room temperature - so keep chilled. Chocolate made with coconut oil won't be able to be tempered.
If you're using powdered sugar, sift this into the chocolate to avoid any lumps.
Make sure to use food-grade cacao butter as some are sold for cosmetic purposes only.
For topped chocolate bars, simply sprinkle your toppings into the molds before pouring over the dark chocolate.
You can add sweetener to your dark chocolate. I like using an unrefined sweetener such as coconut sugar. You could also use erythritol (sugar-free) or monk fruit sweetener.
Chef's Note: I originally wrote this recipe including maple syrup as an optional sweetener as it was actually something I'd done several times and had avoided the chocolate seizing (not sure how!). However, having had several people reach out to me to complain of seizing, I have since changed the recipe to use JUST dry powdered sugars!