A lot of people love chocolate, but I really love chocolate. Every day I consume a substantial amount of dark chocolate with each cup of tea and coffee. I prefer my chocolate in rectangular prism form (bar), not in fancy little cubes or spheres. Flavored bars are acceptable, but it has to be a simple flavor like ginger, cocoa nib, almond or sea salt. But dark chocolate bars are already pretty expensive and the fancy flavors are even more expensive. For Christmas I got a 16oz bag of cocoa nibs but didn’t know what to do with them – I love them in chocolate bars but they’re a little too bitter by themselves. So I did what any self-respecting chocolate fiend would do – make his own chocolate! Using Trader Joe’s bargain-priced but high-quality Pound Plus chooclate bar, this batch of fancy chocolate turned out to be incredibly cheap and better tasting than any brand I’ve had.
1. Break up the dark chocolate into chunks and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the chocolate on MEDIUM heat (e.g. power level 5 out of 10) for 5 minutes. Stir the chocolate when there are 3 minutes remaining, then again when there are 2 minutes remaining, then every 30 seconds until the chocolate is just melted. Don’t overheat the chocolate or it will burn. If there are only a few solid chunks left, just keep stirring and the chocolate will melt on its own.
2. Add the cocoa nibs to the bowl and stir well. Pour the chocolate onto a rimmed baking sheet.
Note: The larger the baking sheet, the thinner the chocolate will be. I used a 12″x16″ baking sheet and didn’t fill the entire sheet, but the cocoa nibs prevented the chocolate from spreading too much anyways.
3. Let the chocolate cool at room temperature for 20 minutes then sprinkle the sea salt on top, as little or as much as you like. Now let the chocolate cool completely. I found that it’s best to let the chocolate set at a temperature between 50 and 60 degrees. If you’re house is too warm, it will take forever to cool (but it will set nicely). If you put it in the fridge it will set quickly but not as well (more dried out, tan-colored marks on the chocolate).
4. Break up into random sized chunks.