Cocoa butter — it's an ingredient that you may associate with cooking or more specifically with chocolate.
But cocoa butter isn't just used to make chocolate, or your favourite hot chocolate drink — did you know that cocoa butter is also commonly used in natural skin care products?
Here at Eorth we use natural cocoa butter in our Orange Exfoliator Natural Soap Bar, we use it in our natural lip balms, and our popular zero waste shampoo bars. As you can see, cocoa butter is a versatile product that's great for not only putting in your body but it's also great for moisturising both the hair and skin!
Although cocoa butter is commonly produced in African nations, cocoa beans are grown and processed right here in Australia. In fact Far North Queensland is home to one of a few of Australia's organic cocoa plantations.
As the festive season draws near, we thought it would be the perfect time to share a simple recipe that contains cocoa butter, which is great for your skin — and your taste buds too!
This delicious chocolate treat can be whipped up very quickly, you'll just need to wait for it to cool and harden in the fridge before you can sink your teeth into the natural goodness of this Chocolate Bark.
DIY Chocolate Bark using a base of 4 simple ingredients
While it's simple enough to head to the store to and grab a bar of chocolate, it's more difficult to find a bar of chocolate that hasn't been packaged in plastic. Even my favourite chocolate manufacturer, that previously sold all their chocolate bars wrapped in foil and cardboard — has now switched to plastic instead of foil. I was pretty disappointed when I discovered this opening the last bar of chocolate I purchased.
The next best option. Make chocolate yourself! And it really doesn't take very long.
I mention four simple ingredients as a base, because this recipe can be altered to suit your tastes, your dietary requirement or to suit whatever is in your pantry. You could also skip the dried fruit and use just three ingredients as a base.
What are the four key base ingredients?
- Cocoa Butter
- Cocoa Powder (for a rich dark colour)
- Local Honey (or preferred sweetener such as Agave Nectar)
- Dried Fruit — we've used cranberries for a festive look but a locally dried fruit would be even better!
What else would be nice to include?
- Australian Pink Salt
- Vanilla Extract (look for the extract sold in glass bottles rather than plastic).
- Cinnamon or 5 Spice
- Macadamia Nuts, Almonds or Hemp Seeds
DIY CHOCOLATE BARK WITH DRIED BERRIES
- 250 g Cocoa Butter
- 100 g Cocoa Powder
- 100 g Local Honey (or sweetner alternative)
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 tsp Australian Pink Sea Salt
- 1/2 cup Dried Fruit (Cranberries)
- 1/4 cup Crushed Macadamia Nuts (optional)
- Line a baking tray with foil and set aside (if you're in a warm environment you may want to place the tray into the fridge to cool).
- Add the cocoa butter in a double boiler, continue stirring as it melts. Add Cocoa Powder, Honey Extract and Salt.
- Whisk until you have a smooth consistency.
- Pour the chocolate mixture onto the foil lined baking tray, and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Sprinkle the dried fruit, nuts or seeds over the chocolate.
- Transfer the chocolate to the fridge or freezer to harden. (The faster it hardens, the sooner you can eat it!)
- Once ready remove the chocolate from the foil sheet and break the chocolate into bit sized pieces.
ZERO WASTE RECIPES
Author Bio - Catherine Anne Earle
Thanks for reading. I'm Cathy the founder of EORTH Australia, an online store that stocks only plastic free products.
I started EORTH after participating in a Plastic Free July many years ago. A few days into the Plastic Free July challenge I soon became aware of just how damaging plastics were to the environment, and although I was conscious of my consumer choices, products packaged in single use plastic and household products from of plastic materials were still very high on my list of purchases.
After lengthy searches for alternatives to plastic products I soon realised that there were a lot of eco stores that sold some plastic free products, but very few really got down to the heart of the plastics issues and said a big hard "no" to selling products that contained plastics — and that is exactly what EORTH is all about.
I have a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Management and was the owner and founder of Sun Peaks Independent News, a community newspaper based in British Columbia, Canada.
After moving back to Australia several years ago I now reside in Palm Cove a beachside suburb in my hometown of Cairns — the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.