How to Make Sugar Free Chocolate

Sugar free choc barActually the title should be, “making sugar free chocolate that looks and tastes like real chocolate without sugar”, but that seemed a bit long.

I’ve seen lots of questions about making sugar free chocolate with some cooks really struggling to get it right.

I’ve attempted to make sugar free chocolate using coconut oil but don’t like the way that the fats and solids separate (which ends up as a coconut oil layer on top and around the edges). And, let’s be frank, it does not taste like chocolate.

Today I’m road testing a Sugar Free Chocolate from The Sweet Poison Quit Plan Cookbook by David Gillespie.

My first attempt was a disaster! The fats and solids separated.

Where did I go wrong? One word: EMULSIFICATION. Don’t be scared, it’s the combination of fat (from the cocoa butter) and water (from the dextrose syrup), which is easily solved with a stick blender!

So here’s how to make sugar free chocolate that looks and tastes like real chocolate.

Ingredients (as per The Sweet Poison Quit Plan Cookbook)
80g Cocoa Butter (available from health food stores)
1/4 cup Dextrose Syrup (see instructions below)
1/3 cup good quality Cocoa Powder

Making the Dextrose Syrup

  1. In a small saucepan combine 1 cup The Sugar Breakup Dextrose with 1 cup water.
  2. Stir until the dextrose has dissolved then boil gently on a low/medium heat for about 10 minutes until the quantity has reduced to 1 cup in total and it has turned into a slightly syrupy consistency.

Note: This is one of the steps I struggled with. I dissolved the dextrose in the water then removed from the heat without any boiling. My syrup was still like water and a lot more than 1 cup

Making the Chocolate

  1. Place the cocoa butter in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until just melted.
  2. Add the cocoa powder and ¼ cup of the Dextrose Syrup then using a stick blender combine all the ingredients until smooth.

Note: The speed of the stick blender helps the melted butter and the water stick together so the chocolate doesn’t separate. Make sure all your ingredients are in a jug or high sided bowl so they don’t fly out when using a stick blender!

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Any way you like! I spread the chocolate out on a sheet of baking paper and dotted mixed nuts making it a bar.

You could make plain chocolate and break it up for choc chips, give the chocolate a sprinkle of sea salt (sounds weird but sea salt and chocolate are fantastic together). Add a dash of coffee or, to be extra fancy, pipe it into moulds.

If you’re using moulds then I recommend using silicon based moulds which work better when it’s time to take the chocolate out.

A little bit more about home-made chocolate

  1. It doesn’t taste or feel like the stuff you can buy for $1 at the supermarket. Most cheap chocolate contains very little cocoa butter and cocoa mass often being made up of cheaper ingredients like vegetable or palm oils.
  2. It’s best kept in the fridge. Home-made choc can be soft at room temperature so pop it in the fridge until ready to serve.
  3. Use good quality ingredients. A good quality Dutch processed cocoa powder can be a little bit more expensive but the taste will be so superior you’ll never want to use cheap cocoa powder again.

We’ve got Thermomix instructions too!

Making the Dextrose Syrup (using a Thermomix)

  1. Place 1 cup (180g) The Sugar Breakup Dextrose with 1 cup (250g) water into TM.
  2. Set to Varoma/speed Spoon/23 minutes. Leave the Measuring Cap (MC) off to allow water to evaporate.

Makes 1 cup of syrup, can be stored in the fridge for a month. Allow to cool slightly before using.

Making the Chocolate (using a Thermomix)

  1. Place 80g cocoa butter into the TM, chop on speed 6 for 5 seconds
  2. Melt cocoa butter at 60 degrees, speed 1 for 3 minutes
  3. Add 1/4 cup dextrose syrup and 1/3 cup cocoa powder, mix together on speed 6 for 10-20 seconds
  4. You’re done!

Don’t forgot to enter our fantastic competition at to be in the running to win a signed copy of The Sweet Poison Quit Plan Cookbook and a chance to WIN other great sugar free prizes. Be quick, entries close 5th November 2013.

Happy chocolate making!

tsbu julia the sugar breakup signoff handwriting dakota jpg

23 thoughts on “How to Make Sugar Free Chocolate

  1. I am having issues with the dextrose syrup when keeping it in the fridge. Within two days it has crystallized. Any ideas? Do you think it would be any different if I keep it in the pantry instead? Or will this limit the shelf life too much?

    • Hi Steph,
      Yes it can sometimes crystalise. If you reheat it before you make your next batch (and allow to cool again to room temperature) it will be fine to use. Happy chocolate making! Julia @ The Sugar Breakup

  2. Pingback: Choc-O-Yay! | Planet Pav

    • Hi Lili, thanks for your comment. Dextrose is glucose, one of the basic ‘sugars’ along with fructose and galactose (lactose). We use the term ‘sugar’ in reference to sucrose (which is 50/50 fructose and glucose). We have cut out sugar(sucrose) from our lives and recipes due to the negative health impacts of refined fructose. There’s a whole bunch of reasons why you don’t want to consume refined fructose which you can find on our Quit Sugar page. There are also links to some excellent resources if you need any further information.

  3. Hi I used your recipe for making home chocolate in the Thermomix with great success, my question though is the extra syrup that was made from the recipe I put in the fridge and 2 days later crystals have formed. Is it still ok to use? can I do something to prevent this occurring

    Thanks for your time

  4. I have made two batches now. I love it. I had to use glucose syrup because I didn’t have dextrose which is funny considering my hubbie owns a microbrewery! I also added shredded coconut to the top of some & then in the second batch I added peppermint essence. Oh and cream to soften the bitter flavour a little more. My 5 year old loves it and it feel good to be able to give him chocolate after removing his normal diet of 2 bowls of sultana bran for breakfast which I thought was a healthy option!

    • Hi Jandra, that’s great. Love the different flavours you’ve used, just delicious. Yes, changing kids breakfast cereal can be a challenge but it’s great to establish good habits early for little ones!

  5. I made this the other day, but the chocolate didn’t set hard, even when I put it in the freezer (it got harder but it still didn’t “set”) – I had to scoop it out of the silicon molds. I might try and spread it out in a tray next time. Any other thoughts?

    • Moulds can be tricky with chocolate particularly when it isn’t “tempered” (not something we’ve been able to do when making our own chocolate). So homemade sugar free chocolate will still look and taste great but won’t have the exact same hardness as commercial chocolate. You could try coating the inside of your moulds with coconut oil. Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil until it is just melted (not boiling hot) and once slightly cooled use your index finger to very lightly coat the inside of the mould. Or, as you suggested, spread out on a tray and break into shards when set. Keep in a air tight container in the fridge. PS – you can use your broken choc as choc chips in other recipes, great in muffins and choc chip ice cream!

  6. Thanks for the Thermomix instructions! I used to successfully make chocolate with agave thinking I was doing the right thing until I discovered agave is too high in fructose. I have tried several fructose free recipes since and had separation and other problems too. Cant wait to try this Thermomix method. Thanks so much.

    • Great question! I made the syrup on the stovetop but I’m really curious to see if it works in the Thermomix since you can’t make toffee in the TM (can’t get it hot enough). Hmmm, thinking…It would take more than 10 minutes and you’d need to leave the MC off for evaporation. Tomorrow’s challenge, will let you know!

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