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!

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David Gillespie’s “The Sweet Poison Quit Plan Cookbook”


book cover The Sweet Poison Quit Plan CookbookYou’ve probably noticed at The Sugar Breakup we’re big fans of David Gillespie.

Reading ‘The Sweet Poison Quit Plan’ opened our eyes to the dangers of fructose and made us look at what and how we were eating.

But quitting sugar didn’t stop our love of cooking and baking. As David says, “When you quit sugar you don’t want to resign from life. You are still going to put treats into children’s lunchboxes, you’re still going to need to take a plate to the school fete, you’re still going to want to invite people over for morning tea and to do that you are going to need normal food.”

Our journey into cooking sugar free treats started with the recipes in The Sweet Poison Quit Plan.

David’s wife Lizzie developed these recipes using dextrose for their family and we grew to love many of them. Imagine how delighted we were when The Sweet Poison Quit Plan Cookbook was launched early this year. They have taken Lizzie’s recipes and further developed them with professional chefs to ensure they work for sugar eaters and people who have quit sugar.

sweet poison recipes app screenshot jpgAnd now there’s also The Sweet Poison Recipes iPhone and iPad App! Which is not just wonderful recipes straight to your iPhone or iPad but also video demonstrations, handy hints on cooking with dextrose and a shopping list function to help with buying ingredients.

We’re pleased to announce there will be a signed copy of The Sweet Poison Quit Plan Cookbook from David Gillespie in our sugar free prize pack!

To be in the running to win The Sweet Poison Quit Plan Cookbook and other fantastic sugar free prizes go to

Entries close Tuesday 5th November so get in quick and GOOD LUCK!

Raspberry Chocolate Brownies


stacked raspberry chocolate browniesWe promised to post up our Raspberry Chocolate Brownies, and here they are!

This brownie recipe is an adaptation of our favourite recipe from David Gillespie’s book, “The Sweet Poison Quit Plan Cookbook”, on page 48.

The original Macadamia Brownie recipe is delicious, but this one is for berry fans!

  • Serves: about 16 slices
  • Oven temperature: 180°C (160°C fan forced)
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes
  • Pan: 22cm square cake tin

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Reaching the Summit


wellness summitSaturday was Wellness Summit day. Nine speakers, a whole spectrum of health – home, diet, exercise and self. We heard stories of survival and incredible achievements.

As Dr Laurence Tham said “don’t follow the trail, create the trail so others will follow you”.

Saturday’s speakers have certainly created their own trails.

White Gold
We’re sugar free so were really looking forward to hearing author and health advocate David Gillespie, and he didn’t disappoint.

Did you know sugar was once called white gold, and in the 1830s people consumed around 1 teaspoon of sugar a day? According to David today the average Australian diet includes around 35-45 teaspoons… a day. And most of that sugar is hidden in everyday food such as sauces, yoghurt, dressings and “healthy” drinks like juices. Think of it as sugar by stealth.

Food companies argue that everyone is putting sugar in their products so they are just doing the same to compete. Does that make it right?

David is well known for advocating that fructose is the bad component of sugar. There was a stunned silence over The Wellness Summit listening to the adverse effects fructose can have on your body:

  1. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  2. Interference with your appetite control by affecting insulin and leptin, making you eat more
  3. Increases in uric acid production which can lead to gout and kidney damage
  4. Accelerated ageing (sugar wrinkles!)
  5. Possible contributor to depression and Alzheimer’s disease
  6. Suppression of your immune system by up to 60% for 6 hours after consumption making you more susceptible to infection and chronic disease (heard about the hit on GP’s after the Easter choc binge?)
  7. Not cancer causing, but it can feed a cancer. Cancer cells fuel on glucose (as every cell in the body does) but fructose greatly helps the cells to multiply

So what do you do besides giving up as much fructose as possible?

Keep it REAL
Cyndi O’Meara author of “Changing habits and changing lives” had plenty of great advice.

The simplest being – eat REAL food. Cyndi highlighted one fast food company that lists 16 ingredients in its chicken breast. When did a humble chicken breast become more than just one ingredient; chicken?

Other advice we loved:

  • Get more sleep and follow the sun. Don’t go to bed with TV and computers.
  • Eat seasonally. Buy from your local farmer, butcher and fish manger and get to know them.
  • Grow your own fruit and vegetables, have some chickens in the backyard. Get involved in community gardens
  • Go bare foot in the house and wherever possible. Have your body in its most natural state (Dr Brett Hill spent the entire conference shoe free) — and decrease contaminants brought into your household on the soles of shoes (Nicole Bijlsma, Healthy Home expert).
  • Exercise like a caveman, practice functional primal movement patterns. Walk/run, twist, pull, lunge, bend, squat and push things (Dr Brett Hill, resident Caveman).

And remember that food has two important roles: 80% of the time it’s for health and nutrition and 20% of the time it’s for fun. Thanks Dr Damian Kristof, we couldn’t agree more!

But the biggest point was it begins with YOU. When you lead by example you can influence your circle of family, friends, community who can go on and influence others. Who knows, even the world…

Thanks to the Wellness Guys for such a great day of learning. Check out their podcasts at

Sharing How I Live Sugar Free


dinnerThis weekend I am away on a trip with nine lovely ladies. We had planned a “family meal” last night where everyone had to bring a dish.

Surprisingly, the only fructose on the table was fruit for the dessert, which I had cut up to make sure the skin was still on. I also selected the lower fructose variety fruit as much as possible.

Like a family we got talking and laughing and the topic of living fructose free and what it involves was discussed.

No one was surprised about the sugar content in foods such as cakes, soft drink, biscuits, lollies etc. But shocked that foods, usually considered non-treats, can also be full of sugar. A few were really gobsmacked to learn that some tomato sauces have a massive amount of sugar.

This is what I share with others about my fructose free lifestyle. I need to say that many of these points are from Dr Robert Lustig and David Gillespie. Also these are my rules to live by, everyone will be different.

  1. No soft drink or juice. Only full cream milk and water.
  2. I always eat fibre with fructose. For example I eat the skin and flesh of the fruit. I normally only eat one piece a day, sometimes two, but no more than that.
  3. I read the labels on all packaged food, even if I’m not buying it. I’m fascinated to see what has a high sugar content. I look at the ingredients list first and then the nutritional information. I’m looking for where sugar is placed, how much sugar and how many different names sugar is given.
  4. I wait 20 minutes before going back for seconds. I’m trying to make sure that my body is registering that I’ve had enough food.
  5. I avoid processed fructose wherever possible.
  6. I cook meals, especially my treat food using The Sugar Breakup Dextrose. Then I know that no fructose has been added. Even better I eat my sister’s cooking! She is a thoughtful, yummy, and amazing fructose free cook.
  7. I’m kind to myself. I try to do the best that I can.

There are many other things that I do but this is what we talked about over dinner. See the happy snaps on Facebook and Instagram. I really love sharing The Sugar Breakup story with others, but what about you?

What rules do you have for living sugar free?

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