They make chocolates instead. Really, doesn’t it just make more sense? For such mammals to lay eggs is a biological impossibility, but the cleverest of rabbits explore their creative talents and craft cacao into treats for children- Now that sounds downright reasonable in comparison. I can see it now: Gifted little bunnies across the globe secreting away sugar and cocoa in their homely burrows, creating magic for the good little boys and girls everywhere, much like Santa might prepare for Christmas. At least, that’s what I’d like to believe. It’s much more optimistic than labeling the inclusion of so much cheap candy as merely a thinly disguised marketing ploy, capitalizing on yet another holiday that might prompt parents to spend ungodly amounts of money on unnecessary junk.
Indeed, I’ve been a very busy bunny this year, working hard to appease the younger (and older!) set who may not appreciate the same dark, bitter chocolate that I tend to favor. It’s a damn shame that there aren’t more light, sweet chocolates for vegans and the generally dairy-intolerant to enjoy. Though it doesn’t have the same reverence as “pure” chocolate, there is absolutely a place for it both in pastry and in the everyday candy dish, so cacao snobs need not get their beans in a bunch. It’s just another flavor, and another treat that I simply can’t leave be until I feel confident it can be enjoyed by all.
And thus, I present a sweet and simple method for homemade “milk” chocolate. Yes, I will tell you straight off, it will be ever so slightly grainy no matter what you do. But yes, it will have a lovely snap between the teeth. And yes, it tastes sweet and milky, just like I recollect the original inspiration to be. And finally, yes, it is absolutely delicious and borderline addictive, which is really saying something for this deep, dark chocolate fiend.
Whether it’s for Easter, or any day before or after, I would recommend you give soy-milk chocolate a chance. As long as you use real ingredients, (unlike the wax and crap that goes into much of the commercially produced milk chocolates) you can create confections every bit as fine and ambrosial as “gourmet” dark chocolates.
2 Ounces (1/4 Cup) Pure, Food Grade Cocoa Butter, Melted
3 Tablespoons Powdered Soy Milk*
1 Ounce 100% Cacao, Unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate
1/2 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Powder**
*If soy allergies are an issue, you can substitute rice milk powder, but be aware that the end results will be grainier and coarser overall.
**DO NOT try using liquid vanilla extract instead, it is not the same thing! You can, however, add the scraped insides of a whole vanilla bean, if powder is unavailable.
Set a small sauce pan over low heat, and place the cocoa butter inside. Allow it to fully melt if you measured it while solid, by weight. Once it has reach a completely liquid state, add in the “milk” powder, and allow it to cook, stirring constantly but slowly, for 5 minutes. This will help it to dissolve more fully, and create a smoother finished bar. Roughly chop the baker’s chocolate, and add the pieces into the pot, again stirring until melted and incorporated. Now, turn off the heat, and with a whisk, quickly mix in the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, powder, and salt. It may take a bit of vigorous whisking to get all of the sugar combined, but remain diligent and the mixture will even out.
Once completely smooth, pour the chocolate liquid into molds of you choice (I used two standard chocolate bar indentations, but you could also make small bonbons, or even use silicon miniature muffin pans. Just don’t use metal tins, because the chocolate will be very difficult to pop out once solidified.)
Let cool to room temperature, and then very carefully move the molds into a level surface in your fridge. Let chill until the chocolates have set, about 1 or 2 hours, and then wrap individually and store in an air tight container, either in a cool, dark place, or back inside the fridge.
Makes 2 2.5-Ounce Bars