Everyone loves chocolate bars and the feeling of ecstasy they give. Companies, such as Hershey's and Ghirardelli, turn cacao beans into chocolate bars through fermentation and heat. For those of us who don't work at Hershey, it's a little hard to ferment cacao beans and use industrial machines.

So, how do we make chocolate from scratch?

Nibs. Cacao nibs. They're dried and fermented cacao beans that are sold in countless grocery stores and give us access to "the food of the gods." These nibs can be used to create a bar of chocolate in a process similar to that of nut butter making. 

Vanilla-Cacao Chocolate Bars

  • Prep Time:1 hr 30 mins
  • Cook Time:12 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 42 mins
  • Servings:5
  • Medium


  • 3 tablespoons 100% pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cacao nibs
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • A roll parchment paper
  • A roll aluminum foil
Phillip Massey
  • Step 1

    Gather ingredients and preheat oven to 350˚F.

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    Phillip Massey
  • Step 2

    Place cacao nibs on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and spread them out so they can cook evenly. Then, place the pan in the oven for 12 minutes or until your house smells like chocolate.

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    Phillip Massey
  • Step 3

    Remove the nibs from the oven and then pour them into a food processor. Process until mixture is liquid. Make sure to push down the excess lumps and crumbs on the side.

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    Phillip Massey
  • Step 4

    Once the mixture is smooth without lumps, add vanilla and salt first. After, add the maple syrup to sweeten the chocolate. Process the maple syrup only a couple of times or mix with a rubber spatula to avoid clumping.

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    Phillip Massey
  • Step 5

    Pour chocolate mixture onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and flatten into a bar type shape.

    Note: If you cannot form a square, wait until mixture is solid, then cut into perfect shape.

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    Phillip Massey
  • Step 6

    Place the pan into the fridge to solidify the chocolate. This will take at least an hour.

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    Phillip Massey
  • Step 7

    Remove from fridge and cut into a bar shape. Cover in an aluminum foil wrapper and binge like you've never binged before.

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    Phillip Massey

Upon the first bite, you will not believe that this tastes exactly like the real stuff—maybe even better. And YOU made it from scratch!

Besides vanilla, other flavors can be created. You can flavor the chocolate to be like coffee by adding coffee extract or an espresso shot, like mint by adding mint extract or like Mexican chocolate by adding cinnamon, chili powder and cayenne powder. I'm recommending mint - 12/10.

Creating your own chocolate is life changing. Trust me.