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Best Sugar Free Chocolate Recipes From Scratch

Updated on July 1, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty collects recipes from past generations among ethnic groups, the 13 Original Colonies, the American Civil War & the 19th century.

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For Those Who Want to Reduce or Avoid Sugar

Individuals who need or want to cut their sugar intake have some better options now than in the 1970s. Back then, artificial sweeteners did not have consistently good flavors and consumers did not trust them after hearing media reports of links with cancer. Today, we have better choices.

Natural sugars may be easier to digest for some consumers and some of today's artificial sweeteners are a good choice for weight loss, blood sugar control, and avoidance of dental cavities.

There is no solid scientific evidence that any FDA-approved artificial sweeteners cause cancer or other serious health problems.

— National Cancer Institute of the USA and the Mayo Clinic

One teaspoon granulated sugar = 4 grams = 16 calories

What Are Some Sugar Free Sweeteners That I Will Like?

Honey - Raw honey is touted as healthier than sugar. If you use it in the recipe below, it may result in chocolate that does not become completely set at room temperature. It may be runny. Reducing the amount of honey used will result in a firmer set, but less sweetness. Try about 1/4 cup raw honey in the recipe.

Stevia or Rebiana - This natural product is FDA approved in a refined formed in the US and widely available. it is my go-to sugar substitute and has several brand names.

Sugar Twin® - I loved the flavor and texture this product gave to baked goods and puddings, but has become difficult to purchases except online. With the same ingredients as Sweet 'N' Low ("Pink"), Sugar Twin still tastes better.

Xylitol - This substitute works well, but has a few side effects on the digestive systems of some consumers. It can be purchased for home kitchens.

Stevia is Popular and Safe for Health

Sweetleaf stevia is a natural, zero-calorie, zero-carbohydrate, and non-glycemic response sweetener. This makes it ideal for diabetics and other who want to avoid sugar.

Coca Cola is bringing back its original sugar sweetened beverage in some business markets around the USA and produce another version using both cane sugar and stevia.

The sugar sweetened of Coke variety has been available in Mexico for many years and is found in Big Lots stores in America for about $1.00 for a 12-oz. bottle. the public in Central Ohio is purchasing more of stevia sweetened cola than the Mexican cola.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A testament to stevia: Coke and Pepsi both use it. Sweetened with cane sugar and stevia. !2 ounces: carbonated water, cane sugar, caramel color, natural flavors, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate, caffeine, stevia leaf extract.7.5 ounces:  carbonated water, sugar, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavor, caffeine, purified stevia leaf extract. The stevia plant: Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni.
A testament to stevia: Coke and Pepsi both use it. Sweetened with cane sugar and stevia. !2 ounces: carbonated water, cane sugar, caramel color, natural flavors, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate, caffeine, stevia leaf extract.
A testament to stevia: Coke and Pepsi both use it. Sweetened with cane sugar and stevia. !2 ounces: carbonated water, cane sugar, caramel color, natural flavors, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate, caffeine, stevia leaf extract. | Source
7.5 ounces:  carbonated water, sugar, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavor, caffeine, purified stevia leaf extract.
7.5 ounces: carbonated water, sugar, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavor, caffeine, purified stevia leaf extract. | Source
The stevia plant: Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni.
The stevia plant: Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni. | Source

Advantages of the Best Sugar Substitutes

Name
Source
What you should know.
Raw Honey
Natural: Bees and Nectars
Similar to sugar and ends up as glucose and fructose in the body, just as does sugar. Honey contains small amounts of bacteria; do not feed to a child younger than one year.
Stevia, highly-refined type
Natural: Extract from Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plant
Natural and declared safe by the FDA.
Sugar Twin
Sodium Saccharin
Difficult to find in many market areas. May cause some photosensitivy, headache, and nausea to those sensitive to it..
Xylitol
Sugar Alcohol
Sugar alcohols actually contain no aocohol, but can cause diarrhea in some consumers who ingest 10 - 50 grams at one sitting.

Grow Your Own Stevia at Home

SweetLeaf Natural Stevia Sweetener, 70 Count
SweetLeaf Natural Stevia Sweetener, 70 Count

Stevia Extract Product Approved by the FDA: This safe and good tasting stevia product has won 26 awards for quality of flavor and cooking innovation, including ChefsBest Excellence for multiple years and the Women's Choice awards. Of the alternative sweeteners I have found available in the USA, this stevia product is my favorite. It can be used anywhere table sugar is used.

 

How to Make Basic Chocolate

Purchase the main ingredient (raw cacao beans) from your grocer, local specialty markets, a candy supply stores, or online. Use stevia instead of sugar for a good tasting result.

Our scratch sugar free chocolate recipe using stevia can also be used in making your favorite parfaits.
Our scratch sugar free chocolate recipe using stevia can also be used in making your favorite parfaits. | Source

1 single-serving packet of Stevia = 2 teaspoons of sugar

  • Prep time: 1 hour
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
  • Yields: From 1/2 to 3/4 pound of dark chocolate
  • 1 Pound Raw Cacao Beans
  • 6 to 9 Individual Packets of Sweetleaf Stevia, depending on sweetness desired.
  • 1 Cookie Sheet, for roasting
  • 1 Food Mill, for grinding
  • 1 or more Candy Molds

Nine Steps to Sugar Free Chocolate

  1. Roast the raw cacao beans as a single layer placed onto a cookie sheet for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F (204 C, Gas Mark 6 in UK).
  2. Remove the roasted beans from your oven and set the cookie sheet on top of a dry towel on the counter top to cool completely, about 20 minutes. They should smell good!
  3. Using your fingers, peel off all of the husks (covering the actual shells) from the roasted beans.
  4. Using your fingers again, roll the husked beans on the counter top to begin to crack then shells, and then remove the shells.
  5. Break up the shelled beans by putting a small amount of them into a heavy, deep bowl and crushing them with a heavy instrument such as a pestle or the bottom of a very heavy drinking glass or a rolling pin that does not have handles. A clean hammer will also do, but you can wrap it in a clean cloth to make sure it is clean.
  6. Pour the crushed beans into a food mill and grind them to a medium sized grain. Any smaller, and they will become a slushy, dark sludge. This is why a food processor or a blender will not do. Put the grainy material into a larger bowl and place the bowl into a sink or an even larger bowl of hot water that is not deep enough to spill into the bowl of beans. Water will cause chocolate to separate. Keep mashing the bean substance with with something heavy and clean until the beans are smooth and rich looking. They should still be smelling good.
  7. Lastly, add your sweetener. Begin with 6 packets of Sweetleaf Stevia, stir, and taste. Add additional packets until you are satisieid with the sweetness level.
  8. Pour the final bean mixture into candy molds and let it set into solid chocolate, approximately 30 minutes or more. This may take longer in hot or humid weather and you may even need to refrigerate it for a bit.
  9. Remove the hardened candies from their molds and decorate them as you like, with any of a variety of artistic toppings: icings, sprinkles, drizzled fruit sauces, and more.

Sugar Free Chocolate From Scratch

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 ounce
Calories 65
Calories from Fat27
% Daily Value *
Fat 3 g5%
Saturated fat 2 g10%
Unsaturated fat 1 g
Carbohydrates 16 g5%
Sugar 1 g
Fiber 10 g40%
Protein 5 g10%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 5 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

How Do You Like This Recipe?

5 stars from 2 ratings of Scratch Chocolate

Adding Additional Flavors

When you add the sweetener, you can also add additional flavors including raspberry extract (my favorite), or a few drops of mint, orange, or lemon extract. Use bottled flavoring or fresh citrus zest, for instance, and mix well.

In Mexico and Central America, commercial chocolate mills often add cinnamon and/or dried chili peppers. They like hot chocolate to be spicy in those countries and I agree!

What Is Cacao?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Where Does Chocolate Come From? -- Cacao pods may be of different colors, but all yield the beans for making chocolate.A ripe pod contains beans inside white pulp that tastes like lemonade!These beans were extracted from a cacao pod by allowing the sun to "melt" the pulp away..Roasted cacao beans.
Where Does Chocolate Come From? -- Cacao pods may be of different colors, but all yield the beans for making chocolate.
Where Does Chocolate Come From? -- Cacao pods may be of different colors, but all yield the beans for making chocolate. | Source
A ripe pod contains beans inside white pulp that tastes like lemonade!
A ripe pod contains beans inside white pulp that tastes like lemonade! | Source
These beans were extracted from a cacao pod by allowing the sun to "melt" the pulp away..
These beans were extracted from a cacao pod by allowing the sun to "melt" the pulp away.. | Source
Roasted cacao beans.
Roasted cacao beans. | Source

1 pound of chocolate = about 400 dried cocoa beans

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Fun and Spicy Hot Chocolate

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Source
Source
Source

Yield: 2 or 3 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2.5 Cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1/3 Cup homemade base chocolate (please see recipe above)
  • 1 additional individual serving packet of stevia, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon each of chili powder, chipotle powder, black pepper
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper

Note: I have seen this drink made with as many as seven varieties of "hot peppers."

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients into a medium sized sauce pan in the stove top over medium heat.
  2. Stir and simmer until well mixed and smooth.
  3. Pour into mugs and serve with any toppings that you like: whipped cream, shaved chocolate, or your favorites.

© 2016 Patty Inglish

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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
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      Patty Inglish 6 months ago from North America

      I really like using stevia and just found Coke Life with stevia at Kroger stores here, so I will try that soon.

      Usually, I like to use about 1/2 the sugar called for by a recipe (or a substitute), so I'm with you - "too sweet" is not a treat for me. Thanks for commenting!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 6 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      I just love chocolate, so this was a very helpful hub. Unfortunately, honey is also off my list of friendly foods, but the stevia is great and works well, so long as it is not overdone, as too sweet does not taste good.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 6 months ago from North America

      That sounds like a good idea and I will try it. I've used applesauce for that reason, but the prune puree would yield a richer mix. Thanks!

    • Spanish Food profile image

      Lena Durante 6 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      I don't trust artificial sweeteners, personally, but I've found success with using prune puree as a substitute for both sugar and a portion of the fat in many of my baking projects.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 11 months ago from North America

      @Rachel - Spicy hot chocolate is good if you like a little kick. Some people like to use the spices in coffee, but add some chocolate to that as well. That's a nice change.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 11 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Patty. This is awesome. I love chocolate like most people but now I can enjoy it without the sugar. I like Truvia myself. Not only the candy looks good but the parfait is mouth watering and the hot chocolate looks awesome too. Thanks for sharing.

      Blessings to you.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 12 months ago from North America

      @teaches12345 - Nice comment! I try to avoid sugar since many of my friends are diabetic - that's a constant reminder. And, high fructose corn syrup upsets my stomach. So, stevia it is!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 12 months ago

      You had me with the mention of chocolate! I loved the spicy recipe and its one I will enjoy for sure. This sugar-free dessert will keep me legal.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 12 months ago from North America

      I hope you can grow stevia at home! That would be great and very convenient and economical. Let me know how it goes. :)

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 12 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you for the great recipes and ideas. I use stevia, too, but I'd never thought of trying to grow it myself before. I must see if I can use it here. I've really enjoyed reading this hub.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 12 months ago from North America

      @vespawoolf - Xylitol does the same to me if I consume too much at once, so I also prefer stevia. I often see cacao powder at Whole Foods and specialty markets and sometimes, even the beans.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 12 months ago from Peru, South America

      I'd never thought of making homemade chocolate. I try to reduce my sugar intake and saw that you can buy chocolate sweetened with stevia online, but it's so expensive. I prefer stevia of all the natural sweeteners. Xylitol gave me digestive issues. The hot chocolate recipe makes my mouth water. I'm going to see if I can get some cacao and give this a shot! Thank you!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 13 months ago from North America

      @MsDora - Once I did this base recipe a couple times, it went faster.

      For individual chocolates as an end result, some people take the base chocolate and temper it by rolling it around on a marble slab with spatulas to make it shiny (that's an oversimplification). That is where I might not have patience, but some people make lovely chocolate candies by adding tempering, better-looking than the manufacturers' brands.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 13 months ago from North America

      @mckbirdbks - Howdy!

      Aside from major current research I access, I was involved in nutritional, educational, and other research with 1000s of youth ages 14 - 21, a couple thousand adults 22 - 40s, and some older people. We found that many people had a little diarrhea from xylitol and an artificial fat used in some Pringles varieties. A few kids and a few dozen middle adults had a headache or two from saccharin. No problems with stevia among any of them.

      Now the really bad artificial sweeteners, I don't even mention. Many people are even allergic to them - me too!

      Have a great day!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 13 months ago from North America

      @Alekhouse - I like raw sugar, but the stevia is tasty to me. You make me want to have a Dove bar now!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 13 months ago from The Caribbean

      Making the base is a challenge, but worth it because I love chocolate. Stevia is also my my first choice among sugar substitutes. Thanks for these great suggestions and recipes.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Patty. It was tough just getting past the first photo with all those tempting treats. Sugar is our enemy, so anything that helps eliminate or reduce sugar in our diets is good news. Terrible things are said about artificial sweetners, so I hope your research is correct about that.

      As always, you aim to inform, and be helpful. That is to be applauded.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 13 months ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Patty,

      Although I prefer the real thing....sugar, that is, I must say this is an enticing hub. The picture at the top is so compelling, I had to run to the freezer and grab a mini Dove bar, covered in dark chocolate. Thanks for an interesting, and extremely well-written read.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 13 months ago from North America

      @Faith Reaper - The last time I had high fructose corn syrup in a small portion of a dessert, my own stomach was upset for two days, so no more of that! I do like honey, too -- There are so many flavors of honey out there now, that it might be exciting to try something new.

      @Rtalloni - That's a good suggestion to try Monk fruit sweetener and the coconut sugar as well. I will try them soon! The Coke Live tastes a little different, but better than Diet Coke, which tastes strange to me now.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 13 months ago from the short journey

      I would love to make the chocolate base with my grands and then use it in a recipe with them. :) A sweetener I've come to enjoy is Monk fruit. You might like to give it a try some time. Going to try coconut sugar next. Would like to taste the sugar/stevia Coca Cola some time.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 13 months ago from southern USA

      Oh, Patty, now you're talking my favorite subject!

      Thank you for sharing the great recipe. I like the natural sweeteners because the artificial ones tend to upset my stomach and my husband's too.

      We love honey, so there you go.

      I will share this wonderful hub everywhere.

      I am a chocolate fiend. Hahaha.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 13 months ago from North America

      I hope you try the recipe and let us know how it turns out with honey! Thanks for the nice comments.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 13 months ago from Chicago

      This was a very interesting article to read. As far as sugar is concerned, I would prefer honey as my sweetener over any other. It seems to be on the safer and healthier side. Thank you for your presentation. God bless...