Have you ever craved something chocolatey late at night, and all you had in your house was an unsweetened chocolate baking bar? Did you know that you can sweeten that baking chocolate bar with a few simple tricks? Keep reading to learn how to make unsweetened chocolate sweet.
What Is Unsweetened Chocolate?
Unsweetened (or bitter) chocolate is made by grinding roasted cacao beans, popularly known as cocoa beans, to extract the liquor, which is then poured into molds to harden. It is sugar-free and has a bitter, unpleasant taste. You’ll need to add a sweetener if you want to use it in baked goods or fruit dip, ice cream hard shell topping, or on its own. Bitter chocolate can also be sweetened to be used as a substitute for semisweet chocolate in recipes. When the chocolate has been melted and sweetened, it can be consumed instantly or hardened and kept for later use.
How to Make Unsweetened Chocolate Sweet
Although there are numerous methods for sweetening your chocolate, I will share the two most frequently used methods of sweetening unsweetened chocolate. One is the double boiler method, and the other is the microwave method. In both methods, the chocolate is melted, and sugar is mixed into it.
Unsweetened chocolate is often made entirely of cacao and is typically used in baking. 100% cacao is usually available in powder or bar form; because cocoa butter is a component of the cacao bean, numerous beans containing cocoa butter can be turned into chocolate bars. Cacao powder, on the other hand, is devoid of all butter.
Therefore, if you have a cacao bar, you must first melt it before adding any of your favorite sweeteners. You can use granulated white sugar, brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup; all are great sweetener options.
Let’s discuss the two methods (mentioned above) for melting the chocolate bar and mixing in the sweetener in detail.
1- Double Boiler Method
Double boiling is an easy and well-known technique for melting chocolate. All you’ll need is chocolate, sugar, water, a pan, a bowl, and a wooden spoon or plastic spatula.
- Add water to the pan, put it on the stove, and wait for it to boil.
- In the meantime, measure and chop or grate the required amount of chocolate.
- Measure sugar and set aside in a small bowl. 2 tbsp. of sugar for every 1 oz. of chocolate is a good starting point. However, you can increase or decrease the amount of sugar as per your taste or preference.
- Once the water has boiled, lower the stove heat and put the bowl over the pan.
- Add chocolate to the bowl. As the chocolate melts, stir it continually with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula.
- Add sugar to taste and according to the quantity of chocolate. Mix thoroughly to make sure there are no lumps in the sugar-chocolate mixture. Continue stirring until the chocolate and sugar have completely melted and mixed well with each other.
- Once the sugar and chocolate have been combined to a perfectly smooth texture, turn off the flame and carefully remove the bowl from the pan. Let the chocolate cool naturally. Then, use it in your recipe or pour it into a bowl or chocolate mold.
2- Microwave Method
The microwave method is a lot easier as compared to a double boiler technique, and it also doesn’t require any physical exertion or attention.
- Measure out your chocolate and sugar. Place the grated or chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, place it uncovered in the microwave, and set it on medium power—Microwave the chocolate for 60 to 90 seconds.
- Take out the bowl from the microwave, stir well, and check for any lumps and the required consistency.
- Stir in the sugar until thoroughly combined—microwave for an additional 30 seconds.
- Remove the bowl from the microwave and give it a good mix.
- You can use the sweetened chocolate immediately or pour it into a sealed container/chocolate mold and refrigerate it for future use.
The microwave speeds up the process considerably. Therefore, simply microwave the chocolate and relish the sweet treats anytime you want if you’re in a rush.
How to Make Unsweetened Chocolate Sweet: Tips and Tricks
- Unsweetened chocolate is available in a variety of formats, such as solid bars, divided bars (into 1-ounce blocks), and chips. If you’re using divided bars, just break off how much you require and store the remainder. If you have a solid bar, measure the required quantity on a kitchen scale or cut it into portions based on the total weight. (For instance, if a 4-ounce bar is sliced equally, it will split into four 1-ounce portions.)
- Chop solid chocolate with a sharp knife, letting the knife do the work rather than forcing it. If you still experience any difficulty cutting a solid block, let the chocolate come to room temperature or shave it off the ends.
- Make sure there are no lumps in the chocolate before adding your sweetener of choice.
- Instead of white sugar, you can use any sweetener, such as brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
- If you have a standard double boiler, you can use that one instead of a pan and bowl.
- The double boiler method is a simple and easy way to sweeten unsweetened chocolate, but caution should be exercised when melting the chocolate. The flame should not be too high; otherwise, the chocolate will burn. It will have an effect on both the taste and texture.
- Make sure to use a microwave-safe bowl for the microwave method. Using anything other than microwave-safe utensils can cause damage to your microwave.