Homemade Chocolate Recipes for Decadent Herbal Chocolates

Let’s be honest here. Chocolate is awesome. I could sit and eat chocolates until every last one is gone and everyone is wondering who ate all the chocolates. I never realized how easy it could be to make my own chocolates until I found a simple recipe in one of my mom’s chocolate cookbooks. I took that recipe and reworked it with healthier ingredients and these chocolates were born!

Herbal Additions for a Burst of Flavor

After making simple chocolates, my mind, of course, began to think of the millions of different ingredients I could add to these chocolates such as herbal extracts, dried herbs, fruits, and nuts. To the very first batch of chocolates that I made, I added cayenne pepper for the hubby (who loves spicy chocolate) and coconut flakes for myself (mmmm, chocolate, and coconut are my favs!) and our new love of homemade chocolate was born!

Homemade Chocolate Recipes for Decadent Herbal Chocolates using herbs and spices

Healthy Homemade Chocolates

1 cup fair trade organic cocoa butter (you can substitute this with coconut oil but the chocolates should definitely be housed in the fridge if you choose to use coconut oil, otherwise they will likely melt at temperatures higher than 75 degrees)
1 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
½ – ¾ cup honey or maple syrup (or to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or another extract per flavor guidelines)
pinch of sea salt
  • In a double boiler, melt the cocoa butter. Once melted, remove from heat.
  • Using a whisk, whisk in the honey/maple syrup while VERY slowly pouring it into the melted cocoa butter (This helps to emulsify oil and water. Honey/maple syrup are water based ingredients while the cocoa butter/coconut oil are oil based ingredients. It’s like making mayonnaise! If your cocoa butter is too hot and you pour the honey in too fast, it will separate with the honey sinking to the bottom).
  • Whisk in the rest of the ingredients (including extras if you are using them) and whisk until a pudding consistency is reached, maybe a minute or two max. Be sure to get absolutely no water in the chocolate as this will make the chocolate have a mealy texture.
  • Spoon chocolate into molds (you can choose all sorts of molds including small hearts or chocolate bar molds!).
  • Put your chocolates into the fridge or freezer to harden up over a few hours, before releasing from the molds and totally devouring!

There are many different homemade chocolate recipes you can try out by starting with this base recipe! Below, I will give you a few of my favorites using herbs, spices, nuts and fruit so that you can make different flavors enjoy for yourself or with someone you love.

Herbal Recipe Variations

You can make a whole box of assorted flavored chocolates if you have all of the ingredients on hand. Extracts/tinctures can be a helpful addition for flavoring the chocolates. NOTE: Replace the vanilla extract in the base recipe with whatever extracts are called for below.

Spicy Homemade Healthy Chocolates - lots of recipes

Mayan Spice Chocolate


¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup shredded coconut flakes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peppermint Patty


1 teaspoon powdered peppermint leaf
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Lover’s Delight


1 teaspoon rose petals, powdered
½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon rose extract

Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice


1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder
¼ teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Orange and Cinnamon Health Chocolate Recipes - more recipes in the post

Oranges and Clove Chocolate


1-2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
1/8 teaspoon clove powder
1 teaspoon orange extract


Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I’ve always wanted to try making dark chocolate dipped strawberries. I think they’re the perfect dessert, healthy and satisfying. Dark chocolate, in moderation of course, is actually good for you and is loaded with antioxidants and fresh strawberries are… well fabulous, and if you can find them organic, even better.

The first thing I read about this process is that you need to know how to temper the chocolate before dipping the strawberries. Tempering is a process of heating and cooling chocolate to form stable crystals. These crystals then assure that the chocolate will be firm at room temperature. For a more complex understanding of tempered chocolate Wikipedia has a good scientific explanation of tempering on it’s chocolate entry.

I wanted to understand tempering better so I went to a demonstration from a trained dessert chef on how to temper chocolate. It took about a 30 minutes to temper the chocolate and while I watched I kept thinking to myself, “my readers are not going to want to do this”. She started with a pound and a half of chocolate (way more than I want to spend on quality dark chocolate) and used all kinds of fancy tools that the home cook wouldn’t have, including a large slab of marble. I had none of the tools she used and although I was tempted to run out and buy them and try the process myself, I knew that was silly and there had to be a simpler way.

This led me to the next part of this process. I did quite a bit of reading on the subject of tempering chocolate and found lots of advice.   I settled on a process of tempering the chocolate called seeding. I will go over the steps and give a few hints but before I start you need to know, even if it doesn’t work, you can chill the strawberries and they will still taste great and your guests will never know the difference. But, if you can successfully temper the chocolate they will look beautiful and you will earn bragging rights.

strawberries in basket

You will need a quart of fresh strawberries. For the freshest strawberries I recommend that you pick them yourself. Pick them with the stems still on, that will make it easier for dipping and eating. Your chocolate should also be quality. I use 77% dark chocolate bars from the local chocolate maker. I think the darker the chocolate the better.  If it is too sweet the strawberries might taste bitter. You can do this with two bars (I successfully tempered with only two bars) but the more you have the easier it is to do because the chocolate will heat slower and cool slower.

Before you melt your chocolate, wash the strawberries and dry them thoroughly. I’m serious; make sure they are bone dry. Chocolate and water will just be trouble.

temper-8-150x150Tempering the Chocolate:

  1. Break your chocolate into pieces and slowly melt about 2/3 of it in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. When the chocolate is just about melted I pull the pan off the burner to slow the heating process a little. Once it’s melted, check the temperature. For dark chocolate you want around 115 degrees F. Do not over heat! Remove it from the saucepan and wipe the moisture off the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Stir the melted chocolate with a rubber spatula, and stir like your life depends on it. As you stir, add the rest of the chocolate pieces bit by bit. Add some, let it melt, add some more. And keep stirring! The more it’s agitated, the nice-n-shinier it’ll be. For dark chocolate, you want to get it down to about 88°F.
  3. Once the chocolate is close to the desired temperature (a degree or two above is fine) you’ll want to test it. Take a metal knife or spoon and dip it in the chocolate and let it sit for a couple of minutes. If the chocolate is tempered it will be hard on the outside, not tacky to the touch, a little glossy and not streaky or blotchy. If that is how it looks you have just tempered chocolate!
  4. Now start dipping your strawberries. After you dip the strawberry, use the side of the bowl to carefully wipe excess chocolate off part of the strawberry (the side of the strawberry you will set it down on). This is so you won’t have too much chocolate or it will just pool up around the strawberry as it sits and cause you to have what is called a large “foot” around the strawberry. Lay them out on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper to harden.


If the chocolate doesn’t temper, don’t worry about it. Dip your strawberries anyway and place them in the refrigerator.


I did this process when the chocolate tempered and when it did not. Both batches tasted perfect and to be honest with you other than being incredibly proud of tempering chocolate I couldn’t see a huge difference. The batch that didn’t temper was less glossy, got a little tacky when it warmed and had less of a crunch when you bit into it. Unless you are serving a tempering expert, no one will know. It’s still an impressive and tasty desert.

temper-11-300x206 The strawberry on the right was dipped in the chocolate before the chocolate was in temper. The chocolate coating is tacky and will harden after it is placed in the refrigerator. The one on the left was dipped after the chocolate was tempered and hardened minutes after dipping.

strawberries dippedIf you are looking for something to serve with the strawberries try this fresh mint whipped cream. It’s light and the touch of mint flavor is the perfect compliment to the chocolate.

Mint whipped cream

mint strawberry dippingIngredients

  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled


  1. Stir 1/3 cup mint, sugar, and 3 tablespoons water in small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Cook just until bubbles appear. Cover and remove from heat; let steep 30 minutes.
  3. Strain syrup into large bowl, pressing on mint. Cool completely.
  4. Add 1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream to syrup and beat until firm peaks form.

Bittersweet Chocolate Basil Tart with Honey Grapefruit Sauce

The sauce is a zesty complement to the tart’s rich chocolate filling.




  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • ¼ c. granulated sugar
  • 1¼ c. cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • ⅓ c. whole milk
  • ½ c. finely shredded basil leaves
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 egg
  • confectioners’ sugar
  • Fresh basil sprig
  • 3 pink grapefruits
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 1½ tsp. cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp. water


  1. To make tart shell: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low speed, add flour and egg in two parts and beat just until combined. Shape dough into a disc, wrap in waxed paper, and chill 1 to 24 hours. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Transfer to a 9-inch tart pan, press in sides and bottom, and trim any excess dough around edges. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover dough with a large piece of foil and weigh down with uncooked rice or beans. Bake 20 minutes, remove foil and beans, and bake 10 minutes longer, or until light golden brown. Cool on a rack.
  2. To make filling, preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring cream, milk, and basil just to a boil. Remove pan from heat, cover, and steep 10 minutes.
  3. Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour cream mixture through a strainer over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Let cool 10 minutes, then whisk in egg.
  4. Pour chocolate into tart shell and bake 20 minutes, or until filling is just beginning to set.
  5. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and garnish with basil sprig.
  6. Meanwhile, to make sauce: Chop grapefruit segments into small pieces, saving juice. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring fruit, reserved juices, and honey to a boil. Add cornstarch mixture and boil 1 minute, or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and let cool to room temperature. Serve with tart (or with lemon cake).

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes.

I just had to go there..

Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes + Cooling
1 package {8 ounces} cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup {6 ounces} semisweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar


3-3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons baking coca
1/2 cup butter, melted
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1. For filling, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and 1/2 teaspoon salt until combined. Fold in chocolate chips; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, coca, baking soda. remaining sugar and salt. In another bowl, whisk the water, oil and vinegar; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
3. Fill paper-lined muffin cups half full with batter. Drop filling by heaping tablespoonfuls into the center of each. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 24-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cupcake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
4. For frosting, in a large bowl, combine the confectioner’s sugar, cocoa, butter, milk and vanilla; beat until blended. Frost the cupcakes; sprinkle with pecans.
Store in the refrigerator.
Yield: 20 cupcakes.