How to make 84% dark chocolate from scratch using honey

I decided to start making chocolate from scratch so that I can control the type and amount of sweetener in the chocolate. It has been a real challenge to make this but I was able to make an 84% dark chocolate using raw organic honey, cacao butter, raw cacao powder and vanilla. The chocolate does not melt at room temperature, it has a sheen and snaps. The real challenge with making this was the fact that I used honey instead of powder sugar. Honey contains water which makes chocolate seize. Another important factor in making this chocolate is that it has to be tempered. This is the process that produces a smooth, crisp and shiny chocolate.

I have experimented making this chocolate also with coconut sugar. I was able to get the same result with this but it also had a grainy consistence to it. However it tasted really good…

Next, I will try roasting my own cacao beans and really making chocolate from the very first steps.

84 dark chocolate with honey

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4.7 from 6 reviews
How to make 84% dark chocolate from scratch using honey
  • 2.5 tbs cacao butter
  • 3.5 tbs raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbs raw honey
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  1. melt the cacao butter over a double boiler until it reaches 122°F/50°C
  2. add the cacao powder, honey and vanilla and mix until all combined and the mixture reaches 122°F/50°C
Now temper the chocolate:
  1. pour the chocolate mixture on a marble slab (I used a glass cutting board)
  2. with a flexible plastic scraper or palette knife, spread the chocolate thinly, then scoop it up before spreading it again. Repeat the sequence, keeping the chocolate constantly on the move for about 10 minutes
  3. test to see if you are done tempering by dropping a little of the chocolate onto the side of the marble and if it sets very quickly that you have finish tempering the chocolate and are ready to pour the mixture into molds.
  4. let it cool at room temperature for a few hours

    This recipe makes 4 oz of chocolate. If you decide to make a bigger batch you will need to temper it slightly different by first pouring only ¾ of the melted chocolate onto the marble, tempering it until it reaches 82°F/28°C, then stirring the remaining chocolate. With the addition of of the hot chocolate, the temperature should now be 90°F/32°C, making the chocolate ready for use.

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Posted in: chocolates / truffles, Desserts

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  1. Karen February 4, 2013 at 11:46 am Reply

    I love the 84% chocolate recipe. I wondered if you have ever used honey powder. I find it doesn’t have the grainy texture, but have no idea how much to use. YUM!! Can’t wait to try.

    • adriana February 4, 2013 at 11:53 am Reply

      I have not tried using honey powder but I have read that it contains around 70% honey solids and 30% glucose and the chocolate does not turn out great… I will need to test it

  2. jamey February 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm Reply

    Is Tbs supposed to be teaspoon or tablespoon. I have not ever seen tbs used as an abbreviation.

    • adriana February 4, 2013 at 7:55 pm Reply

      tbs = tablespoon
      tsp = teaspoon

      • jamey February 5, 2013 at 6:47 am Reply

        The honey is listed as 1 tbs tsp raw honey so is it one tablespoon and one teaspoon both?

        • adriana February 5, 2013 at 7:18 am Reply

          it is 1 tbs of honey. Sorry, I corrected the post…

  3. Dawn February 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm Reply

    If your tempering the chocolate by spreading on marble slab… can you tell what the temp is 28 deg if its out of the pan ? Perhaps it’s a dumb question 🙂

    • adriana February 5, 2013 at 7:16 am Reply

      As you temper the chocolate the temperature will drop and the chocolate will harden. It is best to use a thermometer during the tempering process as well, since it is a good indication your chocolate is tempering correctly.

  4. mystikjosie February 5, 2013 at 2:56 am Reply

    This looks amazingly good. I’ll try it for sure. Just wondering if it is 1 tbs or 1tsp of raw honey??
    Thank you

    • adriana February 5, 2013 at 7:11 am Reply

      It is 1 tbs of honey. Sorry I corrected the post…

  5. Babi February 26, 2013 at 4:43 am Reply

    Where can you find pure coco butter?…

    • adriana February 26, 2013 at 8:40 am Reply

      This is the cacao butter I usually get:

  6. Jo March 4, 2013 at 8:19 pm Reply

    I’m a little confused… For step 3, isn’t the chocolate already on the marble slab from step 2?
    Also, is there anything special you need to do to stop the chocolate seizing when you add the honey? I’ve tried making chocolate with these ingredients before (but with rice malt syrup instead of honey) and I think it seized. It seemed kind of grainy. I didn’t temper it, but that happens after you add the honey, right? It resulted in a chewy chocolate.

    • adriana March 5, 2013 at 6:28 am Reply

      Jo, just put a little drop of the chocolate on the side of the marble and see if it hardens. It’s hard to temper to chocolate correctly to be honest, especially when using honey as sweetener and it takes some practice. My chocolate did not seize. Try to use a good quality raw honey that is harder in consistency if you can find it. I use this one:

      You can skip the tempering all together and just place the chocolate in the fridge to harden. It might just not hold its shape as well at room temperature. Also, I have now been experimenting using powdered vanilla and I will post a review soon. Please keep me posted and let me know how it goes for you.

  7. Dona April 4, 2013 at 10:07 am Reply

    Try and powder your coconut sugar in the blender and your chocolate will not be grainy. I do this using erythritol for a diabetic friend and it turns out creamy when I blend the grainy erythritol in the blender until it is powdered.

    • adriana April 4, 2013 at 11:06 am Reply

      Thanks Dona. I’ve been meaning to try it with erythritol.

  8. Theresa April 12, 2013 at 7:53 pm Reply

    This might be a dumb question but how is it 84% chocolate? I love grainy chocolate which indicates it’s minimally processed. I just started buying chocolates from Chocosol (out of Toronto) and their chocolates are grainy and super delicious.

  9. Hannah Madden April 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm Reply

    I like to use B grade maple syrup instead of the honey and I have not yet bought cacao butter yet so so far what I use instead is coconut oil, sometimes I add in extra goodies along with the cacao powder too like lucuma and maca powder…also nuts and coconut butter made from shredded coconut are an awesome combo!

  10. Erica April 17, 2013 at 7:00 am Reply

    Will this work with cocoa powder as well? Or does it have to be cacao? And thanks for all these awesome recipes!

  11. Sonia! The Healthy Foodie June 2, 2013 at 2:13 am Reply

    I think this is the recipe I’ve been waiting for all my life!!! Thank you so much for this, I just can’t wait to try it!

  12. Mark Sciscenti July 18, 2013 at 5:59 am Reply

    Have you tried using 100% unsweetened chocolate instead of the cocoa powder?

  13. Kirsten_in_LA July 24, 2013 at 2:41 pm Reply

    I’m trying it tonight with 100% chocolate (not powdered … solid) and will let you know how it goes !

    • adriana July 25, 2013 at 10:54 am Reply

      great! let me know, thanks!

  14. Kirsten_in_LA July 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm Reply

    It works with 100% solid chocolate … this is what I did …
    I used Callebaut chocolate … shaved/broke down into smaller pieces with a knife and weighed it on a food scale.

    30g (about 3.5T) chocolate shavings
    25g (about 2.5T) cocoa butter

    I didn’t use a full Tablespoon of honey, used only 2 teaspoons (rather than 3 teaspoons, which is equal to 1 Tablespoon) …. other than that, I followed directions above for honey, vanilla and temperatures for melting. I used a quick method of tempering (the “remove from heat/cool/put back over water and heat up” method).

    There’s a slight bit of crystalization that I notice when the finished chocolate is dissolving in my mouth, but the flavor of the honey does really well in balancing the bitterness of the chocolate.

    • Mark Sciscenti July 29, 2013 at 11:29 am Reply

      Wow, that is a lot of cocoa butter in relation to the 100%. That’s almost a 1 to 1 ratio. To me, that would leave too much of a waxy mouth feel. Usually you only need to use around 10%-20% cocoa butter. How was the mouth feel? You might try less cocoa butter next time just to see what happens. Or raise up the 100%.

      • adriana July 29, 2013 at 11:42 am Reply

        Hi Mark. The texture is actually very smooth and the chocolate melts in your mouth, not waxy at all.

  15. eva6in7 July 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm Reply

    How do you measure your cacao butter? Do you grate it and then measure it? Or weigh it?

    • adriana July 31, 2013 at 2:12 pm Reply

      yes, I shave it with a knife and fill my tablespoon

  16. Shinta Handamari August 16, 2013 at 12:11 am Reply

    Is it possible to substitute the cacao butter with coconut oil? Since it’s so hard to find cacao butter in where I live.

    • adriana August 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm Reply

      these are 2 very different ingredients and if you use coconut oil it will melt at room temperature and there is no need to temper it.
      You can order this cacao butter from

  17. Anne August 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm Reply

    Another silly question, probably, but how do you get the chocolate off the marble slab? Do you just spoon it in to the moulds or do you scrape it into a bowl first? I have been making mine with a mixture of cacao butter & coconut oil along with dextrose (glucose) cacao powder & vanilla or peppermint.

  18. Health & Organic Wellbeing (H.O.W ) August 27, 2013 at 3:02 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  19. HealthyKate October 3, 2013 at 5:55 pm Reply

    This is AWESOME–thank you! I buy my bulk organic raw cacao and cocoa butter from – it’s about $14/lb

  20. Kelly December 14, 2013 at 3:52 am Reply

    I have tried this 2x and both times my mix immediately gets thick and grainy.

    • adriana December 14, 2013 at 10:44 am Reply

      What brand of honey are you using? Is it a soft honey or solid where it won’t run off the spoon?

  21. Miss.Fanny February 6, 2014 at 9:04 am Reply

    im not sure if this has been asked, but can you use regular honey instead of raw honey?
    i have tried a recipe like this before with raw honey and i found it hard to melt.

    • adriana February 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm Reply

      I am not sure because regular honey might add more moisture to the chocolate which we don’t want.

  22. Sunny Pavlova March 17, 2014 at 6:28 am Reply

    Hi there!
    My first question is do you know how much the quantities are in grams?
    And also what would happen if I don’t temper it? Will it still turn out ok but with less shine?
    And also if I don’t want to add honey, do I have to change the quantities of the butter and powder?

    Thank you!

    • adriana March 24, 2014 at 10:53 am Reply

      Sunny, I don’t know the quantities in grams (I need to buy a scale ;))
      If you don’t templer the chocolate, it will not hold together at room temperature and you will need to keep it in the fridge.
      If you don’t add the honey, your chocolate will be very bitter, but you don’t have to change the quantities of the other ingredients.

  23. Nichole June 11, 2014 at 10:14 pm Reply

    this dark chocolate ‘s quantity is how much?

    • adriana June 12, 2014 at 7:40 am Reply

      Nichole, I am sorry but I don’t understand your question.

  24. Ant October 10, 2014 at 8:48 am Reply

    Thanks a lot, I look forward to putting my hands on it! I find 85% chocolate to be a bit too harsh on me, it makes me too hyperactive and tense. What do I need to do to reduce it to a 70% one?

    • adriana October 11, 2014 at 8:13 am Reply

      Ant, I think you’ll find that this chocolate is sweet enough. If you think it needs to be sweeter add more honey, 1 teaspoon at the time while it’s still melted.

  25. Camila January 18, 2015 at 2:30 pm Reply

    Would I be able to put this in a pipping bag and pipe into chocolate chips?

    • adriana January 18, 2015 at 4:03 pm Reply

      Yes, absolutely Camila.

  26. Jyothi February 10, 2015 at 5:53 pm Reply

    Can i use sugar9white) instead of honey. If yes, please let me know the quantity.

    Thanks in advance

    • adriana February 11, 2015 at 10:23 am Reply

      Powdered white sugar also works and the amount added is the same.

  27. Paleomadame March 5, 2015 at 9:05 am Reply

    I’m in love with my homemade chocolate!
    Thank you so much for this amazing site and this recipe!!!
    Obrigada! =)

    • adriana March 5, 2015 at 11:33 am Reply

      Your chocolate looks so cute!! Thank you for your feedback and for sharing your photo 🙂

  28. Marina March 5, 2015 at 11:54 am Reply

    oiii adriana!

    Tem algum substituto para a manteiga de cacau? pode usar oleo de coco?

    • adriana March 5, 2015 at 12:09 pm Reply

      Pode usar oleo de coco, mas o gosto nao vai ser igual e não vai da pra temperar o chocolate. Isso significa que precisa guardar o chocolate na geladeira pra não derreter.

  29. Marina March 5, 2015 at 12:11 pm Reply

    ah sim, porque nao sei onde encontro manteiga de cacau onde eu moro, mas vou procurar! Obrigadaa!

  30. Amy March 21, 2015 at 6:08 am Reply

    I’m a little confused by the measurements.

    I’m weighing 2½ T cacao butter at 35 g, 3½ T cacao powder at 18 g, 1 T honey at 21 g, and ¼ t vanilla at 1 g. That gives me a total of 75 g, or about 2½ oz of chocolate. You said this makes about 4 oz, so I must be doing something wrong. Any idea where I’ve gone wrong?

  31. juan September 21, 2015 at 8:06 am Reply

    all the stuff you make is good

    • adriana September 22, 2015 at 6:48 pm Reply

      Thank you Juan 🙂

  32. Chy October 9, 2015 at 4:33 am Reply

    I wanted to make a 70%of cocoa dark chocolate, but I could not find any recipe online.
    Would you mind to tell me how to make it?

    • adriana October 12, 2015 at 5:44 pm Reply

      Hi Chy, for this you’d need to make this exact same recipe but add a bit more honey to it. I have to calculate the ratios to be able to tell you exactly how much more honey to add.

  33. debby October 26, 2015 at 10:22 pm Reply

    can i add coconut milk?
    because i want make vegan milk chocolate with this recipe.
    and how much raw honey to make 60% milk chocolate (with coconut milk)?
    thank you.

    • adriana October 27, 2015 at 9:13 am Reply

      Hi Debby, I never tried adding coconut milk to this recipe so I am not sure it will turn out and hold shape at room temperature. I suggest you use coconut milk powder and add an extra tablespoon of honey. Please let me know ow it turns out.

  34. Victor June 21, 2016 at 2:31 pm Reply

    Is the cocoa butter measurement before or after melting? I don’t know how many grams that is.

    • adriana June 24, 2016 at 9:54 am Reply

      Hi Victor, the cocoa butter is measured before melting. I use a knife to shave a few pieces and then I fill the measuring spoon until full. You don’t have to be exact with this recipe.

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