Cleo’s Clean Cooking: Homemade Dark Chocolate



Cleo Carney is a high school junior in Ottawa, Canada, and part of the Bluedot team. In addition to being an adventurous baker who loves to find the healthiest possible way to make yummy cakes, cookies and breads (healthy for you and the planet), Cleo’s a key part of our soon-to-be-launched “Bluedot Institute” (BDI). The BDI is bringing together middle and high school students from all over North America to share their progress on and toolkits for tackling local environmental projects; they’re also becoming cub reporters and posting stories and “climate conversations” on their efforts to

I highly recommend making chocolate at home as you can use ingredients that are better for you and it tastes wonderful! And it is much more simple to make than you would expect. 

Ingredients (makes 1 bar)

50 grams (¼ cup) of cacao powder (you can add more or less based on taste preference)

55 grams cacao butter (4 ¼ tablespoons)

1/2 a Tablespoon (7g) maple syrup (you can also use honey, stevia, date sugar, monk fruit etc. and adjust sweetness to taste)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)

1/2 teaspoon (5g) chia seeds (optional, but highly recommended)

A small pinch (about 1 tsp) of slivered almonds (also optional)


Melt the cacao butter and cacao powder in a small pan on medium to low heat, stirring often. Be careful to not cook for too long, otherwise, your chocolate will thicken. I only cook mine for about 3 mins and then take it off the heat before it is fully melted. However, if you want to make a thick ganache, feel free to cook your chocolate for longer and it will turn into an icing consistency.

Add the vanilla extract and maple syrup, stirring quickly using a spatula. 

Pour into a mold and sprinkle the chia seeds.

Snap the almond slivers into smaller pieces with your fingers and sprinkle. I recommend using chia seeds and almonds, as they add a wonderful crunch. You can also add cacao nibs.

Cool in the freezer for 30 minutes and then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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Cleo Carney
Cleo Carney
Cleo is a British Canadian food fanatic, living in Ottawa, Canada, after growing up in London, England. She is passionate about healthy living, limiting food waste, and finding ways to make classic dishes more nutritious and better for the environment. She is currently a student advisor for the Bluedot Institute and a recipe developer for Bluedot Living. Additionally, she runs a website,, where she showcases more of her recipes.

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