Ann Reardon

How to make chocolate at home bean to bar

how to make chocolate at home
Bean to bar chocolate is taking the world by storm. Follow the video to see how you can make your very own chocolate at home. The best part is that you can control just how much sugar to add as well as any extra ingredients.

Just as there are many different flavours of coffee as a result of the beans used, there are also loads of variations with cocoa beans. However it’s likely that most of the chocolate you’ve ever tasted will have come from only one variety. Bean to bar chocolate makers use different beans from all over the world to help independent growers and to bring those flavours to you. If you want to make your own chocolate then you can also contact a bean to bar chocolate maker to source a small quantity of cocoa beans and cocoa butter. There’s a growing list of bean to bar chocolate makers here. If you’re thinking about ordering some beans, then as a general rule 115g (4.06 ounces) of beans produces around 90g (3.17 ounces) of roasted, peeled cocoa nibs.

And even if you can’t get hold of cocoa beans, you can swap out the nibs in each recipe for half cocoa butter and half cocoa powder by weight.

bean to bar chocolate ann reardon
Spread the beans out in a single layer onto a lined baking tray. Take out any shriveled beans
Preheat your oven to 129ºF (54ºC) , put the beans in and turn the heat up to 250ºF (121ºC) for 15 minutes.
Turn the oven back down to 122ºF (50ºC) and open the oven door for a minute to let it rapidly cool down. Then close the oven door and leave the beans in there for another 12 minutes.

Take them out of the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes.

The easiest way to do this for small quantities is by hand. Gently twist the bean and then remove the shell.

The other way you can do this is to crush the beans using a rolling pin. Tip them onto a bowl and gently blow with a hairdryer to remove the lighter shells.

cocoa beans where to buy

STEP 3. MILL THE BEANS Use a blender or food processor to make the beans as fine as you can.

You can use a mortar and pestle or grind the beans as finely as you can. If you want them really fine like in commercial chocolate then you’ll need to buy a chocolate melanger, but they are not cheap.

Warm the mixture to melt the cocoa butter in it and continue to grind. If you are using a mortar and pestle you will need to add the additional melted cocoa butter now.

band to bar chocolate recipe ann reardon

STEP 5. TEMPER the chocolate. Make sure you temper your chocolate before you mold it or it will not set at room temperature. You will find my video on tempering chocolate at home here.

bean to bar chocolate recipes

how to make chocolate video ann reardon

Dark Chocolate Recipe Makes two 75g (2.65 ounces) bars
90g (3.17 ounces) cocoa nibs
40g (1.41 ounces) or 1/3 cup (icing) powdered sugar
26g (0.92 ounces) cocoa butter – optional but needed if you are making by hand without a chocolate melanger

milk chocolate recipe ann reardon

Milk Chocolate Recipe (similar to the proportions in a bar of Cadburys milk chocolate)
46g (1.62 ounces) or 3 Tbsp plus 2 tsp sugar
16g (0.56 ounces) or 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp cocoa butter
14g (0.49 ounces) or 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp cocoa nibs
24g (0.85 ounces) or 1/4 cup milk powder
Additional 8g (0.28 ounces) or 2 tsp cocoa butter if making by hand without a chocolate melanger

home made chocolate how to cook that

80% Dark Chocolate Recipe (similar to proportions in a Lindt 80% dark chocolate bar)
35g (1.23 ounces) or 1/4 cup cocoa nibs
30g (1.06 ounces) or 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
25g (0.88 ounces) or 2 Tbsp cocoa butter
13g (0.46 ounces) or 1 Tbsp sugar
2g (0.07 ounces) or 1/2 tsp vanilla seeds scraped form a vanilla pod

by Ann Reardon How To Cook That


My Cookbook

ann reardon crazy sweet creations cookbook
Stores that sell my book listed by country:
All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

114 Comments View Comments

  1. Hi Ann!! First of all, I love your channel and everything you do, you are amazing 😀
    I need a little help with the chocolate making process, I’ve been trying for weeks to do my own chocolates from cocoa powder, cocoa butter, milk powder and icing sugar. I’ve watched a lot of videos and it looks like this is the best way of doing it, but! I need recommendation on brands of Icing sugar and powdered milk, this two have caused me a lot of trouble.
    In one of your videos you mentioned that we should use pure icing sugar and not sugar with corn starch but I’ve searched and bought different kinds and they all seem to have corn starch because my chocolates turn out with a grainy texture. I’ve tried grinding it further, straining it, but it’s always grainy. Or might this be occasioned by something else?
    Also, I tried the milk powder for milk chocolate but it made it even more grainier, witch brand do you recommend for this?

    I’d really really appreciate your comments and recommendation, I’m really invested in this since I have an idea for a business but I really need to make a good chocolate first, hope you have a chance to help me with your insights, I’m desperate haha I can’t make it work and already spend a lot on ingredients.

  2. Hi Ann, I love watching you get creative every week! Instead of the mortar and pestle can I use a coffee grinder? Thanks

    • Hi Lisza, You can try it.

  3. Hi Ann!
    I m a huge fan of your creativity, more than your cooking, sorry for that, but i think cooking is not as difficult as the creative cooking is. Your recipes looks too tempting and creative to resist. I have a question, and i request you to please answer it. I want to make chocolate at home and want to mould them creatively. But all i have is cacao powder, coconut oil and sugar, actually i m a vegan. Can you please help me in making chocolate, its my husband’s birthday and I want to make it for him. Please help me.

    • Hi Rashmi, We would love to help but Ann hasn’t yet experimented with a vegan version. If you have a go, then let us know how it turns out.

    • Hi Rashmi,

      I have used coconut oil to replace cocoa butter before. It works about the same…anyway dark chocolate is vegan so you should be able to make that.

  4. Hi Ann,

    How can you tell if your cocoa beans are raw?
    Can you plz answer this?


    • They have a reddish tinge, they are firm, and you can’t break the shell. Ann said this at the beginning of the video (0:39 – 0:44).

  5. Hi Ann! I’m confused on how to make the milk chocolate. It doesn’t seem to have instructions… Thanks, Sasha

    • Hi Sasha, the instructions are in the video. You basically blend the ingredients together!

      • Hi Ann
        Do you have to grind and blend the nibs before you mix the ingredients together in the milk chocolate recipe

  6. Where can I get the chocolate molds? Should I get them on Amazon or another site?

  7. does every chocolate should be neutralized before its molded in to bar?

  8. heyya ann
    do u have to use cocoa butter? I cant find cocoa butter anywhere and I was wondering if there was a substitute for it?

    • Hi Julia, you have to use cocoa butter or make your own as this is what chocolate is created from.

    • I don’t know if you have found the cocoa butter yet, but I wanted to let you know I found mine in the beauty section of the whole foods market. It is also available on amazon.

  9. Hi Ann, can you show me how to make white chocolate?

  10. Hi, love your videos. I was wondering, if I wanted to substitute cacao nibs with cocoa powder, what would be the cocoa powder/cocoa butter ratio to achieve the best results? Thank you!

    • Hi Barb, The cocoa nibs are roughly around 50% cocoa butter and 50% powder. So if we adjust the proportions to make it work it should be 4 metric tablespoons of cocoa butter to about 6 tablespoons of the unsweetened cocoa powder plus the sugar etc. That is 1/4 metric cup of cocoa butter and about 0.4 of a metric cup. 2 parts cocoa butter to 3 parts cocoa powder. Hope that is helpful.

  11. Hi Ann! I’ve watched a video about tempering. But how to temper it after step 4? It’s already a liquid.

    • Hi Diana, it will depend on the method you wish to use. If you plan to use tabling, you can move to straight to that method. If you plan to use the freeze dried cocoa butter method. You will need to use a thermometer and let it cool to the right temperature. If you need more information on this, use this page:

  12. Hi, Ann,

    I’m new to your site (just discovered it today!), and I have a kinda weird, kinda exciting question for you: What would the chocolate taste like if you were to use sheep milk or something more exotic (if you could get it), like reindeer milk? In other words, milk that has a higher butterfat content. Would increased butterfat have the same effect in chocolate that it does in ice cream (i.e.: would it make the chocolate tastier)?

    I have two other questions for you (don’t worry, they’re not as weird as the first one! lol): 1) Would water that is distilled (purified with reverse osmosis water filtration) contribute to the flavor of the chocolate by eliminating impurities from the final product? And 2) Do you have a favorite sugar, butter, and cocoa bean that you prefer to use when you make chocolate?

    Thanks very much!


    • Hi Wayne, You use milk powder when creating chocolate like this, so using a high fat milk won’t be of assistance. You don’t use water in this using distilled water would not be of assistance either..

  13. Can I use vegetable shortening instead? I don’t want to temper the chocolate, but will the flavor be the same?

    • Hi Ellie, If you replace the cocoa butter with vegetable shortening, you will make fake chocolate or compound chocolate. The flavour and texture will not be as good but it will taste of chocolate. You won’t be able to temper it in that case.

  14. Hi Ann, I am new to your site and am inspired by all your goodies here. I wondered if I could ask you to do a chocolate video for coffee chocs, as they are may favourite and I can’t seem to get it right. Thanking you in advance 🙂

  15. With the milk chocolate recipe, can I substitute cocoa powder for the nibs?

    • Hi Beth, no you can’t substitute in that way.

  16. Is it possible to substitute the cacaonibs and cocoapowder for cacao substance? If so, what quantity would you recommend using?

    • Hi Olivia, we can’t obtain that product here, so can’t advise you.

  17. Hello Mrs.Reardon
    I have a speech coming up and I’d like to use your chocolate video how to since my speech is about making chocolate. I hope it is okay with you that I use it as a reference for my speech. And I’d like to know if dietician is your title because I need to include that since I’m using your info as facts. Hope to get a reply from you if you see this ! Please and thank you 🙂

    • Hi Michelle, That is fine. Ann is happy for you to refer to her as a Dietician.

  18. Dear Ms. Ann Reardon,
    Hi, I wanted to thank you for all the marvelous videos you have posted on YouTube over the years. All of your videos are spectacular, they give the viewers such a detailed process of how to recreate your masterpieces at home, as well as, enjoyable entertainment. Ever since I first subscribed to your channel I knew that I wanted to be a pastry chef, but it was not after I watched you that I definitely knew that I had to make my dream into a reality. I am a huge fan of HowToCookThat. Videos/recipes like this one, how to make chocolate at home bean to bar, in particular, are very informative and interesting to watch. For some bizarre reason, I believed that cocoa nibs were not part of a cocoa bean, turns out cocoa nibs are just crushed up, roasted cocoa beans. I cannot wait to make my own chocolate bars from scratch. Have you tried mixing up the beans in a batch? I wonder what flavor half Mexican cocoa beans and half Peruvian cocoa beans make. Thanks again, keep making videos you are amazing.
    Alexis Jimenez Rubio
    P.S. I live in the United States and I love your Australian accent.

    • Thats fantastic Alexis. Ann loves to hear the stories of subscribers like you. All the best with your career plans.

  19. Hi, i looked at you video on how to make chocolate and i was wondering how you calculate the percentage of chocolate in a bar like the Peruvian that you say is 80%? by the way i like your video,

    • Hi Nevio, Normally the quantity of cocoa butter will be listed on the ingredients on the wrapper, usually as a percentage.

  20. What happens if I followed the recipe, yet the chocolate didn’t work.Could you please help?
    p.s. I loved how you included peruvian cocoa nibs, as I am from there.
    p.p.s. I am also Australian

    • Hi M.C.choclaterie. What exactly didn’t work and which recipe were you using?

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