MONTVILLE, NJ – The sweet, sweet scent of chocolate was in the air at the Montville Township Public Library as kids joined Chef T of Jeremiahs Cooking Studio for some yummy pre-Valentine’s Day candy making Feb. 12.

Theresa Navarro taught the kids about making homemade chocolate using cocoa butter chunks, cocoa powder and confectioners sugar.

She melted the chunks slowly in a pan until they were smooth, and in a separate bowl she mixed the sugar and cocoa powder.

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“You could also put the powders through a sieve so they’re nice and smooth,” she told the kids. “You need to break up any chunks.”

Once the powders were mixed and the cocoa butter had melted, she mixed them into the liquid in the pan until everything was mixed and smooth. The smell was delicious.

“It looks like fudge!” one of the children shouted.

She cut apples into “fries,” and each of the children was given several apple fries and a strawberry to dip into a small cup of chocolate.

The kids had a ball dipping their fruit into the freshly made chocolate. Most couldn’t resist immediately eating their dipped treasures – then many were all in, drinking the chocolate in the little cups.

Navarro asked the kids what other items they would dip into the chocolate mixture and they were enthusiastic about bananas. She also suggested nuts and dried mangos.

“Wow, this is so much better than the chocolate chips in the microwave that I usually do,” joked library Kids & Families Programs Associate Amy Resnikoff.

Navarro’s recipe for homemade chocolate is:

  • 2 ounces cocoa butter chunks
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons confectioners sugar

Melt the cocoa butter chunks slowly in a pan over low heat; meanwhile, put the powders through a sieve or sifter and mix well. After the chunks have melted, stir in the powders. Use to dip fruit and other items. Recipe can be multiplied. Courtesy of Jeremiahs Cooking Studio.

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