L’Instant Cacao: Bean-to-bar Chocolate Shop

If you’re old enough to remember, the Grateful Dead had a song that went, “What a long, strange trip it’s been.” (There are other reasons you might not remember things back then, especially if you were the type that listened to the Grateful Dead.) But that could be the tagline for a number of things, some as recent as 2020, the Covid crisis, and others…

If you’re old enough to remember, the Grateful Dead had a song that went, “What a long, strange trip it’s been.” (There are other reasons you might not remember things back then, especially if you were the type that listened to the Grateful Dead.) But that could be the tagline for a number of things, some as recent as 2020, the Covid crisis, and others that stretch back longer, such as the bean-to-bar chocolate movement.

I was there at the beginning of it in the United States, and I clearly remember when Robert Steinberg handed me a melting wad of freshly-made chocolate he pulled out of his pocket at a baking event, that was folded up in a little foil packet, as if it was a part of a drug deal. That eventually bloomed into Scharffen Berger chocolate.

They were the pioneers of bean-to-bar chocolate making in America, back in 1996, and now there are close to two hundred artisan chocolate makers in the States. That’s amazing, considering when Robert and his business partner John Scharffenberger, told me they were going to make chocolate from scratch, I thought it was a crazy idea and would never get off the ground. Thirteen years later, they sold the company for a reported $50 million. So if you want to ask someone for business advice, you might want to ask someone other than me.

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5-Ingredient No-Bake Cookie Energy Bites

Friends, are you ready for a throwback? These intensely delicious energy bites are adapted from a recipe I posted way way back in 2012 for No-Bake Cookie Bars, shortly after Minimalist Baker began. #memories
The concept was simple: Throw a bunch of rea…

5-Ingredient No-Bake Cookie Energy Bites

Friends, are you ready for a throwback? These intensely delicious energy bites are adapted from a recipe I posted way way back in 2012 for No-Bake Cookie Bars, shortly after Minimalist Baker began. #memories

The concept was simple: Throw a bunch of really good tasting ingredients like chocolate chips, peanut butter, and dates into a food processor and see what happens. The result? It tasted like a straight-up NO-BAKE COOKIE. Yes, the no-bake cookie of your childhood (or my childhood, at least).

5-Ingredient No-Bake Cookie Energy Bites from Minimalist Baker →

Nourishing Chocolate Banana Adaptogenic Shake

We turned our favorite adaptogenic hot chocolate into a shake! Because it’s summer and it’s hot outside, but adaptogens are great year-round.
Just 1 blender, 10 minutes, and 10 ingredients stand between you and this delicious shake. Let us show you ho…

Nourishing Chocolate Banana Adaptogenic Shake

We turned our favorite adaptogenic hot chocolate into a shake! Because it’s summer and it’s hot outside, but adaptogens are great year-round.

Just 1 blender, 10 minutes, and 10 ingredients stand between you and this delicious shake. Let us show you how it’s done!

What is an Adaptogen?

Good question, and something I wondered about myself up until a few years ago.

An adaptogen is a plant (usually an herb, root, or mushroom) that may help your body adapt to stress (whether acute, episodic, or chronic).

Nourishing Chocolate Banana Adaptogenic Shake from Minimalist Baker →

Coffee Chocolate Nice Cream

Sometimes a chocolate and coffee craving strikes, and when that happens, this banana ice cream is just the thing you need. It’s creamy, fruit-sweetened, intensely chocolaty, coffee-spiked, and comes together in minutes! 
Because I don’t consume mu…

Coffee Chocolate Nice Cream

Sometimes a chocolate and coffee craving strikes, and when that happens, this banana ice cream is just the thing you need. It’s creamy, fruit-sweetened, intensely chocolaty, coffee-spiked, and comes together in minutes! 

Because I don’t consume much caffeine, I opted for a decaf version using dandy blend, but you could also opt for espresso powder or a small amount of cooled strong brewed coffee or espresso.

We also share our favorite tips for getting perfectly creamy, scoopable banana ice cream every time!

Coffee Chocolate Nice Cream from Minimalist Baker →

No-Bake Red Velvet Cake Balls (V/GF)

Introducing a red velvet spin on our incredible no-bake chocolate cake balls!
These cake balls are infused with beetroot powder for a deeper chocolate flavor and health perks. Just 1 bowl, 7 ingredients, and 10 minutes required for these healthier tre…

No-Bake Red Velvet Cake Balls (V/GF)

Introducing a red velvet spin on our incredible no-bake chocolate cake balls!

These cake balls are infused with beetroot powder for a deeper chocolate flavor and health perks. Just 1 bowl, 7 ingredients, and 10 minutes required for these healthier treats!

How to Make Red Velvet Cake Balls

Red velvet cake is considered a Southern dish that was invented in the 1800s. Those looking for a deeper dive into the history can do so here and here.

No-Bake Red Velvet Cake Balls (V/GF) from Minimalist Baker →

Vegan Chocolate Frosting (Oil-Free)

When dreaming up the possibility of a butter- and oil-free, naturally-sweetened vegan chocolate frosting, my mind went straight to dates and cashew butter — a true match made in heaven.
After some experimentation, the result was an incredibly rich, de…

Vegan Chocolate Frosting (Oil-Free)

When dreaming up the possibility of a butter- and oil-free, naturally-sweetened vegan chocolate frosting, my mind went straight to dates and cashew butter — a true match made in heaven.

After some experimentation, the result was an incredibly rich, decadent, creamy chocolate frosting that’s secretly made with wholesome ingredients.

Just 1 blender, 6 ingredients, and 25 minutes required.

Vegan Chocolate Frosting (Oil-Free) from Minimalist Baker →

Raw Strawberry Chocolate Dessert Pizza

If you’ve ever lived in a house or apartment without air conditioning, you know that turning on the oven to bake a cake or pie on a hot summer day is not exactly a winning idea. That’s why summer is the perfect time to look to our freez…

Raw Strawberry-Chocolate Dessert Pizza
If you’ve ever lived in a house or apartment without air conditioning, you know that turning on the oven to bake a cake or pie on a hot summer day is not exactly a winning idea. That’s why summer is the perfect time to look to our freezers and refrigerators for our sweet treats. From popsicles and granitas to ice box cakes and—now—this Raw Strawberry Chocolate Dessert Pizza, there’s no need to fire up the oven for dessert this summer.

Creamy Cold Brew Coffee Smoothie

While I don’t drink much coffee these days, when I do, it’s decaf cold brew as it’s less acidic and lower caffeine, making it easier on the nervous system and stomach.
In a quest to find a more decadent way to enjoy cold brew, we created this show-sto…

Creamy Cold Brew Coffee Smoothie

While I don’t drink much coffee these days, when I do, it’s decaf cold brew as it’s less acidic and lower caffeine, making it easier on the nervous system and stomach.

In a quest to find a more decadent way to enjoy cold brew, we created this show-stopping 5-ingredient smoothie that’s naturally sweetened, customizable, and reminiscent of a chocolate coffee milkshake. Swoon! Let us show you how it’s done.

Creamy Cold Brew Coffee Smoothie from Minimalist Baker →

5-Ingredient Honey Mama’s Chocolate Bars

We’ve been fans of Honey Mama’s chocolate bars for some time now. The rich, chocolaty texture is almost brownie-like, the flavors are incredible, and the ingredients are top-notch.
When a recent craving struck and we didn’t have any on hand, we decide…

5-Ingredient Honey Mama’s Chocolate Bars

We’ve been fans of Honey Mama’s chocolate bars for some time now. The rich, chocolaty texture is almost brownie-like, the flavors are incredible, and the ingredients are top-notch.

When a recent craving struck and we didn’t have any on hand, we decided to make our own. The result was a quick-and-easy chocolate bar made with wholesome ingredients you likely have on hand right now!

The best part? They’re entirely naturally sweetened, don’t require cocoa butter, tempering, or double boilers, and come together FAST.

5-Ingredient Honey Mama’s Chocolate Bars from Minimalist Baker →

Adaptogenic Hot Chocolate Mix

Adaptogenic Hot Chocolate has become our new absolute favorite morning beverage! It’s replaced our daily matcha (which had previously replaced our daily coffee!) as it’s lower in caffeine and gets a boost from an array of stress-relieving a…

Adaptogenic Hot Chocolate Mix

Adaptogenic Hot Chocolate has become our new absolute favorite morning beverage! It’s replaced our daily matcha (which had previously replaced our daily coffee!) as it’s lower in caffeine and gets a boost from an array of stress-relieving adaptogens.

However, measuring out each ingredient every morning became time-consuming and not exactly conducive to a quick and carefree morning routine.

So, inspired by a reader recipe request, we created a simple solution to that problem.

Adaptogenic Hot Chocolate Mix from Minimalist Baker →