Romanian chocolate bars or ciocolata de casa – a traditional Romanian dessert made with cocoa powder and powdered milk.
Homemade chocolate bars or chocolate fudge - a retro Romanian dessert, cheap and very easy to make. And if you would like another Romanian chocolate dessert, have a look at the Biscuit Chocolate Salami.
Only a few ingredients, about 15 minutes' work, and you will have a delicious, super sweet, and decadent Romanian dessert, something you will not be able to keep your fingers off as long as you know it's there, within reach. You will probably have to grab a piece of it every time you open the fridge, every time you remember it's there...
This is a retro Romanian recipe, something that used to be very popular in the '80s during the worst time of the communist period, a time when regular food was very scarce, and sweets were a luxury.
Finding real chocolate was kind of a mission impossible, so people found another way to satisfy their longing for chocolate. Chocolate was made with plain cocoa and cheap powdered milk, which for some reason, was widely available.
Tips for making homemade chocolate
- Make sure you have all the ingredients ready before starting. After adding the syrup to the rest of the ingredients, you will have to stir fast to mix everything properly together; otherwise, the mixture will toughen, and you will have a hard time stirring it.
- The size of the casserole dish where you will spread the chocolate is not really important; if it's rather small, the bars will be thicker (like mine), and if it's larger, they will be thinner. You will still eat too much of them anyway, so size doesn't matter. 🙂
- My cousin Georgi's original recipe calls for 500 g/17.6 oz/ 2 ½ cups sugar. I only used 400 g/14.1 oz/ 2 cups sugar and still find the chocolate super sweet.
- This homemade chocolate is plain, but if you wish, you can add any kind of roasted nuts; my favorite is hazelnuts in this combination.
And before I forget to mention it: wrapped nicely, these chocolate bars would make a wonderful Christmas present. Try these Easy Bailey's Fudge Recipe as well.
More Romanian traditional desserts
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 80 g/ 2.8 oz/ ¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 500 g/ 1.1 lb / 4 cups powdered milk
- 100 ml/ 3.4 fl.oz/ scant ½ cup water
- 400 g/ 14.1 oz/ 2 cups sugar
- roasted nuts optional
- Prepare everything before making the syrup.
- Line a medium casserole dish with cling film. Let the butter come to room temperature and chop into small cubes. Weigh the cocoa into a small bowl and set aside. Place the powdered milk in a large bowl. Roast the nuts, if using, in a pan without fat while shaking often and let cool.
- To make the syrup place water and sugar into a medium pot. Bring to a boil and simmer stirring until the sugar dissolves and a light syrup is formed.
- Take the syrup off the heat, add the cocoa powder, place the pot back on the stove and let it bubble just one more time.
- Take off the heat and add the cubed butter, stirring well to incorporate.
- Immediately pour the liquid over the powdered milk and stir vigorously.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and level nicely.
- If using nuts, you could either mix them into the chocolate before adding the mixture to the dish or sprinkle them over the chocolate in the dish.
- Cover with cling film, let cool completely on the counter and then place in the fridge until set. It will take about 2 hours.
- Cut into squares or rectangles before serving.