Statutory Disclaimer: This is not your standard issue home-made chocolate - chocolate that is the result of the alchemy of chocolate compund (cooking chocolate), cream and whatever thingummibobs you want to incorporate into your chocolate. It is most emphatically not smooth, glossy or beautiful. But it is an honest, simple, non-glamorous chococlate with an undefinable earthy, nutty taste ('khamanga-pana' in Marathi) that commercially-made chocolate just doesn't have. I first tasted this chocolate many years ago, when Mrs. B.N. (my mentor when it comes to learning new/exotic recipes) got me a box full of these dark-brown, soft-set chcolate squares. At that time, I was too young to regard this decidedly non-traditional looking chocolate as suspect, and immediately popped one piece into my mouth. And never had any reason to doubt it again. Its true, everything DOES taste better at Mrs. B.N.'s! :) A sudden yearning for that chcocolate had me banging on Mrs. B.N.'s door, demanding that she make me a batch while I photographed and catalogued the recipe (for all of you, of course!) So here's Mrs. B.N. 's recipe for delicious home-made chocolate: Ingredients: 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (powder) - if you're using pure cocoa. Slightly increase the quantity if your cocoa has some kind of filler added 1 litre full-fat buffalo milk (any creamy milk, avoid cow's milk) 1.5 cups sugar (or to taste) 1.5 cup thick almond paste ( 1 cup almonds blanched, peeled and blitzed into a thick paste with some milk) - this is optional, but highly recommended 2 tablespoons butter Method: Heat the milk (almost till it boils, but not till the stage where the cream separates from the milk), and set aside. In a large wok (or any other wide cooking vessel, with a large surface area), heat 1 tablespoon butter. Add the cocoa powder, and roast it till the cocoa darkens, about half a minute. Add the hot milk, and stir till the cocoa has dissolved completely into the milk. Stir continuously for a minute or so. Add the almond paste and stir well till its incorporated into the milk-and-cocoa mixture. Stir continuously (else the mixture will stick to the bottom of the pan) for 5 minutes Add the sugar and stir it in till it dissolves. Taste the mixture and add sugar/milk, if required. Stir the mixture on medium heat continuously (super upper-arm exercise!) till the the mixture becomes really thick. It will darken continuously as it reduces. Once the mixture is a dark, dark brown and starts coming off the wok at the edges and forming a ball in the centre of the wok, take it off the heat. Grease the back of a steel plate and the back of a spatula/flat-bottomed bowl with butter. Spread out the chocolate mixture on the plate using the spatula/flat bottom of the bowl, till it becomes a flat tile, about 1/2 an inch thick. Let it cool to room temperature. Using a greased knife, cut sqaures, put them in an airtight box, and keep them in the fridge. The final product will be dark brown, with a matte finish and very little sheen. The sqaures might be wobbly and uneven (the mixture tends to stick to the knife!) and very plain-looking indeed. But just pop one into your mouth - and revel in its soft-set gooeyness, its nutty, earthy chocolatey taste and the faint, faint aroma of clarified butter. Bliss in every bite!