The practice of cooking cacao beans originated in ancient Mexico, where chocolate was regarded as a delicacy and reserved for Aztec warriors. European conquerors brought cacao beans to Spain, France and England, where European chefs created new ways to cook, flavor and form chocolate. Chocolate bars became popular after the Industrial Revolution, when American and European businessmen created machinery to combine chocolate with cream, sugar and flavors and mass produce the confection. You can make chocolate bars at home in a wide variety of flavors using simple methods and ingredients.
Pour chocolate wafers into a microwave-safe bowl. Leave 2 inches of room at the top of the bowl to prevent spillover.
Microwave the chocolate on medium power for 30 seconds. Remove and stir gently with a metal spoon. Repeat this process until the chocolate is mostly melted. Remove the bowl from the microwave, and stir until the chocolate is entirely melted. The wafers will not change shape until they are stirred.
Pour the melted chocolate into the bar molds. Pour slowly and evenly, filling the shape of the mold from one corner to the other.
Tap the molds on a counter top firmly, several times. This action prevents air bubbles from forming in the chocolate.
Refrigerate chocolates in the mold until they have hardened. Remove the mold from the refrigerator, and turn it over above a sheet of wax paper. Tap the mold until the chocolate bars come out.
You can add chopped dried fruit, nuts or hard candy to your bars. Use aluminum foil and printable templates to create your own candy bar wrappers.
Chocolate wafers retain their shape in the microwave, so you must stir them to see if they have melted.
Don't freeze your finished bars, because it can cause chocolate to "bloom," or discolor.