Recipe provided by Chef Crusco Catering in Austin, Texas
- Sugar – white or in the raw
- Take your Cacao and soak them in some water for 1 minute. This small step allows the shell to steam when toasted making it easier to peel and get the cacao seeds.
- Using a Comal or Sauté Pan, toast the Cacao on med-high heat for a good 15-20 minutes until you start to hear the shells popping. Immediately remove from the heat and place them into a bowl.
- Once the Cacao is cool to the touch, start removing the shells to get the seeds inside. An optional step is to toast the seeds for an additional 2-3 minutes but it is not necessary. The toasting process essentially intensifies the chocolate aromas and flavors.
- Note: The Shells can be boiled for 30 minutes to create a very aromatic Chocolate Stock which can then be used for cocktails and teas. The Seeds can be broken into small pieces known as Cacao Nibs which are great when used as a topping for cupcakes, sorbet and ice cream.
- Normally a Molcajete (a large stone mortar and pestle) that is like a desk top is used here. The stone rolling pin is then used to grind the seeds first into a fine powder and then into a paste. Since I and most cooks do not have this equipment we have to improvise. After testing different methods, I found that using multiple pieces of equipment was the best way to get the final product needed.
- First, place the seeds into a food processor and blend until the seeds resemble sand in texture.
- Then (a little at a time) place the ground seeds into a coffee grinder and process until you reach a finer consistency almost like a flour or powder.
- Using the coffee grinder, process the raw sugar & cinnamon sticks until both are like a fine powder.
- Then (using a small/basic mortar and pestle) add some cocoa powder, sugar and cinnamon into the mortar and grind it down with the pestle. This part may take a good 5-10 minutes of elbow grease but it is well worth it.
- You will start to notice the cocoa mixture will turn from a powder into a paste. Keep grinding down until you get the consistency of toothpaste. You can then form the chocolate paste into discs and let them air dry before wrapping in Saran wrap to store.
- These Chocolate discs can then be used to make all kinds of Chocolate desserts. Enjoy!