Last week, in the middle of the rain beating down on our houses, my dad decided to rescue his cacao or cocoa beans harvest from getting moldy because of the damp weather. He had previously dried the beans in the sun for a good two weeks. He then roasted it on their stove top. I just learned that roasting is important to make the husk separate from the bean easily when it’s time to remove it (winnowing). Roasting also helps kill bacteria on the fermented beans and adds a lot to the flavor. After roasting, the beans are winnowed and you are then left with cocoa nibs.
Dad had finished winnowing when I went to check what he was doing and of course I got excited. I took a whiff of the nibs and just loved the dark, earthy cocoa aroma. Instantly, I thought of rich dark chocolate drinks, thick slices of devil’s food cake, very fudgy brownies and double chocolate chip cookies.
My dad was very excited, too. The rain had not let up five minutes and he and my mom was out the door to find a place where they could have the nibs grounded. I guess, you can use a blender but theirs was broken so off they went to this place where they were able to have the nibs grounded for P40 a kilo. Dad was all smiles when they got back and proudly showed me a container of cocoa powder and another with thick shiny cocoa…paste? I’m not sure if this is what is called chocolate liquor.
Then, they decided to make chocolate drink from the paste/liquor. Mom heated some water, melted the paste, added some milk and sugar. I can’t say how it tasted because I’m on a strictly no-sugar diet. Argh. But they said they liked it. My sister also made peanut butter and chocolate cookies with the cocoa powder. I’ll try to make something too when I’m done with my dieting! I can’t bake and not eat too! That would be too much torture! As if watching them sip hot chocolate drink is easy. I’ll update this post as soon as I’ve used dad’s very own cocoa powder! 🙂
Featured Image Photo Credit: Renée S. Suen / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND