I have some cacao seed's now what?

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by chef911, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. chef911

    chef911

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    Hola everyone
    I have just arrived back in snowy Canada, from sunny Mexico, and I brought back a big bag of cacao seed's, with the Idea of making homemade chocolaty treat's to win the harts, of the girls that live down the hall. Now before I go making to much of a mess in my kitchen, I would just like to see if anyone out there, has used raw cacao before, and If they can point me in the right direction.:beer:

    James
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I saw cacao nibs used with foie gras on Chefs of Napa Valley on PBS. Not quite the same as a seed as it has been processed some as I recall. Hiro Sone's dish. Looked impressive and delicious

    http://www.chefsofnapavalley.com/rec...cipe.cfm?id=32 is the recipe.

    Phil
     
  3. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Cocoa seeds have to be "processed" first. What they do at the plantaions is to split open the pods, scrape out the seeds, heap them in a pile and cover them with bannana leaves. This will start to ferment, which is how the true chocoalte flavour is developed, this usually takes 10 -14 days. The beans should be a purplish/brown, then they are separted from the vegetation, and spread out in the sun to dry. This is how the majority of the cocoa beans come to the chocolate factories. If the beans are unproccessed they'll probably taste bitter with very little chocolate flavour.
     
  4. chef911

    chef911

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    Yes these are purplish brown, and they taste like bitter bakers chocolate.
    I gather that I should roast them like nuts first in the oven, then peal them to expose the nib, and I assume that I should mash them into a paste first (pestle and mortar is probably best but I don't have one any more...Maybe a food processor would do the trick)..but Before I go playing mad scientist I was hoping someone out there may have tried using them before....thanks :confused:
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Here's a pic of cocoa nibs

    [​IMG]

    Do your seeds look like this? If they do, maybe they've already been processed?

    Phil
     
  6. chef911

    chef911

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    If I brake them open yes... but they are still in there thin shell..I can brake them open with ease..should I roast them first, or after I shell them?
     
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know.
     
  8. suzanne

    suzanne

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    I'd think you need an awful lot of that stuff -- and some heavy-duty machinery -- to turn it into chocolate as we know it. Not sure how one would go about it. But I do know that finely chopped cocoa nibs are a great addition to cakes and cookies.And I love the idea of using them in a sauce for a savory dish, as phatch noted.

    Can't help any more, though. So I'm going to put a copy of this where our pastry chefs are more likely to see it and (I hope) give some good answers.
     
  9. foodpump

    foodpump

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    According to the flow chart on a Swiss Chocolate pamphlet, the seeds are shelled, roasted,(temperature, duration, and cooling methods are top secret...) then crushed under a series of rollers. Then the resulting sludge is put under hydraulic presses and the cocoa butter squeezed out. The resulting cocoa may or may not be alkalized (dutched). To make chocolate, the cocoa powder is combined with cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla and soya lecithin ( an emulsifier) and conched for anywhere from 12 to 96 hours. The conching is done in what looks like a giant swimming pool with huge rollers going along the bottom, breaking down and mixing the ingredients. This is why on good quality chocolate when you run your tongue over the roof of your mouth if feels clean, whereas with cheaper versions it will feel gritty.

    If you're ever in in Vancouver and going along Kingsway, you'll see the Purdy's chocolate factory, and they have an old conching machine in the front, now holding flowers!