I don’t know about you, but I personally love dark chocolate. On a recent trip to Bali with my family, we visited a chocolate farm and learnt how chocolate is made. The kids loved the activity and as a bonus they got to take home their handmade chocolate bars.
So what is Cacao?
Cacao, cocoa, the “food of the gods” has many names. We normally know them as the key ingredient in chocolates.
Cacao is a pod (fruit) that has a rough, leathery rind about 2 to 3 cm thick that is filled with a sweet pulp which has a lemonade-like taste. Enclosed within the pod are 30 to 50 large seeds (also known as whole beans/cacao beans) that are fairly soft and a pale lavender to dark brownish purple colour.
To make 1 kg of chocolate, depending on the desired cocoa content about 300 to 600 beans are processed. The cocoa beans are roasted, cracked and de-shelled. The resulting pieces of beans are called cocoa nibs.
Cocoa nibs are then ground, using various methods into a thick creamy paste called chocolate liquor. The chocolate liquor is then further processed into chocolate by mixing with cocoa butter and sugar.
Alternatively, this ‘liquor’ can also be processed to create cocoa powder and cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is used to manufacture chocolate bars, other confectionary, soaps and cosmetics.
In general, cocoa is considered to be a rich source of antioxidants and flavonoids, which may impart anti-aging properties as well as cardiovascular health benefits.
We met with the team at Akademi bar, Katamama hotel in Bali and learned more about use of chocolate in a cocktail recipe, see it for yourself in recipe below.
Cocktail Recipe – Xocolatlātl
30ml Chocolate and Vanilla Tequila
30ml Chocolate Arak
1 bar spoon of Mountain Bitters
1 Egg yolk
10ml Melted dark chocolate
30ml Unfiltered Dark Wheat Beer and Vanilla reduction
Freshly grated dark chocolate
All ingredients are shaken together then poured over large rocks of ice and garnished.
Bartender’s note: Have you ever tried Hot Chocolate with a shot of whisky or rum? A guilty pleasure for adults!