Say what? Fermented chocolate? Actually, the truth is, just about all chocolate is fermented. Who knew?
Chocolate is made by fermenting and roasting the seeds from cacao pods, which are grown on the cacao tree (also called Theobroma Cacao). The cacao tree is grown in tropical climates across the globe. However, each cacao tree produces only about two pounds of chocolate per year and takes at least five years to start producing fruit after being planted. If you are having a difficult time finding cacao pods, try Tropical Fruit Box.
Note: If you have a recommendation for a sustainable source of cacao pods, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are constantly looking for ethical suppliers of quality cacao pods.
How to Make Fermented Chocolate at HomeCourse: Fermented FoodsCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Medium
One cacao pod ~ 80 grams of cacao nibs
20 grams raw organic honey
- First you have to find cacao pods. Most of the world’s supply of cacao pods come from West Africa, Indonesia, Peru, Venezuela and several countries in Central America and the Caribbean.
- Once you have sourced the cacao pod, cut it in half to expose the cacao seeds and flesh underneath.
- Remove the cacao seeds from the pod and place them in a sterilized glass bowl. Cover with a coffee filter or clean kitchen towel.
- Leave to ferment in a warm area for 5-10 days. The flesh surrounding the cacao seeds will start to “sweat” and create a liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Drain the liquid everyday and stir the seeds 1-2 times a day. Note: When fermentation is complete, the beans will smell slightly alcoholic and will have turned slightly brown.
- Next, you’re going to roast the cacao beans. Wash the cacao beans under water to remove excess white flesh. Spread them onto a baking sheet evenly. Bake at 275F for about 45 minutes or until the beans are dark brown, dry and brittle.
- Once the cacao beans have cooled down, gently remove the outside shell with your fingers. Note: Before you discard the shells, they can be soaked with hot water and used as a delicious coffee replacement!
- Place your de-shelled cacao beans in a food processor or use a mortar and pestle. Blend thoroughly until you have a paste. Add honey to cacao beans. Mix thoroughly.
- At this point you can choose to “temper” the chocolate using a double boiler (optional), or you can keep it simple and move onto the next step below.
- Pour honey cacao mixture in chocolate molds. Place in freezer. Enjoy when firm!