Our buddy who lives in Costa Rica brought up a big box full of rich gooey chocolate liquor which he is importing into the US to be made into fancy desserts by the artsy, sustainable San Fran restaurant Namu.
Chocolate Liquor is produced from cocoa beans that have been fermented, dried, roasted, and separated from their skins. The beans are then ground into a paste which is melted to become the liquor. Finally the liquor is cooled, molded into blocks and ready to be used as unsweetened baking chocolate.
We melted the liquor in a pot, added chopped cashews, honey, some fresh raw cream, then cooled it in the fridge until it was the right consistency to be rolled into balls and coated with coconut shavings.
Cacao beans are plentiful in the markets in Nicaragua, selling for just $2/lb. We are definitely intrigued by the process and are looking forward to trying to make our own chocolate liquor next time.
I wonder…. how do you ferment cacao beans? More research needed!