Jason ,can you post the recipe for the beans that we bought and how to roast and make them into lovely choc please
Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. Here are the instructions. Hope you have LOTS of fun :))))
Chief monkey at Mayan Monkey Mijas
Make sure your oven is clean so there are no nasty smells, then spread the beans out on a clean baking tray.
Preheat your oven, then roast for 5 minutes at 160C, and lower to 120C for 10 minutes.
Don´t panic if you hear popping sounds – this is the moisture being released from the beans.
Remove from the oven immediately, and leave to cool on the baking tray.
Roast time and temperatures vary considerably depending on your oven, quantity of beans and personal taste (some prefer more roasted, some less). Experiment, have fun: it´s all part of the process!
CRACKING & WINNOWING
Rub the warm beans in a tea towel to loosen the shells from the flesh.
Put them into a ziplock plastic bag, and crush them with a rolling pin. What you get from this is cacao nibs (which are great in salads, smoothies, etc) mixed in with the shells.
To get rid of the shells, put the nibs into a big bowl with high sides. Use a hairdryer (on cold setting!) on the bowl of nibs. The air will cause the papery shells, which are lighter than the nibs, to blow away.
To avoid having a huge mess/clean-up operation, it´s not a bad idea to do this in your garden if you have one ;)
At the end of the winnowing process you should be left with a bowl of clean nibs. A couple of small pieces of shell in the mix don’t matter too much, but you can always pick them out by hand if you like. The purer your nibs, the better your chocolate is likely to taste, so it’s worth taking your time
Tip – the shells that you don´t throw away can be added to infusions/tea (since they are bitter, you might like to add honey, cane sugar, etc) or popped into candle wax to create a lovely delicate chocolate aroma.
Put the nibs into a grinder or a pestle and mortar, and start to grind. It takes about a half an hour of grinding (this is a great bicep-builder!) before the magic starts to happen, and the beans start to liquefy. Your trusty hairdryer comes in handy again here. This time put it on warm setting, and direct it to the mass in the pestle and morter: the heat allows the cacao butter in the beans to melt which speeds up the process somewhat.
You have now made “stone ground” Mayan style chocolate. The texture isn’t smooth like highly ground chocolate (that takes about 3 days of continuous granite-roller grinding to attain!).
MAKING HOT CHOCOLATE
Transfer your cacao to a saucepan. Add milk (or a non-dairy milk or water if you are lactose intolerant/vegan, etc), the sweetener of your choice and all sorts of cacao-complimentary spices, such as chilli, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.
Bring to the boil gently (patience is a VERY important virtue in the art of chocolate!), whisking all the time. This allows the chocolate to aerate and creates a delicious thick froth (in Mayan and Aztec times, the single most important part of the drink was its froth). As soon as it reaches the boil and starts to bubble, remove from the heat.
Serve, and rejoice at the fruits of your efforts :))))
Congratulations: you have now made chocolate from the bean!
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions about this process.