So, I've been hearing a lot about Brewed Chocolate lately, but we can't get it in the UK. I looked on line and discovered that it's just concentrated chocolate tea. As in, just cocoa beans and water (and of course sugar, which I'm glad to do without in this case, because it is tediously overused in just about everything... I could rant about this for days). I thought, sheesh, how hard can it be to brew chocolate? So I did. And it's yum. It was super easy. Easy, I tell you! And depending how much you pay for your cocoa nibs, it's about 10 times cheaper than buying the stuff. Plus, you don't have to put up with somebody else oversweetening your drink. Win.
1 heaped cup cocoa nibs 1 L water
Place in pot. Simmer until reduced by half. At this point, you can (optionally) add spices. I used about half a cinnamon stick, 2 cloves and 2 green cardamom pods and a few whole black peppercorns. Continue simmering until you have about 150mL of liquid left... in my pot this was just enough to barely cover the nibs. Strain liquid into a glass jar. Keeps in the fridge for, uh, a long time. I used it up before I discovered how long.
To use: use 1-3 tbs of concentrate for 1 cup of hot water. Add sweetener to taste (I don't add any). Sip. Feel sophisticated.
The strength and bitterness of the concentrate depends both on how much you reduce the liquid and the quality/taste of your cocoa nibs. I get my cocoa nibs from here, a source that I highly recommend for anyone in the UK. It's pretty much the best unprocessed chocolate beans/nibs/liquor that I've found anywhere, and very reasonably priced for what you're getting. Plus, it comes packed with little heart confettis. As usual, when buying chocolate/cocoa products, make sure that slaves weren't used to get them to you.
When you're done, don't throw out the cocoa nibs! Nooooooo! You can use them in cookies, brownies, cakes, pancakes, or mole sauce (grind them up for the mole). Or, you can throw them in the blender with 1/2cup of almond or hazelnut (or other nut) butter and some agave, or with 1/2 cup - 1 cup of apple, pear or pumpkin butter (you won't need agave for those, and the pear is divine, especially if you a hint of cardamom, while the pumpkin is nice with cloves and black pepper, and you can actually use it for really decadent pie filling if you want) and make your very own chocolate spread. You can give this to people as presents and they will be very very impressed. Or...you can use them ground up in any of my savory chocolate recipes on this blog. Or you can just eat them with a spoon.