What do I do with raw cocoa balls?
August 10, 2014 12:23 PM   Subscribe

I bought a few boxes of raw cocoa balls in mexico. As far as I can tell, they're just pure cocoa and just enough honey so that they stick together. They don't dissolve and they don't seem to melt that well either in boiling water. They're a little bit bitter just eating them out of the box. Any suggestions for what I can with them?
posted by empath to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are they the chocolate paste for making hot chocolate out of, usually in disks?

The basic procedure is that you chop it into small pieces and simmer it in milk in a saucepan. Then whisk (or blend) to make sure all the chocolate is dissolved and to foam it a little. That's Mexican hot chocolate.

You may have the precursor to chocolate though. That's handled by grinding it with sugar, canela, almond, etc, etc, to produce the above paste.
posted by chrchr at 12:35 PM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I just listened to an episode of The Splendid Table on NPR on which they answered a similar question. My memory is that they recommended sautéing some salmon or scallops and doing a pan sauce with butter, a bit of vanilla, some balsamic vinegar, and flakes of cocoa, but you should listen to the piece instead of trusting my memory. It sounded fantastic.
posted by Cocodrillo at 1:11 PM on August 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

You could incorporate them into some dark chocolate baking. Pop them into a food processor to grind them up fine. If they're too sticky to chop up on their own, you could add sugar or flour (or both, depending on your recipe).

I got some raw cocoa powder from a farmers market and though it smells great, it's a little too coarse to work well in recipes on its own as cocoa powder - doesn't distribute well enough. So in a recipe I use both regular dutch-processed powder and this raw cocoa powder. I imagine this might work for your cocoa balls (ground up) as well. Made double chocolate zucchini loaf like that a few days ago.
posted by lizbunny at 1:14 PM on August 10, 2014

You can melt them down over a double boiler and add more sugar, then reform the balls. You can dust them with cocoa powder or fine ground coffee so they don't stick together.

I know those cocoa balls. Much less processed than the disks. If you want hot chocolate that isn't chunky, that type of raw cocoa needs a bit more mollycoddling first. Add a ball (or two if you want really strong hot chocolate) per 6 oz of water. Bring it to a boil, whisk it down, put it back on the heat and bring it back to a boil. Whisk it down again. Repeat. It has to boil and be whisked down 3 times for the chocolate to fully integrate. After that, you pour it into a mug and you can add milk and sugar or honey to taste. Also cinnamon. Enjoy :)
posted by ananci at 1:14 PM on August 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Last time I used raw cocoa, I melted some with butter in a pan, constantly stirring then folding in chillies for a killer drizzle to add to a salt and pepper seared ribeye. Yum.
posted by floweredfish at 5:22 PM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

You can put a couple in a blender with a frozen banana or two (chunked) and some water, milk, or other milk type product and make chocolate milkshakes. If the bananas weren't overly ripe when you froze them, you might need to add a bit of sweetener.

You can also mix a couple with a ripe avocado in a food processor and a bit of sweetener to make a sort of chocolate pudding. You'll need to scrape them off the blade for a bit at first.
posted by danabanana at 8:00 PM on August 10, 2014

Sounds like a great start to making a mole.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:37 AM on August 11, 2014

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