Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cacao Nibs

Here is an excellent recipe using cacao nibs. My daughter says that the first thing you taste in the cookies is the butter, then other ingredients. The last thing you taste, is chocolate. Interesting! The cacao nibs are chopped cacao beans, from which chocolate is made. Cacao is a purer form of chocolate, having not been processed with alkali. The effect is much more satisfying when you want chocolate, because you don't feel the need to eat 24 cookies. The taste is so special and rich, you don't need as much. Organic cane sugar or other types of natural sweeteners, such as date sugar, etc. should work just fine in this recipe. Look for cacao nibs in your whole foods stores.

Cacao Nib Drop Cookies Recipe
Interesting Notes
This recipe was part of the Milwaukee Spice House newsletter from April 2005.
Modified from "The Joy of Cooking" by Irma S. Rombauer & Marion Rombauer Becker.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup roasted cacao nibs
Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream the butter, then gradually add both sugars and beat until creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda together and stir in with other ingredients. Stir in the cacao nibs last. Drop the batter from a teaspoon, well apart, on a grased cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool before serving. Enjoy!
Helpful Hints
Try substituting cacao nibs for chocolate chips or nuts in your favorite recipe.


(Picture: Te Cafe Y Chocolate, by Consuelo Gamboa from Allposters.

Quote from a candy blog: "never ask why cover anything in chocolate ... we cover things in chocolate because that’s what sets us apart from animals"

For those requests about cacao nibs, you can order them from http://www.thespicehouse.com/spices/roasted-cacao-nibs This is where Lillibeth got them.

There is an article here about why you should only buy organically grown chocolate: http://www.mercola.com/blog/2006/jan/20/why_is_dark_chocolate_good_for_your_cardiovascular_system


Anonymous said...

My husband would fall off his chair (lol!) if he knew a recipe like this existed ;). However, we do not have a wholefoods store nearby; is there ANYWAY to order the nibs?

Anonymous said...

That recipe sounds delicious, I will have to get some cacao nibs and try it!

Heartthoughts-I don't live near a whole foods store either, but I know of a company called Sweet Celebrations that sells all types of baking supplies and ingredients, including cacao nibs. You can get a catalog on their website www.sweetc.com.

Sarah in Australia said...

Dearest lady Lydia,

This recipe sounds divine! Though an adept cake, slice and bread maker, cookies, or biscuits as they're known down here in aus have never turned out the way i would like... I'll try this one (substituting 70% cocoa black chocolate for the nibs, as our local health-food store doesn't sell them. this 70% cocoa chocolate is also a very satisfying chocolate; bittersweet, one only needs a sliver to feel satisfied as opposed to the run-of-the-mill Cadbury or Nestle milk chocolate.

Loved the quote at the end, being an enjoyer of chocolate from way back (smile).

Hey, I should give you my chocolate cake recipe!!

here it is:

125g softened butter (use more if you want a richer cake)
1 cup caster sugar
two eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2-4 tsp baking powder
2 cups plain flour
1 cup milk
two very generous heaped Tbspns cocoa powder.

Cream softened butter and sugar til light and fluffy.
Add eggs (at room temperature) one at a time along with vanilla and mix in.

Add flour and gently fold in.

Add milk and fold this in to form a smoothe, quite loose batter (probably more loose than you're used to). Add baking powder and mix through. Add Cocoa powder and do likewise. it is at this stage folk who have access to it may like to try cocoa nibs (ground to a powder either with coffee grinder or mmortar and pestle); play with the amounts to get the chocolatyness you like).

Bake in a pre-headted oven at 180 degrees celcius till a knife or skewer plunged into the deepest part of the cake comes out clean.

Icing (optional)

Icing sugar
Cocoa powder (again, experiment with nibs)
one egg white and/or a little milk to get a smoothe icing consistancy.

sprinkle with desicated coconut if liked.

I use a 9"x6" loaf tin but equivalent round or square will work just fine (though loaf tin works best.

This recipe is based upon my mother's cake recipe (choose your flavour - butter, chocolate, sultana, rainbow, depending on what you add or omit).

She left to me a battered old exercise book with her own collection of handwritten recipes - When i find a transcriber i can trust with this irreplceable treasure, I'm going to get it Brailled. how many hundreds or thousands of times did I stand at her side whilst she made this - it is one of my earliest and most enduring memories. In the early years, she used a spoon and not electric beaters; I never use electric beaters - Some say cakes and other baked goods mixed with electric beaters don't quite taste the same.

Please share this on Home Living Helper (with a nice simple chocolate cake or afternoon tea picture?


Mrs. E.

Anna-Marie said...

I must get some of these. Michael Chiarello used some on a salad he made for his wife on his Food Network show. They looked so yummy!

LadyLydia said...

Thanks for those who nominated me for the Thinking Blogger award, but I dropped the ball because I couldn't figure out how to place the thinking blogger icon on my blog.

LadyLydia said...

Cacao (pronounced Ka- KYE- Oh, like Ohio,) does not need as much sweetener as cocoa or unsweetened chocolate.

Redbud said...

Oh, this sounds yummy! I'll definitely have to try this.

And thank you, Lady Lydia, for the pronunciation!


LadyLydia said...

I just learned that it is pronounced "Ka-KAH-oh" or "Ka-Cow" as in the word "cow." I may get it right one day.


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