I have journeyed to the soul of chocolate and I bring you good tidings
Cold brewed coffee is a revelation of complex, bittersweet, intense flavor. Cold-brewed chocolate? Even better. (Holy. Crap.)
It started when one of my local coffee shops announced that it would be serving cold-brewed chocolate, grinding up raw cacao nibs and soaking them overnight in cold water, straining it and serving it (it turns out that there's also a shop in Brooklyn doing this).
After one sip, I was hooked, and schemed to do it on my own. I brought a bag of nibs and ground half of it -- about four ounces -- in a cheap blade grinder, then put it into my giant, beautiful Kyoto dripper with eight cups of water. The next 24 hours were delicious torture, as the office filled with the incredible, rich aroma of chocolate liquor being leached from the precious nibs with aching, tender slowness.
The resulting drink was...amazing Every one of the flavors of raw, bitter chocolate, teased out in aromatic glory, delicate and individuated in a golden, translucent drink that was not sweet, but also far less bitter than unsweetened chocolate on its own -- some of those bitter flavors must have stayed behind in the chocolate mush left in the dripper.
Next, I decided to try making a batch with my tried-and-true nut-milk bag and plastic jug fridge method, using the other half of the cacoa nibs with eight cups of water. The drink was functionally identical, though perhaps with a little more suspended solids (the cheesecloth nut-milk bag let the smaller grinds through), which, if anything, intensified the flavor.
This time, I decided to mix the chocolate. First, I added some heavy cream, which was so goddamned delicious that I found myself standing in the middle of my office just groaning and holding the glass.
Next, I tried mixing it with a good single-malt whiskey (12 year old Yamazaki), and the sweetness of the whiskey really brought out the chocolate. But once I combined heavy cream and whiskey, well, I think the technical term is holy fucking shit. Like a cold version of Irish coffee, but with Scotch, and cold. And chocolate. But...wow.
There's lots more experimentation to be done, clearly. I don't consume any sweeteners -- sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc -- but you probably do. That would be an obvious line of attack. Then there's other cocktails -- mixing with bourbon, with coffee, with various bitters.
I don't think there's much of this going on out there in the world...yet. But cold-brewing chocolate is cheap and easy and effectively mess-free. You can get enough nibs to make eight servings for $5, and in quantity, the price drops by a third. The equipment -- a plastic jug, $6 nut-milk bag, and $20 grinder, are unlikely to break your bank, and are good for lots of stuff besides this weird chocolate beverage that's done my head in.
One caveat about the grinder: the ground cacao nibs tend to clump up a bit in the grinder, but were easy to dislodge with the back of a spoon, and wiped away clean with a bit of paper towel, leaving it set for grinding coffee again.
I'm coming to Halifax to give the closing keynote on day one of Atlseccon on April 24th: it's only my second-ever visit to the city and the first time I've given a talk there, so I really hope you can make it!
Chuck Tingle (previously) has leapt into action with some of the most trenchant analysis of the Mueller Report yet seen: Redacted In The Butt By Redacted Under The Tromp Administration covers all the most significant details through an exquisitely crafted tale of gay pornography.
Sculptor Jud Turner (previously) sends us two new pieces: Deindustry ("a meditation on the industrial divinity of late-stage capitalism, and combines my fear of heights with my fear of over-industrialization") and Scale of Themis ("an imagined tool for the Greek goddess Themis to weigh possible civilizations against each other. The tiny differences in these two […]
Believe it or not, PDF files have been the go-to format for contracts and forms of any type since 1993. And sure, they’re easily shareable – but that’s about it. When you need to edit or sign a document – and you will – that’s when frustration can set in. Luckily, there are workarounds, and […]
It’s 4/20! Smoke ’em if you got ’em – and if you haven’t got ’em, check out this roundup of deep discounts on pipes and other accessories. They’re all on sale, but you can take an extra discount off the final price courtesy of the Boing Boing store by using the online code 420SAVE. Freeze […]
Ever wonder if you’re cleaning your teeth well enough? If your last dentist visit has you getting a little more thorough about oral care, it might be time to save yourself some guesswork. A lot of electric toothbrushes promise deep cleaning, but there’s a Platinum Sonic Toothbrush that has power plus the simple but effective […]