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.
Ken "Popehat" White (previously), a former Federal prosecutor turned criminal defense attorney, has some excellent advice for all you newbie law-students who are just starting your law school career.
Laser cutters and 3D printers revive century-old a magic lantern show of Erewhon at the Edinburgh Fringe
James Coutts writes, "Indiana University Victorian Studies PhD candidate Mary Borgo Ton assembled an international group of artists/makers, a media archaeologist, laser cutters and 3D printers to create magic lantern slides that have not been made in 100 years for a show running in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe called Erewhon: "An antique magic lantern projector, […]
Back in 1972-3, Disney ran a short-lived variety show called The Mouse Factory that intercut classic animation with live action, framed by celebrity hosts that kind of threaded it all together into a mashed-up, loose storyline.
The Adobe Creative Cloud suite is the foundation on which many creatives build their careers, but some of its programs, like Photoshop and InDesign, are notoriously complex, making it difficult for aspiring designers, photographers, and the like to break into their field. But, don’t get discouraged. The Pay What You Want: Adobe CC A-Z Lifetime Bundle […]
From self-driving cars to Siri, we’ve already gotten a taste of what AI can do, and now this groundbreaking technology is making its way to education and revolutionizing the way we learn new languages. Mondly uses state-of-the-art speech recognition to help you speak foreign languages like a true local. Lifetime subscriptions are on sale for […]
We’ve all used Excel at some point in our careers, but chances are most of us have only scratched the surface of what this ubiquitous program can do. From automating simple tasks to presenting data through beautiful charts and PivotTables, Excel brings a ton of utility to the table that can make a huge impact […]