Time to make the chocolate.
Recently we gathered cacao pods from their trees in the barangay of Libertad here on Siargao Island. After opening the pods to collect the nibs inside we took advantage of the excellent weather yesterday to dry them in the sun to make tablea cacao tablets for the favourite Philippine chocolate drink tsokolate.
(You can read about the making of this machete here.)
This morning we roasted the sun-dried cacao nibs in a heavy work over a wood fire. It takes a lot longer than roasting green coffee beans so it was pretty hot work!
(As an aside, the Asian palm civets that eat and then expel coffee beans to make the famous Kopi Luwak also love snacking on these cacao nibs. But we’ll have more on the palm civets of Siargao in a future post so I’m getting ahead of myself.)
The nibs at this point are quite brittle and crumble easily in your fingers but we had a lot to process and improvised a mortar and pestle using a rolling pin.
Now we just need to powderize the crushed cacao and form it with a circular press or mold to make the chocolate tablets (tablea).
Finally time to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. This beverage tasted like a really dark Swiss chocolate bar that had been melted into a mug. At this stage it has a somewhat bitter taste and is thick and strong. But I like it that way. Everyone else who drinks it adds sugar and milk though. De gustibus non est disputandem.
So that’s how it’s done. Drop by Greg’s Place in San Isidro on Siargao Island if you’d like to try some of our homemade chocolate or even bring some back home with you.
Hope to see you soon!