There is so much that can be done with cacao beans aside from making chocolate, which of course is fantastic. Each set of beans that have come my way have inspired me to create different things. Over the past year I’ve been writing about how I’ve been experimenting with cacao whether it be making different types of truffles, creating my own Mexican Mole chocolate bar, cacao infused vodka, a chocolate scented body spray, cocoa butter based lip balm, etc.
Thanks to Juan Gonzalez at The Mexican Arabica Bean Company, I received a sample of Organics Honduran Copan cocoa beans. The unroasted beans had the characteristic sweet vinegary fermented scent complimented by a woody forest-like scent. Roasting the beans brought out a mild cocoa and almost Brazil nut flavor that was followed by a pinch of a lemony pineapple blend. This was immediately tempered by the buttery melon-like essence of papaya and finished with the initial nutty flavor.
The flavor profile reminded me of a stew-type dish my dad used to make that had peanuts as one of the ingredients. As a child, I found this dish to be rather entertaining as each bite was a surprise. Would there be a peanut? Or, would there be more than one in that single bite? Little things like that amused me. Nevertheless, these Honduras beans brought back that pleasant childhood memory and got me thinking about using them in a savory dish. But what to make?
Oddly enough, I decided on a steak. Not exactly a stew-type dish, I know, but I was actually craving a steak since I had not had one in quite some time. I kept envisioning the richness that these beans would impart on an already juicy piece of meat. Since my hunger was causing my stomach to growl, I had to think of something that would be quick and easy yet bring out the best of both the Honduran beans and the steak. I peeled off the shell from the roasted beans, ground them up, and added this to melted French butter and a homemade blend of crushed chili peppers. Simple. Easy. Done! And what do you know, it not only satisfied my steak craving and added greater depth to the meat’s natural flavor, but I also got to enjoy the unique flavor of the Honduran beans.
If you want to try this yourself, go to Mabco.ca and get some of these Honduran beans. As I’ve said before, cacao cultivates creativity - and it satisfies a wide range of cravings!
Check out The Mexican Arabica Bean Company: mabco.ca