I never realized how easy it is to make your own chocolate. All you need is some cacao nibs, coffee grinder, and a mortar and pestle. People in Latin America have been making it since, well, forever, with a metate y mano. In case you don’t feel like clicking the link, here’s what one looks like:
Don’t you want one? I do. It’s got a mid-century modern art look to it—probably because modern art itself is often inspired by ancient abstract art. What’s new is old, and there’s nothing new under the sun, etc. etc.. But I digress. This is a gorgeous piece of kitchen machinery. Imagine making your own corn masa, then making the freshest, most tender tortillas you’ve ever tasted. Or grinding your own fresh spices for a heady, redolent vindaloo. Or, uh, grinding your own wheat flour? What would you do with one of these beauties?
Anyway, I digress again. You can read about the chocolate 101 demonstration with John Scharffenberger and get the recipe for homemade chocolate here. I made an uncomplicated chocolate sweetened with white cane sugar, brown sugar, and honey, respectively. You could also try using agave nectar or yacon syrup, sweeteners that are native to the same regions as cacao (more or less). Or try no sweetener at all, as the ancient Maya and Aztec did.
Photo by gourmetsleuth.com