Friday, September 05, 2003
Mmmmm chocolate! Second time visiting Scharffen Berger chocolate factory yesterday. The tour is really worth a repeat visit because they seem to be learning all sorts of new things about chocolate every day and each guide puts their own unique spin on the spiel. For instance, yesterday I learned that it turns out that the fat in chocolate is high in antioxidents and that chocolate isn't as high in caffeine as it was once thought to be. There are all sorts of stimulants in chocolate that give us a buzz. Chocolate is very mildly psychoactive since it contains theobromine, small quantities of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid found in the brain, as well as caffeine and tryptophan.
The tour guide shared his experiences using the chocolate nibs in different savory recipes. The cashier mentioned that she puts them in a pepper grinder and uses them like spice! I had bought a bag a while ago and thought I would try using them in biscotti.
Here is the recipe I plan on trying nibs in:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup cacao nibs
2 teaspoon instant coffee mixed in 2 tsp. hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sift into a bowl the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the nibs, the instant coffee mixture, the vanilla, and eggs. Stir with a wooden spoon to blend.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 7 or 8 times. Shape the dough into a 16 inch long roll. Place roll on a non-stick baking sheet, and flatten to about 1 inch thickness. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Remove the roll from the baking sheet and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut the roll diagonally into 30 slices, and place, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn cookies over, and bake an additional 10 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool.) Remove cookies from the baking sheet, and let cool completely on wire rack. Yield 30 cookies.