What are they?
Have you ever eaten cocoa nibs? They are basically the essence of chocolate. They are bits of dried, roasted and crushed cocoa beans. It’s what your favorite chocolate bar looks like before it is completely ground to smoothness and mixed with sugar, milk and possibly other flavoring. They don’t really taste that sweet but definitely pack a chocolaty punch in your mouth. My favorite part about them is their crunchiness.
In the world of dessert, they are often used as a garnish. Sometimes they will be used to replace chocolate chips in a cookie or a cake. (Or in ice cream, like my recipe below.) You can also buy them as a snack in the form of chocolate covered cocoa nibs or a cocoa nib chocolate bar.
Cocoa Nibs Challenge
No, this is not the sort of challenge where you do something, and I have a giveaway. (Sorry, maybe next time.) I’m still searching for a more unique incorporation of cocoa nibs into a dessert item. If you have an idea or have made one, I’d love to hear about it. If you love making your own recipes, challenge yourself to use these crunchy chocolaty delights and be sure to come back to Dessarts and leave me a comment about it. I’ve posted a more boring (but really delicious!) use of cocoa nibs in the recipe below.
White Chocolate Cocoa Nib Ice Cream
Recipe (makes 1 pint)
250 ml whole milk
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
100g white chocolate chopped
125mL heavy cream
75g cocoa nibs (a little over 1/2 cup)
Heat the milk and about half of the sugar in a saucepan until it boils. Whisk the yolks with the rest of the sugar. (Do not let it sit, mix the sugar immediately after adding it to the yolks.) Slowly pour a portion of the hot mixture into the eggs while stirring to temper it. Return the egg mixture the sauce pan and stir over medium heat with a wooden spoon. When the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, it is done.
Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl containing the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted. Add the heavy cream and cool it over an ice bath. Refrigerate the mixture for at least an hour or overnight. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker. Add the cocoa nibs into the mixture toward the end of the churning process if you can or fold it into the ice cream when you empty the machine’s ice cream bowl.