5-Pound Cacao Nib Challenge Part I

Cacao Nibs 5 lbs

Have you ever participated in a Secret Santa exchange? Additionally, have you ever participated in a Secret Santa Exchange where the gift you received was so overwhelming, it took months for you do some something about it? That’s where I am.

Sitting in my cupboard is a 5-pound bag of organic, raw cacao nibs I received from my Reddit Secret Santa last December. While generous, I have never ever cooked with cacao nibs. But I do know this— they are delicious when included in desserts.

Cacao Nibs

For the uninitiated, cacao nibs are broken up pieces of cacao beans deprived of sugar, fat and the cooking process that constitutes of what we know as chocolate. It’s reminiscent of espresso beans in texture and taste— as well as leaving behind unslightly bits in your teeth. Eaten as-is, it has a rich chocolate taste, but without the help of sweetening, it can be too intense for some. Candied cacao nibs are another thing.

Candied Cacao Nibs

This is a great way to use raw cacao nibs short of folding it into a brownie batter. With a few ingredients, the nibs are transformed into an slightly nutty and sweet snack that satisfies a chocolate craving without indulging in a chocolate bar. It’s fine on its own but it’s especially wonderful on vanilla ice cream or plain oatmeal in the morning.

Candied Cacao Nibs

3/4 cup raw cacao nibs
½ cup white sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Sea salt

Heat sugar in a small saucepan over medium.

Stir until sugar has melted and add cacao nibs and combine until nibs are coated. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. (Mixture may start to smoke slightly.)

Remove from heat, add butter and cool on a cookie sheet, making sure to break up the mixture into small pieces. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

7 thoughts on “5-Pound Cacao Nib Challenge Part I

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  1. I quite rate cacao nibs sprinkled on vanilla or strawberry ice cream. The can also be good mixed with some cereals. In order to calm the bitterness of nibs on their own you just need something that has a little fat and a little sugar (after that’s what commercial chocolate makers add to the cacao to make it taste nice). As long as you got that you pretty much can’t go wrong.

    1. Thank you for the fantastic advice! I found that I had to adjust the sugar and butter ratio reduce the bitterness for my taste. I’m open to more advice on how to use cacao nibs.

      1. It seems like you’re doing just awesome with your own creativity! The first raw cacao recipe I was given was to take a handful of nibs and run them in a food processor till they were powder. Then add a ripe avacado and maple syrup to taste to make a light and fluffy chocolate mousse that’s similar in taste to milk chocolate – none of the heavy dark chocolate overtones. Nowdays when I make it I tend to serve it on top of chopped apples or berries. Do post if you come up with any great discoveries – I’ll be watching =)

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