What a great question! Looking forward to hearing some answers.
I was at Sanchuroz in Hillary's Boat Harbour last week and tried their chocolate coated coffee beans. DELICIOUS! It was a bit of a surprise as I usually chew on a bean or two when I'm roasting and it doesnt normally taste great, and usually feels like I've got sand in my mouth... But these beans were light and crisp, and didnt feel like sand in the mouth.
Was wanting to give it a go and so I'm wondering if anyone knows what sort of bean might be best for such an application? Or if it even matters at all? The beans at Sanchuroz were small and roasted to about CS10.
Has anyone else tried anything with coffee beans to make them edible?
What a great question! Looking forward to hearing some answers.
agreed, i've thought about this in the past too, how do they do it?
Had a quick scout around and there's one website that uses Kenyan Peaberries. I'm going to naively suggest that the beans should probably have a little acidity so as to take away any cloying sweetness from the chocolate (so Central Americans and Kenyans probably work well) or, if you like the combination of chocolate and berries, then perhaps a good dry processed Ethiopian might work well. Finally if you're looking for a bit of caramel then a Colombian?
Last edited by kwantfm; 5th December 2013 at 09:26 PM.
I wonder if the chocolate texture masks the gritiness of just eating a bean? How are you planning to coat them? I have tried before but it was messy and not very successful (aesthetics wise), still tasted great. Can't remember the beans I used, what every I had roasted at the time. I put the beans in a baking tray and poured melted chocolate them. Trying to dip them individually was quite messy.
Heck yeah kwantfm,
love the idea of tasting Ethiopian HLB berrys with coffee and chocolate. It sounds like Cadbury old gold rum n raisen or something.
Kenyan peaberries hey, sounds good, like I said the coffee bean I tried was quite small, and on the packaging the coffee % as an ingredient was only like 25%, so mostly chocolate. So a nice small bean (peaberry) should go well.
I don't have Kenyan, though I do have some Indian peaberries on order, might give them a go first!
coating them would be tricky. The pour over method sounds good, almost like a peanut brittle but with coffee beans.
Failing that I might pour some little moulds and just before it sets slide a bean in the middle?
or maybe grind the bean up superfine (Turkish style) and mix it in with melted chocolate? Or inject the paste into like a profiteer role or something?
Oh the imagination is running wild.
I have made some mocha "buttons" by grinding the beans up, not ultra fine, coarser than espresso I would say, melting chocolate then mixing through the ground beans. I then dolloped it on baking paper into "buttons" (50 cent size or so) and allowed to set. This gave it some nice texture/grittiness without being over the top and tasted great!
I have also done a coffee icecream, got a 2 litre vanilla ice cream tub, left it out, as soon as it started to go soft I did as above and mixed in coffee grounds then re froze. Also quite yummy! (how can anything containing coffee not be delicious??? ) Interestingly the volume of the icecream in the tub shrank considerably! They obviously airrate it and sell us air!!! I did it with cheapish ice cream as it was an experiment, will try a tub of connuisuer or similar next.
Sorry for the OT post but thought I would share my coffee food experiments.
Near all choc coated coffee beans are peaberries as they are close to round.
Typically they all taste horribly stale to me and it's rare to get anything fresh so doing them yourself appeals.... but they are made in a large "cement mixer" type apparatus that tumbles them.
See: How to Apply a Chocolate Coating - YouTube
My kids have also tried the ground chocolate buttons (like Artman did) and that was pretty successful.
If you don't temper the choc it won't work very well.
This works for batches about 200-600g:
Put 75% of your choc into a microwaveable bowl, ideally plastic but make sure it's very clean. Make sure your choc is broken into pea-sized pieces.
Set your microwave to 5 mins at 50% power (although you'll probably only need 2-3 mins)
Every 20 seconds stir with a silicon spatula
After 80 seconds start measuring the temp with a very accurate thermometer
When the choc reaches 45 for dark or 42 for milk, add the rest of the choc (pea-sized) and stir with the spatula. Don't microwave again.
Keep gently stirring until the choc is 29-32 degrees. Your choc is now tempered.
If there are still pieces of unmelted choc when it has cooled to 30 degrees, give it a 10 second blast in the microwave and keep stirring.
Things that will mess it up:
Getting any moisture near the choc, even a little steam will ruin it
Using a bowl that's greasy
A glass or ceramic bowl is ok, but not ideal as it'll retain too much heat.
Poor quality choc is generally harder to temper (although ironically so is the very best choc). For easily available choc Lindt is very easy to temper. When making large batches I use callebaut which is great but really only available in specialist stores. For eating myself I use green & black 85% which tastes superb, but doesn't temper very well.
Thanks for the info. Excuse my lack of knowledge but what is the purpose of doing this?
The two that worked best for me (other than any peaberry) was medium Colombian (many over the years) and Nicaraguan. Nicaraguan seems to be the only bean you can also eat as is, choc coat or use in icecream with equal success. Just in case they are not all the same, Caffissimo (Perth's original West Perth boutique roaster ONLY, not the bulk stuff) and Grand Central (Bibra Lake) are the precise ones I am referring to. You can probably get them online.
Damn you, I am salivating just thinking about it...
Tempering is the process of melting it such that you maintain the crystalline structure of the chocolate so it has a nice finish.
There's no actual taste difference, other than the psychological taste difference from eating something that looks and feels better.
Ahhh, thanks for the explanation. I have been doing it wrong, I will use your method when I next whip up the mocha buttons.
Jonathon is referring to courverture chocolate, real chocolate.
Supermarkets also sell compound chocolate (buttons or melts), which is melt and set. Most 'cooking chocolate' in the supermarket,
sold as a slab, is courverture chocolate (Plaistowe etc).
Compound chocolate is easy to use, especially with children and helps when developing chocolate handling
and forming skills.
Compound chocolate has vegetarble shortening in it and doesn't quite have the same taste as courverture but is fine to use as
a coating, when starting out, without adding a more technical process.
Cake decorating shops sell chocolate dipping tools and sheet moulds to make the handling/presentation a bit more manageable.
If using a mould choose a small shape, paint melted choc into the mould, allow to half set, place coffee bean then
top up mould with chocolate and allow to fully set.
Dark chocolate is bitter, according to cocoa content, so a sweet bean is used.
The chocolaterie down the road uses an Indian bean, roasted to start of second crack.
Last edited by chokkidog; 8th December 2013 at 01:08 PM.
Not that I'd touch plaistowe, indeed nor would the celebrity chefs paid to endorse it. Lindt isn't much more expensive and is way better, in terms of readily available chocolate.
I just checked, plaistowe isn't anywhere near couverture. (Which requires a least 32% cocoa butter)
ok, but it's not compound either and won't melt and set.
Last edited by chokkidog; 8th December 2013 at 01:30 PM.