Using Raw Cocoa Beans
Cocoa beans can be used to make chocolate or consumed as a healthy snack, but you must follow a few simple steps before consuming them.
- Sort your beans. Cocoa beans are usually dried on the ground in hot climates and sticks, stones and other debris can find their way into the bag. This is not unusual, but you must sort your beans before consuming them. Remove anything that is not a whole bean before proceeding to the next step.
- Roast your beans. Lay the beans out in a single layer on a baking tray and roast in a preheated oven. We recommend a starting point of 20 minutes at 140C for roasting your beans, but you can experiment. Roasting helps develop the flavour, kill any microbes and loosen the outer husk.
- Remove the husks. The outer husk of the cocoa bean should not be consumed. Once roasted, you should peel the beans and discard the husks before consuming them. Alternatively, you can break the beans by placing them in a plastic bag and hitting them with a rolling pin. You can then blow away the lighter shells by placing the beans in a deep bowl and pointing a hairdryer (cold setting!) at them.
If you'd like to make chocolate at home with your beans, you'll need a table top grinder and a few other pieces of equipment, most of which you probably already have. For step by step instructions, see this guide: