With the cooler days and nights our thoughts have turned to warm and cozy and spending some time in the kitchen. Always looking for new and creative uses for delicious cocoa nibs we have been experimenting with infusing. Mmmm yes adding some chocolatey goodness to your favourite tipple, and it turns out it's easy. With gift giving around the corner some homemade chocolate liqueur is sure to be a favourite with family and friends.
I used our lovely Cocoa Nibs from Ecuador for some classic chocolatey notes. As far as selecting the alcohol goes, I thought I would try some different combinations. Vodka is a perfect spirit with an almost flavourless backdrop. I also tried it with Glen's favourite Crown Royal and splurged on some Cognac, infusing it with both Orange rind and cocoa nibs for a special Holiday treat.
The basic method is to soak cocoa nibs in the alcohol for about 7 days. The ratio of nibs to alcohol is 1:2. I used 2/3 a cup of nibs to 1 1/3 cups of alcohol. A large mason jar is perfect but any contain with a lid will work. You can add additional ingredients for infusing at this stage. I added the peel, pith removed, from ¼ of an orange to my cognac infusion.
After 7 days, filter the nibs and spirits solution using a sieve, which I lined with cheesecloth, over a jug or bowl. You can filter again using a coffee filter to remove the smaller particles. I stored the infused spirit back in the mason jar, after cleaning it out to remove any remaining nibs.
For a sweeter drink, add a cooled sugar syrup solution into the soaking spirit & nibs and leave for a further day or two before filtering out the nibs.
The nibs can be reused to infuse more of the same spirit or add liquor soaked, nibs to baking.