Sunday, October 2, 2011
54/99: Chocolate Ingots (Financiers au Chocolat)
A few days ago, I planned out my recipes for the week and then made my grocery list. The chocolate ingots called for a very unique ingredient that I had never used before: Cacao Nibs (the base ingredient in chocolate). Cacao nibs are roasted cacoa beans that are split in half. It's not really a typical wal-mart item which makes it a bit difficult. The cacao nibs were completely optional but I'm in a go big or go home phase so I wasn't going to bake the ingots without them. Since my grocery store manager thought I was crazy trying to buy cacao nibs locally, I turned to Amazon to help me out.
Last night the beans were delivered to my door so I happily opened my book to make the ingots.
I expected cacao beans to be really delicious. It's chocolate in it's purest form. What could be better? Well, my excitement was soon shattered when I put a piece in my mouth and had to drink a whole coke to get the horrible taste out of my mouth. It was incredibly bitter- yuck.
Skeptical, I caramelized the nibs as Rose instructed and not surprisingly, they turned out just fine. Of course Rose knew what she was talking about. I guess when you put caramel around anything it turns out alright.
The rest of the ingots were very similar to the other ones. You make an almond flour by toasting some almonds and mixing them into the flour in the food processor. Then you add the cocoa powder, sugar, and so on.
The most tedious part was the beurre noisette because you have to drizzle it into the batter for 5 minutes so that it would emulsify completely.
The results: I thought they were pretty. I liked the texture of the caramelized cacao nibs on top but the taste wasn't my favorite. I think I'm really coming around to financiers because I love the unique almond flour taste in them. As a result, I had high expectations since my last encounter with financiers was so great (the gold ingots). This time, the flavor wasn't as unique and they lacked the melt-in-your-mouth quality. Rose said that they are "intriguingly bittersweet" and I have to agree with her. I guess I just don't appreciate the intrigue as much as she did.