Chocolate Covered Espresso Coffee Beans are great fun, as mid-day pick-me-ups or as a garnish on top of ice cream or some other dessert item. You can buy a pack at your local supermarket, and you'll get slightly oblong-shaped, smooth, dark, rich and glossy nuggets that both look and taste absolutely fabulous. However, if you're a coffee buff like me, or just like cooking in general, try out this recipe. Your homemade stuff perhaps won't look as good as the supermarket variety, and won't be glossy, single nuggets in a shiny pack, but they'll sure taste as good. And on top of that you'll get the satisfaction of having made them yourself!
Chocolate Covered Coffee Bean Recipe
Get yourself some top-quality, preferably organic, coffee beans. Since these will be eaten whole in the form of Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, it's preferable to use Arabica coffee beans rather than Robusta coffee beans. Arabica is less bitter, and contains considerably less caffeine. For hard-core coffee addicts, however, Arabica may not contain enough 'kick'. If the beans aren't already roasted, put them in the microwave and keep them there for about 15 minutes, at 400° Fahrenheit.
You can use commercially available thick double chocolate, or you can make your own. You'll need to roast cocoa berries, peel and mash them in a mortar till it's become a smooth paste. The rest depends on what kind of chocolate you want for covering your espresso beans. Some people prefer milk chocolate; in which case, you need to add milk to the dark and oily cocoa paste and also add sugar to taste. Boil the liquid till most of the moisture has evaporated, leaving the smooth, light brown texture of milk chocolate. Adding other flavors is not recommended if you're going to use it for Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, because it might jeopardize the pure coffee-and-cocoa flavor of the final product.
Put the coffee beans on a baking sheet covered with wax paper, and pour molten chocolate over it. Ensure that the beans are laid out in a single layer, and not too far apart from each other. They should be fully covered all around with the chocolate. After the beans have cooled down somewhat, put the whole sheet in a freezer.
If you need glossier, individual beans, you need to use candy molds. Put individual beans in the moulds, and then pour the chocolate. The beans will be easier to pop out of their moulds if you mix a little peanut butter with the chocolate. This process is lengthier, but yields better-looking nuggets that are of more commercial value – that is, if you're thinking of selling your Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans.
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