On Thursday evening, September 26, I attended a chocolate-making demonstration at Mococha, Marie-Hélène Gantois’ shop on rue Mouffetard. She had invited chocolate-maker Rémi Henry to show how to grind fresh-roasted cocoa beans and then prepare a delicious hot chocolate from them.
All it takes is patience. First you roast some raw cocoa beans in a frying pan (this was not demonstrated, due to safety concerns and time constraints). Then, when they are cool you husk them.
Rémi took the husked beans, placed them on a stone slab, and proceeded to crush them. He added sugar to sweeten.
The crushed beans eventually formed a paste, which Rémi distributed to taste.
Freshly-ground cocoa beans that have been roasted at low temperatures have a wonderful earthy flavor. It is a rare occasion indeed to get the opportunity to experience this!
One of the attendees tried his hand at grinding cocoa beans with a hand-cranked grinder. It requires a lot of strength! He received a little help from his dad.
I couldn’t stay for the rest of the demonstration, but returned a couple of days later to sample the hot chocolate. Made with fresh-ground cocoa beans, sugar, cinnamon, and pepper, it tastes best when it is reheated several times and allowed to sit for two days. Made without milk or cream, it is a delicious restorative beverage!
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