Dandelion Chocolate is revered for all aspects of their chocolate making, from sourcing to selling. But how often do you find the perfect mash-up of the best wintertime drinks in one? This warm chocolate nib cider is sure to warm up the chilly evenings that lie ahead (unless, of course, you live in L.A.).
The team at Dandelion recently published Making Chocolate: From Bean to Bar to S’More, outlining their extensive process, beginning in the jungles of South America and ending with sumptuous candy bars and treats being sold nationwide.
This week, CEO Todd Masonis and head chocolate “sourcerer” Greg D’Alesandre joined Evan to talk about their approach to creating the first-ever complete guide to making chocolate from scratch. Their ethics, techniques, and recipes lend themselves to enthusiasts, professionals, and readers. Though not all have the ability to source their own beans, the book shares the science of choosing beans in bulk and how to trace their origins.
So, acquire some nibs and play around with this festive drink recipe this holiday season.
Dandelion Nib Cider
For the Nib Syrup:
910 grams (32 ounces) water
200 grams (7 ounces) sugar
120 grams (4 ounces) cocoa nibs
For the Nib Cider:
910 grams (32 ounces) nib syrup
910 grams (32 ounces) apple cider*
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
pinch ground nutmeg
*We use cider from Ratzlaff Ranch in Sebastopol, but any organic, unpasteurized apple cider with no sugar added will work.
Prepare the nib syrup: Heat the water and sugar in a large pot until boiling, then remove from heat. Add the cocoa nibs to the water.
Smooth the syrup: Using a blender, blend the nibs and sugar water mixture on high speed until nibs are barely visible and the mixture is as smooth as possible about five minutes.
Strain the mixture: Pour the mixture into a fine mesh strainer set over a pitcher. Strain out as much liquid as possible, pushing on the solids with a spatula or spoon. Discard the solids that remain in the strainer.
Secondary strain: Blend the liquid again on high speed for about two more minutes, and strain again as described above. The liquid that remains after the second strain is the Nib Syrup.
Combine ingredients: Combine the nib syrup, apple cider, cinnamon stick, cloves, and nutmeg in a large stockpot and bring mixture to a boil.
Simmer: Reduce heat and let cider simmer gently with spices for at least 20 minutes.
Prepare to serve: Strain cider to remove cinnamon and cloves, and reheat as necessary before serving.