COOKING WITH 100% CACAO
100% cacao is the ultimate chef’s weapon. The key is in the name, 100% cacao means it has no sugar in it. This is why you are using it in savoury recipes.
The trick in savoury recipes is to use cacao as a condiment, and how much you use depends to a degree on personal taste, as with salt and pepper. It is a building block of flavour, adding richness and depth of flavour. It also adds a wonderful shine to your sauces because of its cocoa butter.
There are three ways to use cacao in savoury recipes. I keep my cacao cylinder by my cooker because I use it so much!
On it. Every morning I have fried eggs on avocado toast. I put a heavy grating of 100% cacao over the top, with a dash of chilli. You can do the same with risottos and the cacao simply brings out the flavours in your dish.
In it. With rich meat dishes like casseroles, stews or pasta sauces you want to add a small “cherry sized” lump while you are cooking. Venison stew. Spaghetti Bolognese and chilli con carne are classics.
Add it. But if you only do one thing with cacao, put it in your gravies on special occasions like Christmas Day. It will make all the difference. You’ll have super impressive shiny, dark, rich gravy that could have come out of one of the finest restaurants. Simply lop off a cherry sized chunk and stir it in at the end to give it depth, colour and shine.