Jamaican hot chocolate or cocoa tea as it is traditionally called in Jamaica is a delicious blend of perfectly grounded raw cocoa beans that are shaped into a ball. The taste and flavor are nothing compared to the store-bought chocolate packets sold at the grocery store.
In this blog, you will learn my recollection of how the cocoa balls are made and how to make a simple delicious hot cocoa drink.
Making Homemade Chocolate Cocoa Balls.
The process for making chocolate cocoa balls is a very interesting process to watch. When I visited my grandmother during the summer holidays as a child, I vividly remember she grew her own cocoa (Cacao) plants.
In addition, she would pick the cocoa pods from the tree when they were mature. The pods started off green when young and as they mature, turn a beautiful bright reddish-orange color.
She then cuts them open and empty them into a white plastic bucket, and they were allowed to ferment for at least 1 week. She often have me taste the beans that were covered with a delicious white succulent flesh. It had a sweet and slightly tangy distinct flavor.
Drying The Cocoa Beans
After they are fermented in the bucket, I remembered that she washed the cocoa beans and lay them on a metal zinc sheet in the sun to dry. In addition, the dried beans were then pounded in a wooded mortar made from a tree stump to form a chocolate paste that was then formed into a ball and left to harden.
The Chocolate Cocoa Ball
This aromatic ball of raw chocolate is what we use in Jamaica to make a delicious cup of hot chocolate or hot cocoa. Perfect for any time of the day. However, It is often served with breakfast.
Most Jamaicans often dunk a piece of bread or tough crackers to soak up the hot chocolate goodness. Check out the simple recipe below for how to make an authentic Jamaican Hot Chocolate Tea.
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Authentic Jamaican Hot Chocolate Recipe
Here are all the ingredients You Will Need.
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Almond Milk Creamer
How To Make An Authentic Jamaican Hot Chocolate Cocoa Tea
- Sauce Pan
- 2 balls Cocoa Chocolate
- 2 leaves Cinnamon
- ¼ cup Condensed Milk
- 1 tsp. Nutmeg, grated
- In a covered saucepan, bring to boil 6 cups of water.
- Some cocoa balls are fairly round, while some are diamond-shaped. It just depends on who makes it. However, this does not affect the flavor of Jamaican cocoa tea.
- Use a grater to grate the cocoa ball. It does not matter which side of the grater you use. The idea is to increase the surface area and consequently reduce the cooking time. Each ball should yield around ¾ to 1 cup when grated.
- As the water is about to boil add the grated cocoa powder and stir using a whisk. Some people boil the whole cocoa ball. However, this may take a longer cooking time for the ball to completely dissolve.
- Allow cocoa mixture to boil for the next 20 - 30 minutes.
- Add the cinnamon leaves or bay leaves as it is called in the US. Also, add the grated nutmeg and allow for hot cholate tea to continue to boil. As the cocoa mixture boils, some of the water will evaporate. The remaining chocolate mixture will become richer and creamier. In addition, you can add up to 1 additional cup of water to replenish the water that will potentially get evaporated.
- After about 30 minutes of boiling, you will observe that the cocoa will dissolve and droplets of oil will float on the top of the liquid. The oil is a normal part of the process. Moreover, cocoa naturally contains a good amount of fat and it gets released when it is cooked for a certain length of time.
- Remove hot chocolate from the flame. Some people strain the liquid to remove the residue. But in this recipe, I opted not to strain since most of the cocoa was dissolved.
- Traditionally, In Jamaica, hot cocoa tea is sweetened with condensed milk. Here are a few other options:The hot cocoa can be drink as is; especially if you live with Diabetes or follow a low carb diet. If you are vegan, you can add almond milk and sweeten it with brown sugar. In this recipe, I decided to use creamer. The flavor was just as good as the traditional way of sweetening. Use a spoon to taste your desired level of sweetness.If you decide to purchase the chocolate ball and make your own cocoa hot chocolate, I hope you will enjoy it.
Chocolate Cocoa Balls.
Cocoa Chocolate Pods
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