Roasting raw cocoa beans might sound intimidating, but it’s actually an easy process that anyone can perform at home. Roasting your own cocoa beans can lead to making your homemade chocolate or cocoa nibs. Cocoa beans are roasted to develop the flavor, kill the bacteria, reduce the moisture and loosen the outer shell.
The best part of this process is that you learn not only the way chocolate can be made but you also get amazed with the most amazing smell while roasting the raw cocoa beans. The smell to be more specific is very similar to the freshly baked fudge brownies coming right out of the oven. If you are like us, you can only dream for this smell to stay forever in your kitchen.
Why and how exactly do we roast the raw cocoa beans?
Every chocolate developer has their unique way of roasting cocoa beans and as such, can determine the roasting temperature, the length of time of each roast and the tools used. There are many variables that contribute to the final flavor of the chocolate and so it is up to you to experiment and taste different roasts until you find a formula that makes you happy.
Let’s get into the process of roasting raw cocoa beans.
We started by adding 2 cups or raw cocoa beans into a cast iron pan.
Place the pan into the oven at 275 Fahrenheit. Roast for 5 minutes. Turn down the heat to 250 Fahrenheit. Continue to roast the beans for another 20 to 25 min. Meanwhile keep checking to make sure the beans are not burning or turning black in color.
Darker roasted beans have more of a stronger and bitter chocolate taste, on the other hand, lighter beans in color have more of a fruity, citrusy flavor. None of these flavors are wrong, it all depends what flavor you are looking for and what makes you happy.
After the roasting process is complete, let the beans rest and cool for a while. When the beans cooled down, you can start peeling off the outer shell/skin and place them in a clean bowl. After peeling all the beans, once at room temperature eat the cacao - they will be crunchy. The flavor profile changes when they are steamed versus eating them oven roasted. You can also use a wooden spoon or wooden tool to crush the cocoa beans into cocoa nibs.
See product page to learn how to steam the cacao nibs using a microwave.
Enjoy cocoa nibs every day, sprinkle them on oatmeal bowls or smoothie bowls of your choice.