October 16, 2020

5 Fun and Creative Cacao Powder Recipes

By Khaila Gentle

Did you know? There are plenty of ways to prepare and consume cacao. We covered a few of them in this previous article.

To show just how easily cacao can be integrated into your daily life, we’ve come up with five more recipes. These five cacao powder recipes cover foods both sweet and savory. And they'll make it that much easier for you to find a chocolate-based recipe that’s perfect for your tastes.

Recipes provided by Kristell Gathoye.

1. Chocolate, Yogurt, and Granola Breakfast Bowl

Vegetarian | Prep Time: 10 min | Level: Easy | Makes 1 bowl

Granola breakfast bowls have become quite popular lately and with good reason. They’re delicious, easy to make, and completely customizable. Make your breakfast bowl even tastier with a few teaspoons of cacao powder—which also means an added boost in energy and mood.

Start your morning right with a quick and nutritious chocolate and granola breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tsps. of T.cacao powder
  • A handful of plain Granola
  • 4 Tbsps. of Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ ripe banana
  • A few raspberries
  • A handful of mixed nuts (unsalted)
  • A few dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp. of Almond butter

Recipe:

  1. Combine the yogurt and cacao powder. Whisk until well combined.
  2. Place the granola in your morning bowl.
  3. Top with the yogurt and cacao mix. Add a little sugar if you wish.
  4. Place the toppings to form beautiful lines and contrasts of colors. We do eat with our eyes as well.

Recipe Tips:

  • Add a drizzle of honey over the top if you want to accentuate the sweetness a little.
  • Mix it up: Use any nuts or dried fruits you have on hand but try to keep a balance of flavors. For example, cranberries are a bit sour and balance the sweetness of bananas.
  • Make it vegan by using dairy alternative yogurt.
Chocolate, Yogurt, and Granola Breakfast Bowl Recipe | To'ak Chocolate

     2. Melt in the Middle Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Vegetarian | Prep Time: 30 min | Freeze Time: 1h for the inserts
    Refrigerate: 1h | 
    Bake: 10-12min | Level: Easy | Makes 10 large cookies

    Chocolate chip cookies are a tried and true classic. With just a bit of almond butter (or, if you prefer, chocolate spread), this recipe combines the comforting familiarity of chocolate chip cookies with the rich decadence of a lava cake.

    These cookies are best eaten fresh—that way you get to enjoy the warm melted center.

    Ingredients:

    • 75g Self-rising flour
    • 15g 100% T.cacao powder
    • 30 g Sugar
    • 30 g Brown sugar
    • 1 pinch of salt and 1 pinch of baking soda
    • 50g Unsalted butter (softened, not melted)
    • ½ beaten egg
    • 90g of dark chocolate chips
    • 5 Tsp of almond butter (or chocolate spread)

    Recipe:

    1. Place tablespoon sized amounts of your favorite spread (almond butter is used in this recipe) on a piece of parchment paper. You can also spoon them into half-sphere molds. Freeze overnight or for at least 1h.
    2. Make the cookie dough: Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, Cacao powder, sugars, salt, and baking soda).
    3. Add the softened butter.
    4. Add the egg. Mix all together until it forms a soft dough.
    5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
    6. Place the dough onto some plastic film and roll it into a cylinder. Refrigerate for 1h.
    7. Preheat the oven to 165°C.
    8. Cut the chilled dough into slices about 0.5 cm thick. Lay ½ the circles on a baking sheet. Flatten them a little with your hand, especially in the middle.
    9. Place 1 frozen almond butter ball in the middle of each circle.
    10. Cover them with the rest of the dough circles and use your fingers to seal the edges.
    11. Bake for 10-12 min. When they’re out of the oven, wait for a little before moving them off the sheet as they will still be very soft. Then, transfer onto a cooling rack.

    Recipe Tips:

    • Make it fruity: You can also use fruit jelly inserts instead of nut/chocolate pastes.
    • Energy Kick: Add a bit of diluted instant coffee to compliment the cacao flavor.
    • Go nuts: Add chopped hazelnuts with or instead of the chocolate chips.
    Melt in the Middle Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe | To'ak Chocolate

       3. Chocolate and Peanut Butter Tart

      Vegetarian | Prep Time: 45 min | Set time: 1h | Baking time: 20 min
      Level: Advanced | Makes one 16cm tart (4-6 portions)

      Give a beloved childhood treat an elegant upgrade with this chocolate and peanut butter tart recipe. At about 16cm (6 inches), it’s big enough to share with all your closest friends or family.

      Shortcrust Ingredients:

      • 85g Flour
      • 45g Cold butter cut into small squares
      • 30g Icing sugar
      • 15g Egg (⅓ egg)
      • Pinch of salt

      Filling Ingredients:

      • 2 Tbsps. Peanut butter
      • 65g Single cream
      • 65g Semi-skimmed milk
      • 30g Sugar
      • 25g Egg yolk (1.5 egg yolk)
      • 70g 100% T. Cacao powder

      Recipe:

      1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
      2. Place the flour, icing sugar, salt, and cold butter in a bowl. Mix with cold hands by coating the butter in the flour until a sandy texture forms. Be careful not to melt the butter.
      3. Once you have an even sandy mix, add the egg and make a dough. Flatten slightly into a disk shape and place in the freezer.
      4. After 10-15 minutes, roll the pastry out and place it into your tart mold. (I use a 16cm diameter mold). Prick some holes on the bottom with a fork and bake on a baking sheet for 20 minutes or until cooked through and slightly golden on the edges.
      5. Once the crust has cooled a little, spread peanut butter on the bottom of the crust. Place it in the fridge.
      6. Bring the cream and milk to a light boil. During this time, mix the sugar and the egg yolk. When the milk is simmering, pour the yolk/sugar mixture into it. Cook on medium heat until the temperature reaches 82°C to make a custard. If you do not have a thermal probe, mix gently until you start seeing the bottom of the pan when mixing or until the cream coats the spatula and does not run off it.
      7. Pour the cream onto the cacao powder and mix well to make a ganache. You can also blend it.
      8. Pour the ganache into the crust until it reaches the top. Decorate as you wish. For example, you can cut up some unsalted peanuts and place them in a line or sprinkle them all over for a modern finish.
      9. Place in the fridge for at least an hour to set.

      Recipe Tips:

      • If you’re working in a warm kitchen, don’t hesitate to place the shortcrust pastry in the fridge or freezer in between steps.
      • If you are allergic to peanuts—or not a fan of them— replace the peanut butter with almond butter or cashew nut butter. You can also be creative and use your favorite jam as a base.

      Chocolate & Peanut Butter Tart Recipe | To'ak Chocolate

      4. Chocolate, Cardamom, and Cacao Nibs Babka

      Vegetarian | Prep Time: 15 + 30 min | Rest Overnight
      Level: Intermediate | Makes 1 Babka

      Made with soft brioche dough and a rich chocolate filling, this Babka recipe might just become your next household favorite. Not only does it call for cacao powder, but it uses two—yes, two—handfuls of cacao nibs as well, making it just as decadent as it is comforting.

      Brioche Ingredients:

      • 150g Cold Milk
      • 250g Bread flour
      • 4g salt
      • 40g sugar
      • 11g Fresh yeast
      • 50g Butter

      Filling Ingredients:

      • 60g butter
      • 120g brown sugar
      • 80g 100% T. Cacao powder
      • 1 Tsp Cardamom powder
      • 2 handfuls of Cacao nibs

      Recipe:

      1. To make the brioche, place the cold milk in the mixing bowl of a Kitchen Robot (you can also do it by hand if you don’t have one.) Add all the dry ingredients on top of the milk ensuring the sugar, salt and yeast do not touch each other.
      2. Mix on slow speed for 3 minutes then on medium for 10 minutes until the dough comes off the sides and is stretchy. You should be able to stretch it enough to see through it.
      3. Add the cold butter and let it knead on medium speed. It is ready when all the butter is mixed in and the dough comes off the sides.
      4. Make a ball and cover it with cling film. Then, place it in the fridge overnight.
      5. In the morning, prepare your filling by mixing the soft butter, sugar, cacao powder, cardamom, and the nibs.
      6. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle of around 30cm x 40cm.
      7. Spread the filling evenly over the dough. Try not to be too slow as the dough will warm up and it will get harder to spread.
      8. Starting at the longer end, tightly roll the dough into a cylinder. Then, slice it in half lengthwise. This will expose the layers and the filling. Intertwine the 2 strands together (braiding them) and place in a round oven tray like a flower crown. You can also leave it straight and use a loaf tin.
      9. Leave to rise in a warm place (27-28°C) for 45 minutes. A switched-off oven with a bowl of hot water works very well.
      10. Bake in the oven for 25 min at 175°C or until it starts to look golden on the top.
      11. For a glossy finish, make a quick syrup using 1 part water for 1.3 parts sugar. Or, simply melt some apricot jam and glaze the top of the Babka.

      Chocolate, Cardamom & Cacao Nibs Babka Recipe | To'ak Chocolate

      5. Chocolate, Banana, and Ginger Choux

      Vegetarian | Prep Time: 45 min | Cooking: 45 min
      Level: Intermediate | Makes 18 small choux

      Master the art of making choux pastry with this chocolate banana and ginger choux recipe. They’re soft, airy, and all-around heavenly. Plus, they’re not as difficult to make as many people fear.

      Ingredients:

      • 100g water
      • 40g butter
      • 60g flour
      • 2g salt
      • 2 eggs
      • 50g 100% T. Cacao powder
      • 70g Single cream
      • ½ Tsp ground ginger
      • 1 ripe banana
      • 50g Single cream
      • 1 small piece of fresh ginger (optional)
      • 1 Tbsp. crystal sugar (optional)

      Recipe:

      1. Prepare the ingredients for the Choux pastry.
      2. Place the butter and the salt with the water in a small pan.
      3. Melt the butter on low heat. When all is melted, turn to high heat until it comes to a strong boil.
      4. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the flour and quickly mix until you get a mashed potato-like mixture. “Dry” the mixture for 1-2 minutes (this will help reduce the moisture). Then, transfer it into a clean bowl and mix until it cools to under 45°C (or until comfortable to touch).
      5. Add a bit of egg at a time and mix well. Do this until you have a silky consistency. You may not need all your eggs. To check if it’s ready, make a canyon-like shape in the mixture and if it closes back slowly, you should be ready to pipe. If it doesn’t move, add more egg. It should be fluid enough to pipe but not too liquid so it spreads out.
      6. Place the mixture into a piping bag and pipe little choux puffs of about 4cm diameter onto a lightly greased, non-stick oven tray. Sift some icing sugar on top.
      7. Place the tray into a preheated oven at 170°C for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, open the oven to let the steam out.
      8. Lower the heat to 155°C and bake again for another 20-25 minutes. The pastries are ready when the bottom is baked and the top has a nice golden color.
      9. Place the choux on a cooling rack.
      10. To make the ganache filling, place 70g of cream and the ginger in a pan. Bring to a low boil and then pour onto the cacao powder. Mix well to make the ganache.
      11. Add the mashed banana and mix. Add the cold cream and blend with a mixer. Place the mixture in the fridge.
      12. At the same time, place your bowl and whisk in the fridge as well.
      13. During this time, make a pea-sized hole on the bottom of each choux using a pair of scissors.
      14. When ready, take the ganache and utensils out of the fridge and whip for a few seconds. It will whip quickly if well cooled. Place into a piping bag and begin to fill each choux.
      15. Optional: Mix the grated fresh ginger with the crystal sugar and crush them together. Use to top the choux before serving.

      Recipe Tips:

      • Making Choux pastry has a reputation for being difficult. Don’t let this discourage you. It’s actually fairly simple. The trick is knowing when you’ve added enough egg. This may take a little practice if it’s your first time.
      • You can skip the ginger and replace with another spice like cinnamon or simply leave it.
      Chocolate, Ginger, and Banana Choux Recipe | To'ak Chocolate

        There are plenty of benefits to eating cacao. Its versatility makes it easy for you to reap those benefits—regardless of whether you’re enjoying a healthy breakfast or an indulgent dessert. That versatility is exactly what we kept in mind when coming up with our T.cacao line of products. And that is what makes our 100% T.cacao Powder well suited for each of these fun and creative recipes.

        This only covers a few of the ways cacao powder can be incorporated in daily life, but we do hope that some of them can find their way into your collection of frequently used chocolate recipes.

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