• Torrone and cherry dark chocolate semifreddo. (Benito Martin)Source: Benito Martin
One day we were eating chocolate, the next day cacao nibs were appearing in our brownies, cakes and smoothies. We love them for their earthy, coffee-chocolate flavour, and crunchy texture.
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3 Jul 2018 - 12:14 PM  UPDATED 19 Apr 2018 - 10:22 PM

1. To-die-for ceviche

Cacao nibs bring the bitter crunch that completes the full flavour and texture spectrum covered by this bonza Mexican red snapper ceviche. Also included are creamy avocado, sweet mango, and tangy citrus. Que bueno!

2. Morning coffee oatmeal

The coffee-tinged flavour of cacao nibs makes the espresso syrup on this breakfast really pop. 

Morning coffee oatmeal

3. Cacao nib hazelnut cookies

Use cacao nibs in place of chocolate chips, for a less-sweet, more-crunchy choc chip cookie. 

Cacao nib hazelnut cookies

4. Chocolate waffles with white chocolate sauce and choc-espresso cream

Cacao nibs and coffee beans are used to infuse cream for a rich chocolate-espresso whipped cream. This is combined with two other chocolate-heavy components for triple-choc dreaminess.

5. Raw choc hemp seed brownies

When you have that health-nut friend coming around for morning tea, but you also have that sweet-tooth chocoholic friend coming, these brownies are the answer.

Raw choc hemp seed brownies

6. Banana chai blondies

Because of their bitter flavour profile, cacao nibs work well to balance sweet and flavours. 

Banana chai blondies.

7. Avocado & matcha smoothie bowl

Cacao nibs are a no-brainer for pairing with the sweet, silky, nuttiness of an avocado smoothie. Other ingredients like earthy matcha, creamy coconut milk and tangy lime help create a beautifully balanced, thoroughly satisfying breakfast or snack. 

Avocado & matcha smoothie bowl

8. Torrone and cherry dark chocolate semifreddo

Loving cacao nibs has never been as easy (not that it was ever hard) as in this intense, silky ice-cream. 

9. Dark chocolate popsicles

These popsicles are made for summer weekends. They're an easy entertaining dessert that wins the hearts of both kids and adults.

10. Chocolate ricotta cake

Need a cake that satisfies the deepest chocolate craving, but is also free of gluten and refined sugar? This cake makes fantasy a reality. Cacao nibs are folded through the ricotta cake mixture to add little bursts of crunch. 

Chocolate ricotta cake

11. Mint choc chip smoothie

For you choc-mint fans out there, you can now guiltlessly enjoy your favourite flavour pairing to your heart's content.

12. Choc-gingerbread chia pudding

Chia seeds, raw cocoa powder, coconut milk, coconut water, edible flowers: this is what breakfast looks like in 2018. 

Choc-gingerbread chia pudding

13. Banoffee mousse tart

The classic Bannoffe pie formula is a buttery biscuit base, toffee filling, whipped cream topping and slices of fresh banana. This tart fancies things up a bit, with light and elegant layers of caramel and mousse, and scattering of cacao nibs. 

14. Chocolate mousse with cocoa nibs

Mousse can be achieved in different ways. This one involves a little elbow greasemaking a pastry cream, a meringue mixture, and whipped cream, then folding them all together. The result is luxurious, creamy and worth it. Cocoa nibs add a delightful textural balance. 

15. Tiramisu handpies

These individual Tiramisu desserts differ from the standard version, with a chocolate biscuit pastry case covered in a Masala mousse, and then a coffee mousse; but they do share the trademark coffee-and-liqueur lacing and so are true to the Italian alias, meaning “pick me up”.

Chocolate craving
Roasted cocoa crackle cookies

Roasting the cocoa adds extra depth to these rich and dark chocolate cookies.

Cocoa-dusted meringues (meringhe con cacao)

These are delightfully simple to make. For years, I have been making meringues by warming the sugar in the oven first and then whipping it into the egg whites until it falls to room temperature – which all in all, is a laborious process. This method is my chef friend’s way of making meringue: you just add the sugar to the glossy whipped egg whites and then bake.

Cocoa sponge cakes

Scrumptious and simple, these cakes are free of most ingredients that cause allergic reactions. The secret is all in the method. Remember that fabulous childhood drink the spider? This recipe's volcanic vinegar reaction is a little like what happens when you drop a scoop of ice-cream into lemonade.

Dutch cocoa mousse slice with ginger bread

Today, French chef Gabriel Gaté discusses the food speciality of Holland and talks to cheese guru Will Studd about Dutch cheeses. Gabriel prepares a Dutch cocoa mousse with spiced bread, and sommelier Christian Maier speaks about Dutch gin.