Make yourself a nice warm mug of Gourmesso coffee or make yourself a tasty cup of hot chocolate. But what about making a cup of cacao? If you feel up to the challenge, this drink is a welcome alternative to both and somewhere in-between. This drink is as old as the hills. First brought about by the Olmec peoples of what is now Mexico they originally named the chocolate from the Theobroma Cacao tree. The Olmec peoples passed their chocolate wisdom over through the centuries to Mayans and later to the Spanish. This was the ancient day chocolate hit like a Monster or Rockstar Juice of today. An energy drink with a resounding difference.
To make your drink, you will need hot milk, half a teaspoon of nutmeg, half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a quarter of a teaspoon of chilli powder. A chocolate hit with a kick. You will need to add sugar to taste as your cup of cacao will be a lot stickier and a lot more blunt-tasting than a standard coffee or a normal tasting hot chocolate. It is certainly more bitter. More akin to your pale ale versus your shandy and definitely for the chocolate/coffee connoisseur who can really taste the palate’s transformation on the tongue.
So how is cacao different from cocoa? Cocoa is just a mis-spelling allegedly. There are also cacao recipes you can try with the added incentive of coffee and recipes with coffee include cacao-coffee cake. Just take 250 grams of plain flour, 400 grams of caster sugar and 55 grams of pure cacao powder, 120 ml of vegetable oil and two eggs. Add in 225 ml of buttermilk, two teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda, ½ a teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 tablespoon of coffee granules. Finally, you will need 225 ml of hot water.
You need to preheat the oven to gas mark 4 or 180 degrees. Measure your cocktail into a mixing bowl and beat for two minutes. Pour into two 23cm baking tins with greaseproof paper. Put the cake in the oven for 35 minutes and leave to stand for ten minutes. Wait for it to cool fully. When fully cool, pour over coffee icing. And drizzle melted chocolate over the top and sides of the cake. Hey presto! Cacao-coffee cake-eating connoisseur at the ready!
Cacao benefits in its raw form are many but some include improved memory, a feeling of blissfulness, reduced tendency to heart disease. Cacao can actually help shift fat, boost your immunity, and give you tonnes of energy. It also helps with mood swings, premature ageing, it can give you nice shiny hair, strong nails, and takes care of your liver and pancreas. .The ancient Greeks also considered it a drink of the Gods, with the tree Theobroma cacao, deriving from the Greek words Theo (God) and broma (drink). Not one to bypass then! Do give it a try if you’re feeling brave, you’ll be sure to enjoy the flavoursome and strong tastes of the thrill of pure cacao.