Tuesday, 19 April 2011

I wanna be a chocolate God part I've-lost-count: Exaptation

Exaptation is when something is used for a purpose other than the one it evolved for or was designed for. Like when, in one's student days, one might have used empty milk carton boxes as bike basket. Like when those crazy dinosaurs used the structures that had evolved for heat regulation and turned them into feathers which were then used in flight. Not that the author of this blog would have ever stolen a milk box during her wild student days. Oh no. However, I think that the appearance of the chocospresso in my life is up there with the origin of flight in the history of all life. Yes. It is that cool.

Enter my espresso maker. My perfect, sparkly green, stovetop mokka machine that is the only thing that an (ex) girlfriend and I ever purchased together, since neither of us was capable of sharing coffee in the morning, and my then-coffee-maker only made a double shot. We needed a double shot *each*, and neither of us was inclined to be reasonable at 6 am and let the other one go first.

Now, many years (and a few girlfriends) later, I've all but stopped drinking coffee, and haven't had any in the house since my holiday guests decamped (hello little sisters!). But here's the thing: I love my green sparkly mokka maker. I feel like we've been through a lot. Also, it's green and sparkly, and therefore awesome. So, I got to thinking... cocoa beans are beans. I wonder if I can grind them up like coffee beans and make cocospresso? In short: YES, YES OH GOD YES.

-Grind up cocoa beans or nibs in a Vitamix dry jug until they're a bit coarser than espresso-ground coffee beans. If you have a coffee grinder, you could probably use that. Leave the cocoa coarser than you would the coffee because otherwise you will clog the filter of your machine, which will suck, make too-bitter chocospresso, and possibly explode. You don't want that.
- Make chocospresso the same way you'd make espresso, using less cocoa than you would coffee (leave about 5mm of space in the filter basket and *do not* tamp down the ground cocoa beans. The ground nibs expand slightly.

Eeeeeee! You can drink it straight up, like I did on the first go, or go all nuts like I did and foam up some almond milk to make a chococcino (as I did about half an hour later).

Chocospresso is bitter in a good way, like espresso. Only it comes without the heart palpitations and bad breath. Plus, I feel extra-clever. I bet that Archeopteryx felt clever, too.

Exaptation success! It is a good day in the kichendancing cave indeed.

Dancing along to: Couleur cafe by Jane Birkin