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Vegetable Cacao Nib-Nibbles – We Should Cocoa

February 24, 2012

I’ve been watching the We Should Cocoa from the back seats for a while now. This month the gauntlet was well and truly thrown down as the challenge was to make something savoury and vegetarian. You’d think I’d decide to join in on an easy month. You’d be wrong.

So, after a swift text to my cacao nib dealer (a friend who works at Hotel Chocolat ‘s Rabot Estate shop) and a rifle through my cupboard to find a Schwarz “Cook Art chilli and cocoa bean blend” that I had been given last Christmas and was still sealed (sorry Sarah) I began to put my thinking cap on.

The beginnings

I had several ideas. Possibly more of that in tomorrow. It depends if they work.
In the meantime how about some Vegetable Cacao-Nib Nibbles?

One of your five a day AND it includes chocolate

Beetroot and Butternut Squash Crunchy Cacao-Nib Nibbles

Invented by me, inspired by many

beetroot, cubed
butternut Squash, cubed
1 egg, lightly beaten breadcrumbs
a handful of cacao nibs
A few tablespoons of plain flour, seasoned
Schwarz Cook Art chilli and cocoa bean blend (or some cocoa powder and chilli powder mixed together)

First grate your bread and toast it to make breadcrumbs. Do as I say, not as I do and make them nice and fine so that they stick better.

Put some plain flour mixed with the Schwarz spice into a shallow tuppaware

Crush the cacao-nibs with your rolling pin until as small as possible. Mix with the breadcrumbs and put the mix in another shallow tuppaware

Taking each vegetable cube follow the production line of…

  1. roll in flour mix
  2. dunk in the beaten egg
  3. roll in the breadcrumb / cacao nib mix
The finer the breadcrumbs the better they will stick – you can see further down that my coating wasn’t very even because some were too big to stick.
Place each one on a baking tray and bake until the veg are tender and the breadcrumbs crispy
10mins at 180c did it for me but my oven is weird.
Eat on their own, with salad, drizzled in balsamic vinegar or maybe with a goat’s cheese dip.
Beetroot, butternut squash and breadcrumbs
Beetroot, butternut squash and breadcrumbs (which should be smaller)
Crushing the cacao nibs
Crunchy Cacao Nib-Nibbles

See the full round up here

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2012 3:59 pm

    They sound fantastic and what a brilliantly original recipe. The chilli would go really well with the squash and the chocolate with the beetroot – I strongly suspect I’d love them. What did you think?

  2. February 25, 2012 6:12 am

    What a brilliant idea!! I’d love to try them 🙂

  3. February 25, 2012 11:45 am

    What a clever idea, would never have thought of that. I can imagine the sweetness of those vegetables would go really well with chocolate.

    • March 2, 2012 1:58 am

      Thanks Janice. I think Cacao nibs are sneaking to the top of my favourite ingredients list. Not so easy to get hold of though.

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