Here’s How To Cook With Our Philippine Cacao On World Chocolate Day This July 7
Too often stereotyped as just a base for candy bars and sweet desserts, chocolate is an ingredient far more subtle, elegant, and versatile. In small quantities, cacao adds depth and flavor to savory dishes. In raw nib form, its crunchy and bitter components can add interest.
It has been a good year for Philippine cacao, with single origin bars from Davao and South Cotabato garnering six prizes at the Academy of Chocolate Awards. Meanwhile, the Philippines is one of the top countries chosen to exhibit cocoa products at the prestigious Salon du Chocolat in Paris, the biggest trade fair for the international chocolate industry. Cacao producers from Davao, Batangas, Bohol, and South Cotabato were part of the Philippine delegation, including Auro Chocolate.
Pork Belly Adobo with Chocolate Glaze
By Joy Lim of Chavez Estates Cacao
Inspired by Mexican mole, Joy Lim felt that adobo’s braising method and use of acid would lend itself well to an infusion of cacao flavors. For more intense flavor, you can marinate the pork belly two days before cooking, then parboil it a day ahead. Finish up cooking just before serving. The chocolate sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated. This dish is great with fried whole tomatoes on the side—a mouthwatering combination.
Serves 6 to 8
1 kilo pork belly, sliced like inihaw then cut in half
3/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pounded garlic with some peel left
2 cups water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
50 grams unsweetened chocolate tablea
patis (fish sauce), to taste
chopped tomatoes, for garnish
chopped cilantro, for garnish
salt, to taste
1. Marinate the pork belly in white vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper for at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. Heat olive oil and gently sauté the garlic until almost brown. Add marinated pork belly and cook until brownish, then add marinating liquid and 2 cups water. Simmer until soft. Remove from heat, then deep fry pork pieces until golden brown. Set aside
3. Simmer remaining cooking liquid with vinegar, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and pure unsweetened cocoa or tablea. Season with patis to balance the flavor. Simmer until slightly thickened. If the sauce becomes too thick, you can thin it out with 1/2 cup of hot water.
4. Drizzle chocolate-vinegar sauce over pork belly adobo, or serve it on the side. Serve with chopped tomatoes with cilantro seasoned with lime and salt.
Southern Chocolate Cobbler
By Sunshine Puey of Gourmandise by Sunshine
This old-fashioned recipe is a family favorite that Chef Sunshine’s mother loved to make. It should have a brownie-like topping with a moist, almost fudge-like interior. You can make it ahead, which makes it perfect for potlucks and reunions. Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream for a bowlful of chocolatey, gooey bliss.
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. To make the base, combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
3. Combine milk and melted butter in a medium bowl and mix well. Add flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated. Spread mixture in an ovenproof casserole.
4. To make the topping, combine sugars, cocoa, and salt in a small bowl and mix well. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the base batter.
5. Add vanilla extract to boiling water. Then pour water slowly over sugar-cocoa topping. Do not stir.
6. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until cobbler is nearly set in the middle. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes then serve warm.
A longer version of this article appeared in FOOD Magazine, Issue 4, 2017
Photos by Pat Mateo
Styling by Tina Concepcion Diaz