Cupuaçu and Cacao are close relatives, both part of the Theobroma a genus of flowering plants. This close botanical relationship is put to use by local Brazilian chefs, who explore ways of substituting the latter for the former or to combine them in creative ways.
While often this calls for the use of roasted Cupuaçu seeds or nibs instead of chocolate or cocoa, here is a simple way of mixing them together that will give your hot chocolate an exotic and fragrant charm.
This treat only requires a few ingredients and a few minutes on the stovetop to warm up a cold evening.
Hot chocolate or hot cocoa?
We prefer to make hot chocolate than cocoa, as the drink tends to be less sweet and with a richer, thicker texture. Your final result will be a warm, velvety mixture of rich cream and dark chocolate, equally suitable as a drink to warm a cold evening or a decadent dessert. Furthermore, only dark chocolate can give the perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness.
We also advise to buy the best dark chocolate you can find - you will use less than one bar, and buying quality chocolate will considerably affect the hot chocolate’s flavor. Look for dark chocolate in the 60 percent range or higher.
What is Cupuaçu?
Cupuaçu is the fruit of the Cupuaçu tree (Theobroma grandiflorum), which is native to the Amazon basin. The tree is common in the jungles of Colombia, Bolivia and Peru and in the north of Brazil, with the largest production in the Brazilian states of Pará (where ours comes from!), Amazonas and Amapá.
The pulp of the cupuaçu fruit is consumed throughout South and Central America, especially in the northern states of Brazil, where it is used to make ice creams, snack bars, and other products. Often, in place of chocolate, since the Cocoa trees grow in slightly different climate. The white, rich pulp of the Cupuaçu fruit is often described as a mix of chocolate and pineapple for its fragrance.
Cupuaçu health benefits
Cupuaçu aids in metabolic function, and for this it is often used as a supplement for weight loss and body fat. This process happens because its micronutrients increase energy levels, which consequently increases the loss of fat and prevents it from being stored. This is compared to the effects of caffeine, but because it does not have caffeine in its composition, cupuaçu can be consumed for people that don't react well to caffeine.
Stimulates the immune system, with anti-inflammatory action. The frequent consumption of cupuaçu fights inflammation and fatigue. This is due to the presence of multi-vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3 and Vitamin C, as well as to its high levels of amino acids, selenium and calcium.
Greater satiety Due to its high fiber content, the fruit ensures greater satiety for a longer time, another positive point for using it in diets and as an aid to weight loss.
Fights bad cholesterol. The fatty acids present in Cupuaçu help to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and maintain good cholesterol. This is particularly beneficial in maintaining a healthy heart. Furthermore, it also strengthens the cardiovascular system and protects artery walls from the damage that heart disease can cause.
Hot Chocolate with Cupuaçu Ingredients
For 2 hot chocolates (about 400ml each):
- 1x tropix Cupuaçu
- 400ml plant-based milk or milk
- 100g dark chocolate, chopped or crumbled
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- whipped cream (optional)
Make it vegan: when using oat milk or another plant-based milk and not adding whipped cream, this hot chocolate recipe is vegan.
How to make Hot Chocolate with Cupuaçu
1. Run the Cupuaçu pulp under warm water and leave it to rest in a glass with warm water. You want it to be close to but not completely unfrozen.
2. Combine the chocolate, cocoa powder, and sugar in a small saucepan, mixing them well. This will help break up any lumps in the cocoa or sugar.
3. Add the milk and set the saucepan over medium-low heat.
4. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally, until hot and with a rich and smooth texture. Should take about 5 minutes.
5. Add the Cupuaçu pulp and a small pinch of salt.
6. Serve hot, with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa and/or a cinnamon stick.
Want more recipes you can make with Cupuaçu? How about mixing it for a fresh Smoothie with banana and mint or in a delicious Açaí and Cupuaçu superfruit bowl? You can also combine it in a filling smoothie with oats, banana and almond milk for a breakfast smoothie.