To Make Chocolate By Penelope Jephson, A C.1674 English Recipe


 

At the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC is a c.1674 manuscript recipe book attributed to an English woman named Penelope Jephson. In this book, is a recipe for grinding cacao into chocolate including lots of spices and aromatics. Two modern recipe adaptations have been included for you to try at home (the second is the best one because it uses already prepared unsweetened chocolate meaning you do not need to grind cacao into chocolate first). Once the chocolate is made, it can be then used, at a ratio of 1 ounce chocolate to 4 ounces water or milk, to make a hot chocolate drink.

 


To Make Chocolate

Take a pound of the cacao nuts finely beaten & searced, half a pound of hard sugar finely

Beaten & searced, an ounce of cinnamon, qtre of oz of nutmeg, half of an ounce of aniseed, half a drachm of long pepper, as much of Jamaica pepper. Beat & searse all those spices, then put in two sticks of vanillas beaten & searsed, * with ambor [ambergrise] as you like to taste. When all those are pounded & well mixt, beat those in an earthen pan till they are as hot as you can endure yr finger in it. Keep it well stirr’d that it burn not, then put it into a  mortar & beats it very fast till it begin to oil, so as it will work like paste, then make it into paste.

 

*two drachms of Achiote beaten and searsed

 

Modern Recipe Adaptation:


Ingredients:

1-pound (4 cups) unroasted cacao nibs1-ounce (about 3 tbsp) ground Ceylon cinnamon½ ounce (4 tsp) ground aniseed1.5g (½ tsp) whole long pepper1.5g (½ tsp) whole allspice berries¼ ounce (1 tbsp) grated nutmeg6g (1½ tsp) ground achiote/annatto2 vanilla beans, split and scraped (2 tsp vanilla powder, or to taste)½-pound (1 cup) white sugar

 

Directions

Heat oven to 325º F.Place the cinnamon in a heated pan on the stove and heat through for just a couple of minutes, just until the scent of the spice is released. Remove from the heat. Repeat with the remaining whole spices (aniseed, long pepper, allspice).Grind the warmed spices in a spice grinder and then sift out the finer spice powder. Re-grind the remaining larger pieces until they form a powder. You will need to do this three or four times to make sure the spices are finely powdered. Combine all of the spices and set aside.Place the cacao nibs on a baking sheet and spread out evenly. Heat in the oven for 7-8 minutes, shaking the pan every 2 minutes.In a wet grinder, combine the cacao nibs, scraped vanilla seeds, and sugar. Grind for 30-40 minutes, until the chocolate forms a smooth paste, but do not let it form a very thin liquid fondant. Once the cocoa butter starts to release from the cacao nibs, add the ground spices and grated nutmeg.On parchment paper, use a spoon to form the paste into small cakes (about 1 ounce each). Allow the cakes to cool and harden.

 

Short-Cut (if you don’t have a wet grinder or nut grinder)

 

Ingredients:

1-pound unsweetened chocolate3 tbsp ground Ceylon cinnamon4 tsp ground aniseed½ teaspoon ground long pepper (you can use ground black pepper as a substitute)½ teaspoon ground allspice 1 tbsp grated nutmeg1½ teaspoons ground achiote/annatto2 vanilla beans, split and scraped (or 2 tsp vanilla powder, or to taste)1 cup white sugar

Directions:

Using a serrated knife, cut the chocolate into small pieces.Place the cinnamon in a heated pan on the stove and heat through for just a couple of minutes, just until the scent of the spice is released. Remove from the heat. Repeat with the remaining whole spices (aniseed, long pepper, allspice).Grind the warmed spices in a spice grinder and then sift out the finer spice powder. Re-grind the remaining larger pieces until they form a powder. You will need to do this three or four times to make sure the spices are finely powdered. Combine all of the spices and set aside.Place the cacao nibs on a baking sheet and spread out evenly. Heat in the oven for 7-8 minutes.In a wet-grinder, combine the cacao nibs, scraped vanilla seeds, and sugar. Grind for 30-40 minutes, until the chocolate forms a smooth paste, but do not let it form a very thin liquid fondant. Once the cocoa butter starts to release from the  cacao nibs, add the ground spices and grated nutmeg.On parchment paper, use a spoon to form the paste into small cakes (about 1 ounce each). Allow the cakes to cool and harden.