How to Make Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans: Easy Guide & Tips

Joshua Allerton
February 21, 2024

I've got a treat for you that'll save you a trip to the coffee shop and satisfy your cravings right at home. Making chocolate-covered espresso beans is easier than you might think, and I'm here to guide you through each step.

This delightful snack combines the rich taste of chocolate with the bold kick of espresso, creating a perfect balance for any time of day. Whether you're a coffee aficionado or a chocolate lover, this recipe is sure to impress. Let's dive into how you can make these irresistible treats with just a few simple ingredients.

Choosing the Right Ingredients

When it comes to crafting the perfect batch of chocolate-covered espresso beans, selecting the right ingredients is vital. I've learnt that quality truly makes a difference in the overall flavour and experience. Here's a breakdown of what you'll need and how to choose the best:

  • Espresso Beans: Opt for high-quality, whole espresso beans for a robust flavour. The beans should be freshly roasted to ensure the best taste. Dark roast beans are my personal preference, as they offer a bold, rich flavour that pairs beautifully with chocolate.
  • Chocolate: This is where you can get creative. You can choose between dark, milk, or white chocolate depending on your taste preferences. I recommend using high-quality chocolate bars and melting them down for a smoother, more refined flavour than what you might get from chocolate chips. For those who enjoy a bit of sophistication, a dark chocolate with 70% cocoa content adds depth and a slight bitterness that superbly contrasts the espresso beans.
  • Optional Flavorings: While entirely optional, adding a pinch of sea salt, a dash of cinnamon, or even a few drops of vanilla extract can elevate the flavour profile of your chocolate-covered espresso beans. These additions should be subtle, enhancing the primary flavours rather than overwhelming them.

Once you've gathered all your ingredients, you're ready to move on to the exciting part - making these delightful treats. With just a few basic steps, you'll be enjoying your very own homemade chocolate-covered espresso beans in no time. Let's dive into the recipe:

  1. Melt the Chocolate: Break your chosen chocolate into small pieces and melt it gently using a double boiler or microwave method. If using a microwave, be sure to stir every 20 seconds to prevent burning.
  2. Prepare the Beans: Lay out a sheet of parchment paper. Have your espresso beans ready. If using any optional flavorings, mix them into the melted chocolate now.
  3. Coat the Beans: Dip the espresso beans in the melted chocolate, ensuring each bean is fully coated. A fork can be helpful for this step to allow excess chocolate to drip off.
  4. Let Them Set: Place the chocolate-covered beans on the parchment paper and let them cool until the chocolate hardens. If you're in a hurry, popping them in the fridge can speed up this process.

Preparing the Espresso Beans

Before diving into the chocolaty part, it's crucial to properly prepare your espresso beans. After all, they're the star of the show! Getting these little beans ready isn't too tricky, but following a few key steps ensures maximum flavour infusion.

First off, let's discuss the roasting. If you're like me and prefer your chocolate-covered espresso beans to have a rich and deep flavour, going with a dark roast is your best bet. Dark roast beans not only complement the chocolate but also provide a nice crunch. Here's a simple guide:

  1. Select Your Beans: Opt for whole espresso beans, freshly roasted if possible.
  2. Roasting Preference: If not already done, roast them to a dark roast level to enhance their bold, robust flavour.
  3. Cooling Them Down: Roasted beans should be allowed to cool completely before the coating process. This ensures the chocolate adheres properly and doesn't melt too fast.

There might be a question popping in your head about quantity. How many beans do you actually need? Well, I typically recommend starting with around 100g of espresso beans. This is a manageable amount for your first batch and ensures that each bean gets evenly coated with chocolate without making a mess.

After you've picked and prepared your beans, it's almost time for the fun part—coating them in chocolate. But let's not forget one tiny but significant detail: quality matters. Just like choosing the right beans, selecting the chocolate you'll melt and coat them in is critical for crafting that perfect bite. Whether you prefer milk, dark, or even white chocolate, make sure it's of high quality to complement the espresso's strong flavour profile.

Melting the Chocolate

After selecting the perfect blend of chocolate to complement the rich flavour of the espresso beans, it's time for me to focus on the process of melting the chocolate. This step is crucial because it determines the smoothness and shine of the final product. So, here's how I go about it, ensuring every bean gets an indulgent, evenly-coated layer that'll make your taste buds sing.

Firstly, break down the chocolate into smaller pieces. This ensures that it melts evenly and quickly, preventing any chance of burning. I've found that high-quality chocolate tends to melt more smoothly, which is why I always opt for the best I can find.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to melting chocolate perfectly every time:

  1. Prepare a Double Boiler: I don't rely on direct heat when melting chocolate. Instead, I fill a pot with a bit of water and place it on medium heat. Then, I put a heatproof bowl that's large enough not to touch the water directly on top of the pot. The steam from the boiling water gently heats the bowl, melting the chocolate without scorching it.
  2. Stir Frequently: Once I've added the chocolate to the bowl, I keep stirring with a silicone spatula. This not only prevents the chocolate from sticking to the bottom and sides but also ensures that it melts evenly.
  3. Avoid Water: Even a drop can make the chocolate seize, turning it into a grainy mess. I'm always careful to ensure everything is dry before starting.
  4. Maintain Low Heat: I make sure the water’s simmering gently. If the heat's too high, there's a risk of ruining the chocolate's texture and taste.

Once the chocolate is silky smooth and free of any lumps, it's ready for the espresso beans to take a dive. I recommend working with small batches of beans to keep the coating process manageable and to ensure each bean is evenly coated.

Remember, patience is key to achieving a glossy and smooth finish. Never rush the melting process; good chocolate deserves respect.

Coating the Espresso Beans

After carefully melting the chocolate, it's time to coat those espresso beans. I've found that having everything prepared and within reach streamlines the process, making it both enjoyable and efficient. Here's how I do it:

  • Prepare Your Workspace: Before starting, I make sure my workspace is clean and I have a parchment-lined baking tray ready. This is where the coated beans will set.
  • Cool the Melted Chocolate: I let the chocolate cool slightly after melting. This ensures it's not too runny, making the coating process easier and mess-free.
  • Coating Technique: To coat the espresso beans, I use two forks. I drop a handful of beans into the chocolate, gently stir to ensure each bean is coated, then lift and allow the excess chocolate to drip off by tapping the fork on the edge of the bowl.
  • Laying Them Out: Once coated, I carefully place each bean on the parchment paper, ensuring they don't touch. This might be a bit tedious, but trust me, it's worth it for that individual glossy finish.

Key Steps:

  1. Prepare in Advance: Have your parchment-lined tray and cooled chocolate ready.
  2. Coat with Care: Use the two-fork method for an even coating.
  3. Space Out Beans: Lay them on the parchment paper with space in between to avoid clumping.
  • Temperature Is Key: Working in a room that's too warm might cause the chocolate to remain too liquid or the coated beans to not set properly. Try to work in a cooler room or adjust your fridge settings so the beans set quicker.
  • Batch Size: Don’t rush and try to coat all beans at once. Working in small batches allows for more control and ensures each bean is perfectly coated.

Remember, patience and attention to detail will yield the best results. Each bean needs to be coated separately to achieve that professional, glossy look. And while this part of the process requires a bit of time and delicacy, I find it incredibly rewarding.

Setting and Storing

Once I've got my chocolate-coated espresso beans laid out on the parchment paper, the next step is crucial for achieving that irresistible snap with each bite. Setting is all about patience and the right environment. I make sure to let them sit in a cool, dry place - away from direct sunlight. This process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the room temperature. If I'm in a bit of a hurry or if it's a particularly warm day, popping them into the fridge speeds things up. However, it's important not to leave them in for too long, as the humidity could affect the texture, making them too hard.

For storing, once they're properly set, I transfer my chocolate espresso jewels into an airtight container. I've found that separating them into smaller batches within the container helps in keeping them fresh for longer. Here's a simple guide I follow:

  • Let the beans set completely at room temperature.
  • Once set, gently transfer them into an airtight container.
  • If stacking in layers, I use parchment paper between each layer to prevent sticking.
  • Store in a cool, dry place. The pantry is usually ideal.

Typically, my chocolate covered espresso beans last up to two weeks when stored this way. Though, to be honest, they rarely make it through the week before they're all gobbled up! For those looking to extend their shelf-life further, storing them in the refrigerator is an option. Just remember, the key is to keep them away from moisture and direct heat to maintain their glossy finish and crunchy texture.

Conclusion

Crafting chocolate-covered espresso beans is an art that's both simple and rewarding. I've shared the key steps to ensure your treats not only taste divine but also boast that irresistible snap with every bite. Remember, patience in setting and diligence in storing are your best friends here. By following my advice on cooling and storage, you'll extend the enjoyment of your homemade delights. Whether you're whipping up a batch for a special occasion or just as a treat for yourself, these little bites of heaven are sure to impress. So go ahead, give it a try and indulge in the rich, energising flavours that only homemade chocolate-covered espresso beans can offer.

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