Published by: Gourmet Sleuth
Last Updated: 10/20/2013
Use your comal or a heavy (cast iron is best) skillet large enough to hold all the beans in one single layer. Use two skillets if necessary. Place the pan(s) over medium-low heat and roast the beans slowly for 40 minutes, stirring constantly with the escobeta or a wooden spoon. This long roasting time brings out the cocoa butter and produces a rich flavor. When the beans are properly roasted the medium-brown skins will become brittle and turn a lighter brown with darkened spots. Remove the toasted beans to a large heatproof bowl; when they are just cool enough to handle, peel off the skins by rubbing between the palms of your hands. They are easier to peel when they are still warm. (The beans can be kept warm in the preheated 175 degree oven if needed).
Heat the blade and the work bowl of a food processor by rinsing it in very hot water for a few minutes. Dry very thoroughly before assembling the machine. Place the beans in the work bowl and process for 2 minutes, until the beans are finely ground. You should see the powder beginning to darken and look oily, a sign that the cacao butter is starting to separate; if not, continue to process for another 20 to 30 seconds. With the motor running, add the sugar and canela through the feed tube, a little at a time and process until everything is evenly combined.
If you have no mortar and pestle, the mixture will probably remain too crumbly to hold together. This is perfectly acceptable. Let cool complete and store as room temperature in a tightly covered container.