Carob powder doesn't dissolve in water the way cocoa powder does. If you're baking with carob this doesn't matter, and if you're making no-bake carob coconut balls, it's actually a good thing! But if you're making a carob-beverage, you might prefer the silky smoothness of carob syrup made by boiling the whole pods. It's even simpler than making syrup from powder and you still have the pods to use in lots of other ways.
- 1 pound carob pods
- 1 quart water
Preheat your oven to 300 F.
Rinse off your carob pods and lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast the pods in the oven for 40 minutes. This extra step makes a big difference in flavor and accentuates the natural sweetness of the carob.
When the pods have cooled, break them up into pieces approximately two or three inches long. They should be easy to snap with your hands. Transfer the broken pods to a large bowl, cover with water, and soak them overnight, or for at least eight hours.
Once the pods have soaked, strain off the liquid and set the pods aside. You can use the pods later to make carob powder, which is naturally sweet and very versatile. Use your carob powder in dessert bars.
Taste the liquid and you'll notice it's already slightly sweet, although not yet a true syrup. Measure the liquid and pour it into a saucepan. Add an equal amount of sugar and whisk to combine over medium heat. The sugar should be completely dissolved. Bring the liquid to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring regularly, until the liquid has reached the consistency of maple syrup. This should take 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the syrup from the heat and allow it to cool before pouring it into bottles or jars. For long-term storage, process canning jars of syrup in a boiling water bath. Without this extra step, the syrup will keep for a month in the refrigerator.
Now, how will you use your carob syrup? Stir some into hot or cold milk, the way you'd use chocolate syrup. Use it to flavor horchata. Pour it over ice cream or frozen yogurt. Make pancakes and waffles extra special by using carob syrup instead of maple syrup. Drizzle syrup over fresh figs, pears, or sharp cheese. Use it in marinades for beef, pork, or chicken, or to flavor salad dressings. My favorite way to use carob syrup is in a festive carob cocktail.