Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line two sheet trays or cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside one sheet tray. Place the almonds on the other sheet tray. Toast the nuts in the oven until they begin to turn a little darker and give off a nutty aroma, about 10 minutes (don’t burn them).
In a small bowl, combine the sea salt, cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar and the cayenne pepper, if using. Set aside.
Transfer the nuts to a medium-sized bowl while they’re still warm. Drizzle the maple syrup over the nuts and toss to coat. Place the maple-coated nuts back on the sheet tray and return to the oven for another 5-7 minutes, until the maple syrup sets.
Carefully transfer the hot maple-coated nuts to a clean bowl and sprinkle with the cocoa powder mixture and toss to coat. Pour the nuts onto the second (clean) parchment-lined sheet tray and let the nuts cool completely. Store the nuts in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.