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How to make chocolate

Can I make my own chocolate from scratch?

3945 day(s) ago

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Yes, but it's difficult. Here's the basic process:

Specialty stores are starting to carry whole cocoa beans. Like coffee, these will need to be roasted to be usable. You can do this in your oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and put in your beans. After eight minutes, stir the beans and lower the temperature to 325. Roast another seven or eight minutes, stir, and turn your oven down to "warm." Leave the beans another ten minutes. The high-temperature jolt at the beginning will help separate the shell from the bean: the beans are done when the shells crack. Break off the shells, peel off the husks, and chop the beans: you now have cocoa nibs.

Now the nibs will need to be ground into chocolate liquor. Nibs are really hard, so you'll want the strongest grinder you can get your hands on: think "foodservice" or "industrial." If you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a piece of equipment, go to a Latin food store and pick up a molcajete. This lava mortar and pestle will break apart the nibs with relative ease. You will end up with a paste that resembles thick chocolate syrup.

The chocolate is ready to refine. It's at this point you will need to add the other ingredients for your chocolate, whether it's cocoa butter, milk, or flavorings. At this point, your regular kitchen gadgets can handle grinding. The more you can grind the liquor, the finer the texture will be.

Finally, the chocolate will need to be tempered. Heat the chocolate in a double boiler to 120 degrees. Remove the top pan from the heat and stir until it reaches 100 degrees. Spread a third of the chocolate onto a flat surface and mix until it reaches 85 degrees. Mix it back into the bow. You need to get the chocolate to gently reach exactly 90 degrees. Pour into molds, cool, and eat.

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