Have you ever thought about making your own chocolate?
Posted by: Michael from Moksha
During Covid-19 many people are taking up new hobbies. Making bread, cooking… Have you ever thought about making chocolate, but thought it’s too hard? Requires too much equipment? Well it’s not, and it doesn’t. With a couple hundred dollars and a few kitchen implements, you too can make many pounds a week of your own hand-crafted chocolate. I did mention that the grinder is a bit loud right??
The main item you will need is a wet stone grinder. There are a number of these units on the market. If you lived in India it’s likely you’d already have one. Other than that, you need an oven, rolling pin, hairdryer, kitchen implements and a piece of marble… think stone chopping board.
The main ingredients you need to make chocolate are cacao nibs, cocoa butter and sugar. You can add all sorts of ingredients but in order to start let’s keep it simple. The only item of equipment you will need to meaningfully move on is a Premier Wonder Grinder 1.5 ltr. You can buy one on Ebay, but I recommend buying it from Diamond Trading, these guys are the best.
Once you have purchased it and are getting ready you will need to source some other ingredients. So… what’s the recipe??
Well, I like 72% chocolate so that’s where I’m going. 72% chocolate means that 72% of the chocolate is made up of cacao products the rest is anything else you add including mostly sugar but vanilla and anything else you add to the grind. So, working on a simple 1.5kg batch of 72% we need to consider a number of factors. Fat content makes chocolate silky smooth. We want that. With 72% cacao that means there is 28% sugar… That sounds like a lot but believe me it’s not as sweet as it sounds. It still allows plenty of room for the flavor of the beans to shine through.
Chocolate needs around 40% fat (Cocoa butter) to melt in your mouth. Half of the cocoa mass (Nib) content is fat and all of it is cacao content for sake of percentage calculations. But if we have 28% sugar that means that the fat content is half of 72… 36% is not 40% so we need to bump up the cocoa butter content to give it that melt in your mouth deliciousness.
Here are the calculations for a 1.5kg batch of 72% chocolate...
-980 grams of cacao nibs
-420 grams of sugar
-100 grams of cocoa butter
This makes a chocolate with a fat content of 39.3% Feel free to adjust based on your level of OCD 😊You can of course buy all of the ingredients from Whole foods. Obviously, there are a multitude of options but let’s start there for sake of experience.
Your grinder arrives in the mail… YAY!
We’re ready to go.
Before you start you will need to understand a basic principal laminar flow and the way that grinding or sheer creates heat.
The more heat you can add to the chocolate making process the easier it will be. Not too much though. The equipment has limitations.
First, procure single-origin beans. Sort through and beans discard the malformed beans. Heat the grinder and grinding stones in the oven to around 175 degrees *F
The stones will heat up in about 20-30 minutes and that heat will allow your addition process to be a lot easier. Add the cocoa butter when you put it in the oven and it will be melted and ready for the addition of nibs. Using oven mitts put the bowl back on the grinder and tighten the tension screw half way down. Everything should be nice and warm and ready to go.
Next, the crush and winnow (remove shells) from the beans.
Use a rolling pin to crush, then remove husks with a blow dryer. The remaining cacao are nibs.
With the hot cocoa butter sloshing around enter the nibs slowly.
Not adding too much at once.
1/3 cup at a time.
If the grinder slows down you might want to add heat from a hair dryer or a heat gun.
Keep adding slowly until all of the nibs are added.
Put the lid on and let the grinder run for 20-30 minutes.
Now it’s time for the sugar.
Just like the nibs, add the sugar slowly watching as the liquid mass moves in the grinder.
The flow of the chocolate should be consistent.
Up over the scraper, down under the wheels.
Grind for 72 hours, tasting regularly.
When you have added all of the sugar scrape down the sides and center so that all of the ingredients are grinding together.
This will grind for 2-3 days depending on preferences.
Check it for flavor and mouth feel regularly over that time. Once you can’t detect the grit in your mouth then it is ready.
If you don't feel like making chocolate at home, you can always SHOP ours ~ Happy chocolate making!
xoxo moksha ~ taste bliss!