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After making dark chocolate for a couple of years, I have ventured off into the world of making milk chocolate.  The first batch ended up being a dark milk and came out fairly nice.  I used 42% liquor, 7% butter, 27% sugar and 24% milk powder.  Using the small CocoaTown Melanger, I let the liquor work by itself for 6-12 hours, then add the sugar and butter so it can grind down, takes 4-6 hours.  Then I add the milk powder and was working with a thicker mix than usual.  Now I am trying a milk around 40%.  I dropped the liquor to 30% and raised the butter to 10%.  Did a sweet 33% sugar and 25% milk powder.  As I put the milk powder in the machine, it is way to thick and needed to double the butter content and it is still too thick to get all the milk powder in.  This is really messing with my percentages.  We will see how it turns out. 

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As a general rule you want to have your cocoa fats (calculated from liquor and added cocoa butter) between 35 and 45%. My milk chocolates are down around the 35% and dark chocolates can be up to 45% but generally about 40%. You are going way too heavy on the milk powder in my opinion, the most I have ever had in a formulation has been 20%. Good luck, formulating milk chocolate is tricky to get just how you would like it, with the desired rheology.


When I think about the next batch it is still unclear to me.  Assuming all milk chocolate is not as think as the last batch, the only way it would be less viscous, is to increase the percentage of butter.  The liquor is around 53% fat and with the added butter being an 20% - 25% butter getting to the 35% + total cocao fats.  I used 26% liquor on the last batch and it still is a little dark. 

I still have another 55-60% left of sugar and milk powder.  I tend to stay above the 35% (total bar) sugar content.  That still gets me over 20% and probably closer to 30%.  Do I need to add more sugar, keep the milk powder content to 20 and lower the liquor and raise the butter a little to get a good milk bar. 

My last batch of milk chocolate (which we were pretty happy with) was:

11% cocoa nibs

26% cocoa butter

28% sugar (I split it 19% sucrose and 9% lactose)

4% skim milk powder

28% full fat milk powder (26% fat) - spray dried milk powder

0.4% vanilla

1.75% dark malt extract

0.4% lecithin

This recipe gave total milk fat of 7.5% which means the tempering can be tricky. Also, the milk powder I was using was spray dried - if it was some different sort, there may be more free fat available meaning 7.5% total milk fat is too much. I added malt because I like the taste, but 1.75% was probably too much - would try 1% next time.

Thank you.

Wow that is almost a white chocolate!

It gives a result pretty close to what most people associate milk chocolate with. For me, I prefer a darker milk but this keeps a lot of friends and family happy.

My darker milk is:

32% cocoa nibs

13% cocoa butter

27% sugar (sucrose)

9% skim milk powder

19% full fat milk powder (26% fat) - spray dried milk powder

0.4% lecithin

To me, this one tasted like a chocolate milkshake

Hi Tom,

I recently tried to make milk chocolate using 50%  liquor, 25% whole milk powder and 25% sugar. I had the liquor in the melanger for 48 hrs. added the sugar and all was well. Then I added the milk powder and things literally ground to a halt. I used a blow drier to heat it up enough to get things moving again but by that time the motor in the melanger was fried. I removed the chocolate from the machine, placed it in a stainless steel bowl and put it in the refrigerator. I have two questions: First, what is wrong with my formula and secondly, is there anything I can do to turn the chilled, thick mass into something that I can return to the melanger without burning up another motor. I really don't want to waste what I have made so far, if that's possible.

Appreciate your advise.

I'm not Tom, but I might be able to help.

I think your total fat content is too low. Assuming the cocoa beans have 53% cocoa butter, your total fat in the recipe would be 50% x 53% + 25% x 26% = 33%. If you are using a standard wet grinder, you should probably aim for 36-40% fat and maybe add some lecithin (liquid lecithin up to 0.4%) to improve the "flow" of the chocolate.

Just looking at the math, if you add 10% cocoa butter and 0.4% liquid lecithin to your current recipe by total original weight, the new recipe ratios (by total new weight) would be

Liquor: ~45.3%

Sugar: ~22.6%

Whole Milk powder: ~22.6%

Cocoa butter: ~9.1%

Lecithin: ~0.4%

That would have a fat content of ~39% based on the assumptions above and should spin in the wet grinder. I have no idea if it's what you're aiming for (it would be a 54% milk chocolate) or if it would be to your tastes, but I think it would work in the wet grinder.

Thanks Gap! 

I really appreciate your responding to my question. I will add the additional cocoa butter. I would like to not add the soy lecithin so I will see how the butter works without the soy. Do you think that warming up the now hardened mass will liquefy it enough to get it going in the melanger and if so, how much heat?

I don't know Jack. I think all you can do is experiment a little. If it were me, I'd chop up the block you have into little pieces and then try to melt in the microwave. If it doesn't go liquid then maybe something else is amiss (could it have siezed due to moisture?). 

If it does melt OK, then add the cocoa butter and incorporate by stirring and try to add it to a warm wet grinder while the mixture is still relatively warm (say 45C).


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