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we have tried a few different methods to introduce whole milk powder at different stages of grinding but it doesn't ever completely emulsify - we are trying not to use soya lecithin and know that other bean to bar operations have had success without it - any suggestions??

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That will be one of the most effective emulsifiers you'll be able to use.

How do you know it's not emulsifying?

What is your total % fat of your recipe, and your ingredient list (with their %'s of formulation to be most helpful).

I tried 2 different ways - both unsuccessful:

1: 45% nibs, 30% sugar, 20% milk powder, 5% cacao butter (Total fat 32.5%)

2: 39%nibs, 30% sugar, 20%milk powder, 11%cacao butter (Total fat 35.5%)

Our milk powder is whole milk powder - 3.25% butterfat - ( when reconstituted it is 8g of fat per 30g serving =25% fat) we think

We thought it would eventually emulsify if we let it run in the grinder and after 72 hours it seemed almost there but after taking it off it continued to separate. We did a test using an immersion blender to see if we could get it to come together and we tried running it through the tempering machine, but no luck.

Something sounds very wrong here.  I make about 100lbs of milk chocolate every week and it doesn't "separate" like you say.

 

At the risk of asking a really stupid sounding question, do you rehydrate the milk (add water to it), or do you use it dry?

 

There is one thing to remember, and I have said this over and over:  Chocolate is NOT an emulsion. It is a SUSPENSION of solid particles in fat.  In this particular case, the fat in your powdered milk doesn't count as soluable fat, because it's suspended within the crystals of the milk powder as a solid as well.  It will never dissolve.  All you can do is grind it smaller and smaller just as you are doing with the nibs and sugar.


If you can feel particles on your tongue, then your chocolate is not refined enough, and that could cause you problems.

 

Hope that helps.

Brad

Thanks Brad - our dark has turned out beautifully every time and the only thing we did differently in the process was to add the whole milk powder (dry) once the nibs were at the paste stage. So we thought it must be the fat in the milk not emulsifying with the cacao butter and we started researching how to emulsify milk fat and cacao butter and only found lecithin as a likely candidate.

But - correct me if I'm wrong - what you are saying is that the milk fat will never liquify - so possibly we did not process it long enough - in your experience how long does it take once you add the milk powder?

Milk fat is a fat, so it requires no emulsification with cocoa butter.  Emulsification means getting water and oil to mix, essentially.  if you melt cocoa butter and add in melted milk at, and stir, you'll not be able to see any separation.  Is your milk fat that you're adding ANHYDROUS milk fat, or butter from the store?  Butter from the store has up to 20% water emulsified into it.  You need to be certain, if you're adding milk fat as a stand alone ingredient, that it's anhydrous milk fat (ghee is another name for it in some ethnic circles). Butter from the store will not work.

Hi Sebastion,

the milk powder is whole milk powder from medallion - here is the link:

http://www.medallionmilk.com/foodWholeMilk.php

I've started another batch today and I'm going to use the same ratios and if the same thing happens I will take a photo and post it so you can see what we mean.

thanks for your help:)

Photos would be a big help.  I would also like to see the "separated" chocolate too if you can.

 

Cheers

Brad

Agree with brad.  There should be no separation.  Your milk powder - if it is whole milk powder - will have a fat content between 26-28.5%.  DO NOT RECONSTITUTE IT to make chocolate.  Use it dry.

Assuming 54% fat nibs and 28.5% fat milk powder, your recipe = ~35% total fat -which should be fluid enough to pour.  If it's not fluid enough for your liking, fluid lecithin at 0.3-0.5% can be added at the end of your grinding - use more and it will get more viscous.    If it's still too thick, it's almost always because you've added water somewhere (either intentionally or via ingredients), you've gotten it way, way, way too hot somewhere along the line, or your grinder is a super grinder and you've managed to grind your particles to sub-micron sizes (i guarantee you this is not the problem).

Exactly what nibs, sugar, milk, and lecithin are you using (ie brand names, which country they originated from, or where/who did you purchase them from)? 

NOTE: you'll need to ensure you're paste is warm enough to be fluid - ot

Hello Shelley! i read your query and want to discus on it. In my opinion you must use cocoa and butter in processor and mix until they form a paste if you don't want to use soya lecithin. this mixture will make your milk chocolate delicious. Best of luck

churros y chocolate

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