Hello, I'm pretty interested in becoming a Chocolatier and already tried to do some stuff from raw beans (I did brownies and a few chocolate bars that never became solid, I guess because I didn't even know I have to temper chocolate).
I would like you to please let me know what are the basic tools I might need to do chocolate from home, if there's anything that is just optional will appreciate if is clarified on the post. Also If you have links to any YouTube Video or WebPage with tutorials I can follow, please post 'em.
BTW I am in Dominican Republic which makes it easier for me to get cocoa beans and I wish to eventually plant some cocoa, so probably in the future we can do business.
I really appreciate your help guys and I'm glad that I found a forum like this.
If you look around the site, I think you will find the answers you are looking for. They are not in any one post or in any one category however.
For a more focused description of process and equipment, you might want to take a look over at Chocolate Alchemy - www.chocolatealchemy.com.
The steps for making chocolate (from beans, Hispaniola or Sanchez) include:
You will need some sort of equipment for each one of these steps (though most people starting out use a single machine for grinding/refining/conching).
Thank you for your response Clay.I understand that I could do the different steps like this, correct me if I'm wrong or could use something better.
Roasting: Just any oven.
Cracking: With a frying pan.
Winnowing: Hair Dryer.
Grinding, Refining and Conching: Any Food Processor or even Coffee Grinder.
Tempering: Microwave Oven.
What equipment you can (and can't get away with) will depend on the amount of production you want to do and what the end product is.
Roasting - you can use any oven, and a comal (a flat steel plate over a fire) is traditional.
Cracking - I've never heard of anyone using a frying pan to crack. If you're making small amounts you can hand peel the whole beans while they are still warm.
Winnow - you can use a hair dryer or you can winnow traditionally by putting the nib/shell into a something that look likes a wok and toss.
You can pre-grind (sort of) in a food processor or coffee grinder. You cannot refine or conche in either of those devices. What you will end up with is a very coarse paste.
You can use the microwave to melt the chocolate, but you will need to know how to hand-temper the chocolate (on a slab).
All in all, you might be able to make chocolate balls for drinking on a small scale this way but you won't be able to make a smooth, creamy, chocolate without investing more in equipment.
I am on the other end a consumer who has a passion for chocolate and good tasting bars.
Things like this take time and practice.There is much that goes into making bar in the process like the beans
you use,the roasting,etc. but that is not my area. I do like chocolate from the Dominican Republic.
I have tasted many bars along the way and when you are ready later on would be interested in trying yours.
I am emailing from the NYC area.
Thank you for your interest Adriennne, I will absolutely be happy to let you try my final product after I learn a little bit from practice :)
Btw, I have some friends in NY, were exactly are you at?
I know that tempering also plays a part
I make chocolate at home for fun,just melting and then putting in the molds
and at times needs to be near a freg for my tempering is not good but for me that's OK for
I am going to eat any way.
Look up Direct Cacao website for they are having a conference in DR and this will be a good education for you as you are going into this and you will meet the different people in the industry
who deal with this end.If I had the extra money would go just for the education.
Thank you so much Adriennne, will look into that.
Here is also my email
What do you do for a living and how did you get interested in chocolate
I really like bars from the DR and would like to be able to try more bars from there
that I can't get in the states