The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

In this group we are going to be covering the process of making chocolate at home using inexpensive equipment -- from bean to bar. Most, if not all, of the newest generation of American chocolate makers (Amano, Askinosie, DeVries, Patric, Rogue et al) got their start making chocolate in their homes using equipment that, for the most part, was not built to make chocolate.

Separate forum threads will cover harvesting and post-harvest processing (i.e., fermentation and drying) of cacao, as well as the steps that you must undertake at home to make your own chocolate:

1) roasting
2) cracking
3) winnowing
4) grinding
5) recipe development
6) refining/conching
7) tempering
8) molding

For each of the steps there will be complementary discussions that cover equipment, ingredient sourcing, tips, techniques, and pretty much everything you need to know to make chocolate at home. We are privileged to have a number of bean-to-bar chocolate makers on The Chocolate Life, including Alan McClure of Patric Chocolat, Jeff Pzena of the Cotton Tree Lodge in Belize (who lives in New York City and with whom I give classes), Hallot Parson, and others.

Collectively there is an enormous amount of wisdom and experience and my goal is to enable everyone who wants to learn how to make chocolate at home, from beans, to be able to do so.

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Replies to This Discussion

many thanks :what sort of inexpesive equipement we use in making chocolate?
a few years ago i made the mexican drinking chocolate balls (..i'm sure that's not what they were really named) from maricel presilla's 'new taste of chocolate'...i must've done something terrible, because they were pretty not delicious! i ordered an old fashion corn grinder to grind the nibs, spend all day cranking it, mortar/pestled the variety of spices...enjoyable, but not the best method for me, i guess.

mistakes i may have made--did not grind everything fine enough. the old style methods are great, but may have been successful then because the community was involved in the labor-intensive methods.

sooo...what are some successful home methods of creating somewhat delicious chocolate from the bean? where do we start? is there good information that i'm missing somewhere? i looked back then for a lot of recipes from the nib or to make a bar, but found few. i love the old-style methods, but am not sure if i have it in me to make them a success for my mouth and belly.

thoughts? methods? information?
:) sabrina
please how is the way we make chocolate traditionnaly?


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