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I am a student of agriculture at the eastern carribean institute of agriculture and forestry in Trinidad and am currently doing research on the cocoa and the utlization of all of its parts. However i need to know a simple process to make edible chocolate and do a demonstration...can anyone offer advice on the process and the steps needed to achieve edible chocolate? it would be most appreciated as this is the major component of my final yr project. Thank you.
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Yes, Alana,

I suppose if there was a simple process whereby you could make edible chocolate for demonstration then everyone would do it and there would be chocolate manufacturers in every small town, like there are coffee shops.

I make from the bean chocolate bars and truffles as a hobby and it requires half-dozen machines and appliances to finish something from cocoa beans that is edible. This is because you are actually eating a dried bean and crystalized sugar that is supposed to feel smooth on the palate. A lot of grinding is needed to do that. I suppose you could make a chocolate drink of some sort if the roasted beans are ground and water percolated through the grounds if that would do.

If you try to partially grind roasted cocoa nibs and add sweetener, don't expect anyone to appreciate your chocolates. This just won't taste like a commercial chocolate bar. Perhaps someone else at this forum has an idea to help you in your project. Sorry for the disappointing comments on my part; but this comes from a year or more trial and error and well over $1,000 (US) investment in machines.

Whatever the outcome of your project, I like to hear back on the results of your research. It would be an education to us chocolate lovers.
thank you frank for your expertise in this area....persons before me have tried to make chocolate but have made what we locals refer to as "boil chocolate" which is chocolate with a lot of grit in it, as you have described, which is used to make drinks (especially hot drinks) and unfortunately for me that research has been done as a project...i was just trying to advance the process. All the research that i have done thus far does point to the large investments in machinery which would not be practical for me as after this project and chocolate production would be for personal use. But i do thank you for your response it was much appreciated. As it is not to late for me to adapt my objective.
Alana:

Frank is not wrong when he says that it takes an investment in time and machinery to make a chocolate that has the texture we expect in a commercial chocolate. However, your interest is in edible, which might mean something different to you for the purposes of your demonstration with relatively little investment.

However, because there is a rather large Indian population in Trinidad you may have access to the most crucial and most expensive appliance necessary, a "wet mill" stone grinder. These are often used to grind lentils into flour and for other purposes and are a common countertop appliance in many Indian kitchens.

You can roast cocoa beans in the oven and peel and crack them by hand. Peeling and cracking by hand is not hard, it's just time-consuming. Having a couple of willing friends to help remove as much of the shell as possible.

You can grind the nibs to a very rough paste in a standard food processor. You can also grind the sugar to a very fine powder in the same food processor (don't use commercial powdered sugar because it often contains corn starch to keep it from clumping and this will ruin your chocolate).

Now put all the cocoa bean paste and the sugar into the wet mill and turn it on and let it run. The longer you let it run the the finer the chocolate will be and the tastier it will be as aromatic acids evaporate.

If you don't have a wet mill (or access to one) Frank is right, whatever you make is going to be very coarse and gritty and the only chance you have to remove acidic flavors is during the roasting. Now this not necessarily a bad thing because this is the way chocolate actually was (as least the texture) before the invention of machines made especially to process chocolate and make it smooth AND inexpensive refrigeration.
Thank you Mr Gordon and your research is correct about Trinidad we do have alot of east indian heritage I do know a number of east indians including my mom and have access to the mill at home and will try your suggestions. i do have a few questions though....1) in researching the chocolate manufacturing process there are 2 by products that are reintegrated with the chocolate, cocoa liquor and cocoa butter, the cocoa butter is specifically used to make chocolate palateable the process you have suggested does it produced cocoa butter in sufficent amounts to "smoothen " the grit? and 2) if not should i add food grade cocoa to add to the quality? 3) if cocoa butter is added at what stage in the process it done? and finally is there a ratio of cocoa butter to cocoa beans or ingredients to be added?
Aloha Alan,
Here's my publication.
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