The Chocolate Life

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I have never added the entire bean to my chocolate. After asking this same question at the Chocolate Alchemy forum, I discovered that this is how some of the makers do it. Then I got to wondering if the people here do the same. I was really surprised to see that this is what seems to be the norm.
Why add the vanilla bark to the chocolate? When using whole vanilla beans in a pudding or a custard, for example, you soak the whole bean and scrape the marrow. This is what I do for chocolate. I preheat the cocoa butter and soak my vanilla in it, then scrape out the marrow and add the vanilla/cocoa butter to the liquor, I toss the bark.
Maybe more work this way, but to me filling the chocolate full of bark is like adding the cocoa husk. We take care to winnow the cocoa beans, why not do the same for the vanilla? The bark of the vanilla bean is basically the husk, right (or maybe the pod shell)? I am not saying this way is right or wrong, I will continue to do it this way because it's my way, but I was curious to see how many others add the whole bean. Anyone care to comment?

Andrea

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Replies to This Discussion

I just throw the entire pod in the food processor with some sugar and pulverize it. Then I add the vanilla sugar mixture to the chocolate in the melangeur.

It's probably more correct to do as you've described. But, I'm lazy and it works.

Instead of tossing the outer pod, add the leftover outer vanilla pod to some vodka and make your own vanilla extract.
Andrea,

I grow and cure my own vanilla beans for use in my home brew chocolate. I split the bean in half and scrape the seeds into mix of chocolate mass and sugar. Don't see any point in using the whole bean since the flavor is all in the interior seed mass.

Bob
Hi Bob, how do you do the curing of vanilla pods? I am hoping to grow vanilla at my parents place in Brisbane.
Bob,

I have several vanilla vines and the longest one stretches over 30 feet.
They don't flower and they don't grow pods... I've tried everything, put them in various degrees of exposure to sunlight, vary amount of watering with no success. They just grow longer. It crossed my mind that they're not Vanilla but i have obtained all the plants from the agriculture dept.

Cocoa, on the other hand, they grow year-round. So its a blessing that I found this community because I've so far failed at the fermentation stage.

Ning

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