The Chocolate Life

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Home Brew Chocolate

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Home Brew Chocolate

This group is for ChocolateLife members making, or who are interested in making, chocolate from the bean.

"Home Brew" means you haven't gone out and spent millions-you're mixing and matching (and making) what it takes to make it work.

Location: Worldwide
Members: 299
Latest Activity: Sep 12

The Home Brew Group: Sponsored by CocoaTown

Making chocolate from the bean can be a lot of fun. Some special equipment is required, but the process is pretty easy to learn and to get good at. It must be, some of the biggest names in the craft chocolate biz have started on using kitchen appliances.

The group is sponsored by CocoaTown, the makers and importers of hobbyist and commercial melanguers, grindeurs, and accessories for making chocolate. CocoaTown is offering ChocolateLife members special purchase incentives. Learn more here.

Discussion Forum

Scaling Up Refining Times Based on Weight?

Started by Dave Huston. Last reply by Andy Koller Jul 23. 19 Replies

Winnowers

Started by Clay Gordon. Last reply by Andy Koller Jul 19. 26 Replies

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Comment by Gordon Terpening on October 30, 2009 at 11:26pm
My last 3 batches of Madagascar chocolate have been thick coming out of the melangeur (compared to previous batches and compared to
batches of various West African). While conching the chocolate stays
at temperatures in the high 130's. But this is true for the other batches too. Yet it is only the Madagascar that thickens to the point it is
difficult to work with.
Has anyone else experienced this?
Comment by Deliciosa on August 23, 2009 at 11:42pm
To be able to make my very own chocolate from the beans? WOW! I can't wait to try this!!
Comment by Clay Gordon on August 18, 2009 at 7:58pm
I have re-posted the online Chocolate Makers database. It is an Add-Only database, which means you can only add an entry, not edit them. This is an international directory, not just US companies.

If you have any questions or comments about an entry, please submit them in this forum so that they can be make public. I will make the changes as they are brought to my attention.
Comment by Frank Schmidt on June 19, 2009 at 9:06am
Yes, Tom

I tried peppermint oil last evening in the ganache. Much better. I'm still adding about one tablespoon of xylitol to the hot cream, say a third cup of cream when making ganache. It gives the ganache more cool contrast to the shell.

I am using xylitol-peppermint chocolate as the base for the ganache too.

My concern about oil versus chopped mint in the base chocolate is that the mint leaf form adds bulk and the oil will not.

This is always going to be a concern, the need for more bulk, with sucrose substitutes. Sugar is just always going to give you a better fullness of mouth feel on the palate. Can't get away from it.

So adding bulk with peppermint leaves, if that doesn't add too much of a grassy, earthy "off" flavor, would be better than oil.

Over time and with tempering, the peppermint flavor may be lost if leaves are used; you're right.

Also, check this out....the Cooling Effect of xylitol seems to come back when the mass is re-heated but is not as pronounced when the chocolate is cooled to room temp. in the shells.

Please tell me, Tom, if you get this sensation too, when making this kind of chocolate. Don't be alarmed if the cooling effect is strong in re-heated liquid chocolate ; when pouring the shells or pouring the bars. It may fade when chocolate is solid.

That's why I like to add a little cool sensation to the ganache center for contrast.

Just some thoughts. Best of luck to you.

I'd like to hear form anyone else trying this xylitol sweetener.

(I'll be off line again for the weekend, family visiting from Las Vegas. )
Comment by Tom on June 18, 2009 at 7:15pm
No worries Frank, thanks for the flax seed tip. I can imagine that the minty-ness would change with batch of mint and the length of time in the grinder as the volatiles from the mint would slowly dissipate. So mint oil would provide for repeatability and scale up too.
Comment by Frank Schmidt on June 18, 2009 at 9:03am
Sorry Tom,
I was off-line over the weekend.

I buy dried, chopped peppermint by the pound in a one gallon zip lock bag. To make the base chocolate I started with two ounces of melted cocoa butter in the conching machine (Ultra) and added 4 oz. of chopped peppermint.

That's a lot of volume. I let this run for 6 hours and the peppermint pretty much turned to smooth green cream. Then I added the cocoa mass from the Champion juicer and other ingredients and processed as usual.

The final chocolate is fairly smooth. Not grainy on the tongue.

Because of the "lightness" of xylitol but same volume as crystal sugar, I had to add a bulking agent to get the full mouth feel of normal chocolate back.

In my case, that is milled flax seed. You'd have to play with quantities to get the right amount but I added 20% milled seed to make up for the 20% loss in bulk of the xylitol.

That is, if you use 30 ounces xylitol then add 6 oz milled seed. This does not change the flavor much, that I can tell. The seed conches pretty well too and is not hard on the Ultra machine. You may want to test other amounts.

After all that, I'm thinking of switching to peppermint oil, if I can find it clear, not with green food die in it.

Hope this helps,

I think xylitol's glycemic index is 7 compared to 100 for sucrose so it should be ok for sugar sensitive people.
Comment by Tom on June 16, 2009 at 7:38pm
Frank, is that dried peppermint to flavour the actual chocolate or just the ganache. I use peppermint oil to flavour my chocolate at the moment but have been thinking of using dried mint and grinding it in.
Comment by Frank Schmidt on June 16, 2009 at 2:29pm
Probably the first all xylitol sweetened chocolate truffle in the Western Hemisphere. Peppermint chocolate ganache in a dark chocolate shell.


Comment by Frank Schmidt on June 16, 2009 at 9:00am
Per the xylitol and mint:

Tom: I use chopped , dried peppermint leaves. As of last evening I made a peppermint truffle exclusively with xylitol, inside and out. This improves the eating experience, the soft ganache center in contrast to the tempered shell. Soak the leaves in hot heavy whipping cream for a good 20 min.
Add one tsp xylitol to 1/3 cup of cream and two tbs of chopped mint. Heat. Press through a stainer into chopped xylitol sweetened chocolate for the ganche . Nice.
Comment by Tom on June 15, 2009 at 7:33pm
That is a great idea to use mint...perfect. I have been thinking of doing an alternative sweetened chocolate myself for a friend. With that suggestion I might just get around to giving it a go. I didn't fancy making a batch of chocolate that noone wanted to eat.
 

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