Two days ago, I attempted to make chocolate from home grown beans.
I live in the tropics - Trinidad - where some of the world's best cocoa beans allegedly come from and have quite a bit of cacao trees on the land left from a time that Cadbury owned the entire area. My husband and I decided that it was time to rehabilitate the existing trees and replant new ones and we ended up with quite a bit of cocoa pods. the seeds were picked, fermented and sun-dried in our good, HOT and dry weather that we are experiencing now and we ended up with about 100 lbs for the first set.
I decided to try a home made batch. I roasted the beans on my stove top and shelled them after finding a recipe on line for 80% dark chocolate. It was fairly simple - put 8 pts beans and 2 pts sugar in a grinder and grind. Well, I used my Magic Bullet, but it seems to be on the way out (and now I think it's dead). I added some mexican vanilla, cardamom, a pinch of nutmeg, and some cinnamon and tried to "mortar and pestle" it. The end result was quite good - a chocolate with a nutty flavour and not too bitter. It formed a good bar that was pretty tasty! But all in all, better for making hot drinking chocolate.
Now I need some proper equipment for my next try. Any suggestions for me?