The Chocolate Life

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Part two: Developing the new Organic Grand Cru Piura from Original Beans

Thank you all for your enthusiastic responses and showing interest in the development of Original Beans’ new recipe! What happened after two weeks? Is the new chocolate still so fruity?

How does Organic Grand Cru sound? I like it. We have waited for the first organic harvest from Congo (Cru Virunga) to make the change for all products.

But the most important thing we have changed in our recipe has to do with conching, a truly magic process in the art of making fine chocolate. There are many opinions and voices in the chocolate world, when it comes to conching. But you really have to experience and taste it before you can form a valid opinion.

The interesting thing at Max Felchlin AG is that they have several different conching technologies to work with (see pictures below). They are world famous for the oldest conching machines in the chocolate industry: the original long conches, or Längsreiber. Besides those, they also use round conches in various sizes. The Längsreiber builds temperature by friction only. All others can be heated externally.

Some people believe the Längsreiber is the best. I agree on most issues: texture, melting, creaminess, beautiful balanced flavour development. The flavours hardly fade over time. The Buehler round conches, on the other hand, may get a more condensed, ‘explicit’ flavour profile out of the bean. They work with a steeper temperature curve and as I inhaled above our Piura conch, I smelled a lot of the acidity.

So is it true that the longer you conch, the better the chocolate gets? No! Most important is to get rid of unpleasant acids and bitterness, open the fruit flavours, and create a deep, smooth texture. Every bean has a unique character, and develops its own story differently on different conches. For Original Beans chocolate we want to find the maximum fruit point. At some point during conching the aroma peaks. If you conch too long, the aroma is gone and what’s left is a flat and rather boring chocolate.

I have learned that perfectly conched chocolate is not so much a matter of science, but mostly the result of long experience, continuous sampling during the process, and a good intuition.

The last few days I tasted the new recipe again and compared it with the last two batches. The existing Piura Porcelana bar (best before 12-2012) tastes mild, dark caramel, nutty and a little fruity. The new one is very different! Very fresh and fruity, you really taste chocolate is made of a fruit! Amazing!

In a few days this new batch is available in couverture drops. I’m looking forward to the creations of pastry chefs and chocolatiers with our new Organic Grand Cru Piura!

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Comment by Vercruysse Geert on August 26, 2011 at 2:21pm
Hello Vera, looking forward to receive the next batch of OBI Piura soon and compare it with the  Pure Nacional Fortunato No 4 of Dan Pearson.
Comment by ChocoFiles on August 23, 2011 at 10:46pm

Very informative!

Is that bar with the feather mold OB Piura or a Felchlin bar for contrast?  (I've only ever seen Cru Sauvage with the feather mold.  And the chocolates are different colors.)

Comment by Clement Olando Bobb on August 16, 2011 at 12:09pm
I love this. love the shots of the langareiber. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more.

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