The Chocolate Life

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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?

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Comment by Bent ahm on April 7, 2010 at 8:51am
HI, you might want a better grinder/refiner. take at look at this youtube link and if you are interested, send me an email at
Comment by Camille Harripersad on March 8, 2010 at 7:23am
Thanks. I have found a wealth of information on-line. When I get the proper equipment, I'll play around with it and see what I come up with. I have over 100 lbs of dried Trinitario and Criollo beans (judging from the pods) to work with.
I will contact Mott when I get going.
Comment by Mark J Sciscenti on March 7, 2010 at 12:45pm
Hi Camille, contact Mott over at Grenada Chocolate on the island of Grenada (right next door to you). He is a wonderful man, full of information who has been making chocolate for years now on Grenada. I've found him to be friendly and willing to talk to people about chocolate making. Good luck!
Comment by Camille Harripersad on February 28, 2010 at 10:24am
Yes indeed. I have checked out the chocolate alchemist and I think I will invest in a drum roaster and a mill. Initially.
Comment by Tom on February 27, 2010 at 11:22pm
I use a conventional gas oven to roast, a winnower I made from an exhaust fan and PVC pipes which is posted on this site and grind in a modified Spectra 10 grinder that I bought from I typically make 1-3kg batches of chocolate with this equipment. There is more info on small scale equipemnt up to doing about 20kg batches in the Home Brew group on this site and at

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