HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE AT HOME
CHOCOHOLICS TAKE NOTE
Imagine making your own chocolate... Well, the good news is that you can but be warned; it can be a messy business and you're unlikely to be mass producing large bars of Dairy Milk the first time you try. However, I'm sure you'll have immense fun eating all the misshapes.
Obviously unless you have some experience in the field you'll have to start out small; so just aim for pure chocolate to start with. You can progress to more advanced stuff later if you wish.
Start with raw cocoa beans, which can be found at online sites. A good one which I have used before is http://www.detoxyourworld.com/acatalog/cacao_beans_skin.html
The beans need to be roasted by spreading them in a single layer on a baking tray, and leaving them in the oven for approximately 30 minutes at 400ºF. Allow them to cool, and then peel off the husks, which is extremely tedious but can be avoided by buying ready skinned beans. These are obtainable from the site listed above.
The roasted beans now need to be broken up. Spread them out on a tea towel, place another over top and bang them with a heavy rolling pin. You could also use a pestle and mortar. Once you have pieces, put them in a clean coffeee or pepper mill and grind them. A hand grinder is better because if the bits get too small they will liquefy. Grind to the point where you can put them into the pestle and mortar again for the final grinding.
Eventually you will end up with a somewhat of a mushy consistency.
Transfer to a dish and heat it up in a pan of water. Then grind a little more in the mortar. It should have now be fairly smooth. At this stage you can add a drop of orange, ginger or peppermint oil if desired. Then add sugar at a rate of half a cup of sugar per pound of cocoa beans, I'd advise adding the sugar gradually and tasting as you go as everyone's taste is different. Pour into moulds, leave in a cool place to set (not the fridge though) and et voila you have your very own handmade pure chocolate!
And you'll never guess what? Dark chocolate can actually help with weight loss. So now you have no excuse.
A slightly automated method of chocolate making
Tempering for all you purists out there
© Susan Bailey 2008 All Rights Reserved