How to Make Chocolates
Nowadays, Chocolate companies are investing millions of rupees for the machinery and the required tools to convert the bitter cocoa beans into yummy chocolates. However, you can make your kitchen a mini chocolate factory without much physical effort. You can try either of the below two methods to make chocolates on your own at home with the easily available ingredients.
Method 1 : Cocoa Powder Method for Beginners :
- Cocoa Powder – 2 cups(220g)
- Butter which is softened at room temperature – 3/4 cup(170g)
- Sugar – 1/2 cup(100g)
- Milk – 2/3 cup(150ml)
- Powdered Sugar – 1/4 cup(30g)
- water – 1 cup(235ml)
This is a method in which the Cocoa powder is used to convert them into delicious chocolates. Follow the below steps to prepare your ever favorite, chocolates.
- Pour 1 cup(235ml) of water in a vessel and boil keeping it below boiling.
- Mix the Cocoa powder and softened butter in a bowl until you get a soft and smooth paste of the mixture. There should not be any lumps present in the mixture. So you can use an immersion blender, food processor or even a fork to eliminate them in the mixture.
- Add this cocoa powder mixture in the vessel with hot water and stir thoroughly. Increase the boiling temperature. After pouring the mixture into a bowl.>
- Sift the sugar powder in another bowl and eliminate the clumps. now add the sugar powder to the hot cocoa mix which was prepared before. After this, add milk to this mixture and blend it until it becomes very smooth.
- Since the chocolate will take the shape of a container in which the mixture is poured, pour the mixture in a molder or evenly in various containers of different shapes.
Refrigerate or freeze the mixture in the mold over a night to harden the mixture to get the chocolate prepared to eat.
Method 2 : Cocoa Bean Method
- Cocoa beans – 0.5 kg
- Nonfat coco powder
- Cocoa butter – 3/4 cup(170g)
- Sugar – 1/2 cup(100g)
- vanilla pod(optional) – 1
Follow the below steps to prepare a chocolate in a different way using the above-mentioned ingredients.
1. Roasting the cocoa beans : Roast the cocoa beans to improve the chocolate flavor so as to sterilize and make the cocoa beans crack easier
- Let the cocoa beans be laid across a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast the beans in a preheated oven at 120ºC (250ºF) for up to 18 minutes. When the cocoa beans start to crack, they are ready and they taste almost like chocolate.
- Let the cocoa beans be exposed to a high temperature initially and then gradually to a lower temperature. When the beans start to crack, stop roasting. This can be produced in an oven or a store-bought roaster can be used. The duration and the temperature depend on the amount of beans being roasted, but roast them at a temperature between 120 to 160ºC (250-325ºF) from around 5 to 35 minutes.
- To roast a lot of cocoa beans, you should put them in a huge drum related on a gas grill depending on a number of cocoa beans.
2. Cracking the beans : After roasting the cocoa beans, crack them into nibs and they must be winnowed, which when we can remove the husks(chaff).
- Crack the beans with the help of a hammer for small amounts of cocoa beans and the husks can be removed by your by hand itself.
- For cracking larger amount of cocoa beans, you can make use of a coarse, Corona-type mill or even purchase a specialized mill to crack those beans into nibs.
3. Winnow the nibs: After cracking the beans, let the leftover husks be removed by winnowing. Gently stir the beans with your hands or can take the help of a spoon as you blow on them with a hair dryer until the husks are completely gone.
4. Grind the nibs into cocoa liquor: You need a strong equipment to liquefy the nibs and for separating the remaining leftover husks in the content. General food processors like coffee grinder(burr and blade), Vita-Mix, meat grinders (manual and electric) mortar and pestles and most of the other juicers won’t work. You will need to experiment to select the best-suited equipment to get the job done.
- Many people who make the chocolates at their home find success in preparing the chocolates with a “Champion Juicer”. They feed the nibs into the grinder or juicer one handful at a time, be sure to push them in gently otherwise the motor may overheat. Cocoa liquor will come through the screen and a mixture of liqueur and husks will find its way through the spout. Again feed this mixture through the juicer until only the husks come out through the spout.
5. Measure the Remaining Ingredients which you will need : Using a kitchen scale, weigh the cocoa liquor in grams. This measurement will be used to determine the amount of the remaining ingredients you will have to add. In the non-availability of a kitchen scale, you can eyeball the proportions of the ingredients, which must be as follows:
- Cocoa butter: up to 20 percent of cocoa liquor
- Sugar: 15-20% (bittersweet) to 75-80% (very sweet milk chocolate) as much as there is cocoa liquor
- Nonfat milk powder: use the same volume, for milk chocolate, as the cocoa liquor, or can also be slightly less than that.
- Vanilla (optional): Split the pod and soak it in the cocoa butter for up to 1 hour.
6. Conch and refine the chocolate : conching affects the taste, smell, and texture of the chocolate, whereas refining decreases the cocoa solids’ size and the size of the sugar crystals too. Both processes can be applied simultaneously with a powerful wet grinder. How you can conch and refine the chocolate depends on the equipment which you have used. Below are some guidelines for the Spectra 10 melanger:
- Melt the cocoa butter and the chocolate in the oven to about 50ºC (120ºF)
- Mix with non-fat dry milk powder, lecithin, and sugar.
- Pour the mixture of chocolate in the grinder and you have to periodically point a hair dryer at it for 2-3 minutes for the chocolate to be kept melted during the first hour.
- Continue to refine for at least 10 hours and not more than 36 hours, until the taste of chocolate is balanced and the chocolate is smooth, but be sure that you should not over-refine, otherwise it will get gummy.
- To take a break from refining, switch off the grinder and put the covered bowl into the oven that is preheated to 65ºC (150ºF) but after it is turned off and let it be there overnight. It should not become as a solid but if it does, take off the cover and turn on the oven to about 65 to 80ºC (150-175ºF) until the chocolate is melted.(But be careful that the bowl should not melt itself.)
7. Temper the chocolate : Likely, this is the most difficult part of this process of preparing a chocolate, but in this stage,it ensures that the chocolate has a “snap” to it and if it will be shiny, rather than being soft and matte enough to melt in your hands. Anyhow, the big thing about tempering is you can redo it many times as you need to (to get it correct) and the chocolate will not be ruined. And the most important thing is that you don’t let any moisture in the chocolate, or else it will be ruined.
- Melt the chocolate carefully. You can prepare this with the help of an oven if you are using larger quantities of chocolate, or you can even use a double broiler on the stove. It is your choice, rather you just have to make sure that the chocolate does not burn so you have to keep on stirring. Always melt more than 680g of chocolate, as any less and tempering could prove that it is difficult.
- After the chocolate is melted to a temperature of around 45 to 50ºC (110 to 120ºF), keep it in a dry and a cool bowl and stir until the temperature of the chocolate drops to about 38ºC (100ºF). Use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature of the chocolate. The chocolate in the bowl should remain at the same temperature when you work with chocolate outside of the bowl.
- Pour about one-third of the contents of the chocolate out of the bowl onto a non-porous countertop, hard or another surface (you can make use of granite or marble). Use a spatula to spread the chocolate and then bring it all back together.
- Continue to do this until the chocolate temperature is about 30ºC (85ºF), that must hardly take about 10-15 minutes. By the time the chocolate cools down to that point, the chocolate should be a thick.
- Add some of the 38ºC (100ºF) chocolate from the bowl to get the chocolate workable again. Work the chocolate around gently.
- Keep the chocolate back into the bowl with the 38ºC (100ºF) chocolate. Gently stir it and try not to create bubbles.
- The temperature of the chocolate should be around 32ºC (90ºF), but it must never be over 33ºC (92ºF). Anything higher than this and again you may need to temper the chocolate.
8. Chocolate should be molded when it is at about 32ºC (90ºF) : Pour the chocolate into the molds and be careful not to spill.
- Some people find it effective to use a large syringe to place chocolate in the mold, but you may find it easy enough to just pour with a steady hand.
- When all of the chocolate has been added to the molds, you may either freeze, refrigerate, or the chocolates must be harden at room temperature. There’s no right way to do it; choose whatever method works best for you. Anyway, you may be influenced by room temperature if you live in a warmer climate, in which case finding a cooler spot for hardening the chocolate will be essential.
9. After the chocolate is hardened, remove them from the molds : The molded chocolate should have a glossy appearance and should snap cleanly in two.
- If you are unsatisfied with your chocolates, you may again temper the chocolate as long as the chocolate remains dry and you haven’t burned it.
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