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Fat Guy

Turning chocolate into chips/chunks

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Assume somebody gives me a 5kg block of Callebaut 70-30-38Basis. Assume further that I wish to make a zillion chocolate chip/chunk cookies. What's the best way to convert the chocolate into chips or chunks?

By "best" I mean easiest for a lazy amateur with no special equipment. But of course academically I'm interested in other approaches.

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food processor on pulse

Assume somebody gives me a 5kg block of Callebaut 70-30-38Basis. Assume further that I wish to make a zillion chocolate chip/chunk cookies. What's the best way to convert the chocolate into chips or chunks?

By "best" I mean easiest for a lazy amateur with no special equipment. But of course academically I'm interested in other approaches.

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I disagree about the food processor: too much dust and wee bits.

Chef's knife with room temp (or even a teensy bit warmer) chocolate.

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Seeing as I just tried this last night...I have to agree that the food processor IS NOT the way to go. I wasted a fairly decent amount of dark chocolate - which I wanted to use as chips in some cupcakes. So, FatGuy, thanks for posting and I eagerly await an answer.

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food processor on pulse

I was sort of hoping for "I'll come over and do it for you."

Is there a trick to this, like refrigerating or starting with a certain size chunks?

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Try this method FG.

Tried and true. And fairly quick. They won't be completely uniform, but they will be decently uniform. Just keep an eye on how thick a starting point you have when press down.

Good Luck!

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Anything involving chocolate under my arm and a bread knife is way too ambitious for me.

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Fireworks and/or dynamite.

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You might want to try some of the other methods in that thread though......

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I have tried the "under the armpit" technique and do not like it. Takes too long and a little too dangerous given my propensity to be clumsy. The following technique has been amazing successful, to my great surprise.

First, I cut open the wrapping and pull out the block of chocolate until the score lines are visible. Each section weighs about 1 lb. Then I take a clean Chinese cleaver (mine has a pretty thick blade) and a really, really heavy mallet with a metal head. I place the cleaver on the scored line of the chocolate and whack it with the mallet. One or two good whacks breaks it apart very cleanly. Once the large block is broken into smaller sections, I wrap each loosely in plastic film (to keep bits of chocolate from flying all over the place) and start whacking it into smaller pieces. Once the pieces get to about 1-2 inch chunks, they can usually be cut into smaller chunks with the cleaver alone or a knife. The chocolate block should be cool, but refrigeration is not needed.

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I used to work with a pastry chef who would leave the 11 lb blocks of chocolate in their original wrapper and climb on top of the walk-in and drop them on the floor. That was enough to get started...the chocolate would be in large chunks and he would chop them smaller from there.

You could also send the chocolate blocks to David Letterman so he could drop them off a 5 story building. :laugh:

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Assume somebody gives me a 5kg block of Callebaut 70-30-38Basis. Assume further that I wish to make a zillion chocolate chip/chunk cookies. What's the best way to convert the chocolate into chips or chunks?

By "best" I mean easiest for a lazy amateur with no special equipment. But of course academically I'm interested in other approaches.

I buy Callebaut in those big blocks, and I use a cleaver to chop it off the block. It works really well. A lot of times the cleaver creates a crack in the chocolate before cutting all the way through which allows you to break off a large chunk easily by hand, and then you can use the cleaver to chop that into smaller chunks until you get the size you want.

Edited to add that Beanie, I see, has a bit more refined cleaver method that I do. I just aim, whack, and pile it on my scale until I have the amount I need.


Edited by takomabaker (log)

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10-12 inch chef knife with serrated edge. Find them at your local restaurant supply with the basic white handle for cheap.

I personally chopped up many a block of 5Kg Callebaut with one.

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I used to work with a pastry chef who would leave the 11 lb blocks of chocolate in their original wrapper and climb on top of the walk-in and drop them on the floor. That was enough to get started...the chocolate would be in large chunks and he would chop them smaller from there.

My mother uses a similar technique. She whacks the heck out of one against the edge of her butcher-block baking table. Never warns anybody she's about to do it and scares the heck out of me every time.

But, there are easier methods. I don't have one, but there are such things as chocolate chippers, like this one or this one. I believe I've seen Martha use one on the old cooking show . . . looked like it worked really well.

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I used to work with a pastry chef who would leave the 11 lb blocks of chocolate in their original wrapper and climb on top of the walk-in and drop them on the floor. That was enough to get started...the chocolate would be in large chunks and he would chop them smaller from there.

My mother uses a similar technique. She whacks the heck out of one against the edge of her butcher-block baking table. Never warns anybody she's about to do it and scares the heck out of me every time.

But, there are easier methods. I don't have one, but there are such things as chocolate chippers, like this one or this one. I believe I've seen Martha use one on the old cooking show . . . looked like it worked really well.

That's pretty funny! I always thought they were ice picks. Depending if you are outdoorsy or not you may have an ice pick in your garage you could use.

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The chipper that Pam linked to is how I learned, but I have a suggestion:

1) Wrap the block in a layer of parchment, then seal it in two freezer bags.

2) Lay the carefully wrapped block crosswise on a 2x4.

3) Drive a mini-van over the block.

4) Back up, returning the mini-van to its starting position.

5) Remove from packaging. Enjoy.

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Well, there's always this approach (originally used by my daughter on some applewood):

gallery_6263_35_68492.jpg

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Chefpeon's method ain't bad. Stick it in a bag, chill till its brittle and then drop it. If necessary, finish it off with a couple of good whacks with a meat club or mallet. On the other hand, if you splurge and buy a chocolate chipper like Pam suggested (about USD 5-6 retail), you also have a ice chipping tool for cocktail hour. :biggrin:


Edited by priich (log)

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Fat Guy, you are simply taking the wrong attitude about this. Just because you don't want to chop up a humungous block of chocolate doesn't mean others wouldn't jump at the chance, if you spin it right.

A friend and I assisted a pastry chef in a chocolate tempering class. We are both chocoholics, and we loved chopping up the blocks of chocolate necessary for the class. I remember my friend gazing in wonder at one 20-lb block of chocolate that she later demolished. You see?

So my suggestion is to invite some friends over for a Chocolate Heaven experience, chopping up your chocolate. They can do the work, and you can serve refreshments.

P.S. If you don't have a chocolate chipper, you can also use the meat fork that comes with a carving set. It's not as efficient, since it's only 2-pronged, but it works fine.

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