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A Patric

Demo: Making Chocolate at Home....From Bean to Bar

64 posts in this topic

Just something completely out of the blue:

After reading This NYT Article on Chocolate in Turin, I was struck by this quote:

The old formula has a slight smokiness that Dr. Mariella Maione, in charge of marketing, says comes from the olive wood the company still uses to roast chocolate.

A quick search for smoked chocolates indicates a few avant garde chefs smoking finished bars of chocolate but none that I am aware of trying to use smoke in the roasting process. In my mind, smoke and chocolate would seem like a fantastic combination and I was wondering if you were willing to do a bit of experimentation in trying to create a smoked chocolate bar.


PS: I am a guy.

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Just something completely out of the blue:

After reading This NYT Article on Chocolate in Turin, I was struck by this quote:

The old formula has a slight smokiness that Dr. Mariella Maione, in charge of marketing, says comes from the olive wood the company still uses to roast chocolate.

A quick search for smoked chocolates indicates a few avant garde chefs smoking finished bars of chocolate but none that I am aware of trying to use smoke in the roasting process. In my mind, smoke and chocolate would seem like a fantastic combination and I was wondering if you were willing to do a bit of experimentation in trying to create a smoked chocolate bar.

There are some chocolates that have a smokey character, due to the drying process over fire, any fire, any wood. It gives it a hammy character, some may like. I'm not sure olive wood would make a difference. I understand some growers do this to hasten drying because of the rainy season when they harvest. Otherwise, the preferred means of drying cocoa beans is in the sun for a week or so.

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Highly impressive. This seems like a perfect reason for a get-together. BYOB (Bring your own beans) and share the equipment.

Oh, the things that run through my head...


Screw it. It's a Butterball.

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Amazing demo! COOL! Really cool! Thanks for sharing! Watch this become a segment on Martha Stewart's show. "....And next week, make your own chocolate at home! Stay tuned..."

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Well, I wouldn't want to smoke any beans that I've paid for, as I'm sure that it takes some hands-on experience to know how much smoke to use, what temperature to roast at, and what woods work best. I would rather take the easy way--the oven. But, if ever I am able to try some smoke roasted bean chocolate, and I like it, then maybe I'll change my mind.

Alan

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Just something completely out of the blue:

After reading This NYT Article on Chocolate in Turin, I was struck by this quote:

The old formula has a slight smokiness that Dr. Mariella Maione, in charge of marketing, says comes from the olive wood the company still uses to roast chocolate.

A quick search for smoked chocolates indicates a few avant garde chefs smoking finished bars of chocolate but none that I am aware of trying to use smoke in the roasting process. In my mind, smoke and chocolate would seem like a fantastic combination and I was wondering if you were willing to do a bit of experimentation in trying to create a smoked chocolate bar.

Beans from Papua New Guinea are often dried in wood fired kilns. Oddly enough, a lot of reviews seem to find smoke in chocolate as a fault, but like some have said here, I think it would be a great addition. Especially with a nice peated single malt :biggrin:

Not trying to push my stuff, but do keep an eye out at Chocolate Alchemy. I just finished evaluating a PNG Trinatario which was quite smoky. If the distributor has it still, I think I will take a gamble and offer. I want to complete the evaluation of the chocolate it makes before I make a final decision.

It is going to be my next test batch of chocolate after the current goat's milk chocolate.

If anyone is interested in tasting either of those I would be happy to send out a sample for tasting when they are done. Just drop me a line.

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Dear all,

I just wanted to remind everyone of the chocolate alchemy forum:

http://chocolatetalk.proboards56.com/index.cgi?

When I first posted this demo that forum was only a few days old and only had a couple of members/posts.

Now there are 35 members and about 300 posts covering a very wide range of chocolate making issues from tempering to refining to sugar choices, etc.

At any rate, in new chocolate news, I am currently waiting on 2 lbs. of Forastero and 2 lbs. of Ocumare. I am going to do a 45% milk chocolate and a 70% bitter with these beans respectively. Though I won't chronicle every step like I did last time, I'll post any interesting findings.

I am currently having chocolate making withdrawl....I need my fix. :shock:

Alan

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Alan is doing a great job answering questions, but if I can answer anything, clear anything up or answer any particular "whys", please ask. I pretty much "discovered" how to make chocolate at home, with nearly every professional I spoke with saying it can't be done. I have really tried to make it approachable.

My main goal is to get the information out there and show people that making chocolate at home is VERY doable, and not really that hard.

Alchemist John

aka Mr. Nanci :-)

www.chocolatealchemy.com

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Is there a particular reason why you didn't use a hot water bath to maintain temperature while preparing the bars? In an industrial setting one wouldn't do that, because of the danger of water getting in, but in an industrial setting you're working with much saner batch sizes from a temperature control standpoint. A large casserole dish with at temperature water should give you much more thermal mass without being deep enough water that you run the risk of the chocolate seizing. Alternately, if you've got adaquate storage space, I suppose you could use a cocoa butter bath. Cocoa butter doesn't have a very high specific heat tho *ponders*.

Further, is there a reason why you're measuring in primarily in ounces rather than grams? Most scales sold in the US handle both, and the gram measure is more accurate. It's a much bigger deal on such tiny batch sizes to have accurate measurements. You're definitely right to go for a more accurate thermometer (or ideally a setup that can handle multiple more accurate probes).

The "refining, mixing and conching" stages aren't as separate as you make them sound in commerical production. Essentially, a large producer is starting from granulated sugar, cocoa beans, vanilla beans and (optionally) milk. So the refining step is take a portion of the cocoa beans, extract the cocoa butter and end up with the "waste" product of cocoa powder. The mixing of the cocoa butter and chocolate liquor typically happens as a separate step, because it's easier to build your factory with a single step where you join the production lines. At commercial levels of production, it would probably double or triple the conching time if the conchs were also serving as mixers. Since Hershey's chocolate is conched for 1-2 days, that would be a substantial cost for them.

Emily

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Well done Alan - it has been great reading your posts on various chocolate forums and I wish you every success with your new venture.

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Hey Alan,

I love your posts on here. I think it is great that people are finally seeing the chocolate is Doable! It doesn't just appear and can't be made...It is great to just eat and enjoy or to even make it yourself...great posts everyone...keep up all the chocolate making efforts!

Robert

Chocolate Forum

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Hi all,

Well, thanks for the support!

Shortly after the above demo I decided to start taking chocolate-making even more seriously than I already had, and over the course of the months that followed, it occurred to me that I was enjoying chocolate-making more than ever.

I soon decided that I wanted to put all of my energy into chocolate, so to speak, and so I started a company called Patric Chocolate. Since then I've been working full time, and then some, to get things off the ground. I've been travelling to various cacao-producing regions to work on building the relationships necessary for finding and sourcing the kind of high-quality cacao that I'm looking for. I've also been reading everything on chocolate-making and cacao-growing/processing that I can get my hands on, making countless batches of chocolate, and working hard to design and bring to life a small factory of my own.

Though the factory side of things has progressed much more slowly than I could ever have imagined, it has given me months more time to work constantly at the process of chocolate-making while developing my philosophy on fine dark chocolate bars (my only product). I've tried to briefly summarize these points on my website to which Kerry Beal linked in her post above.

The factory itself is going to finally be up and operational this month. However, due to aging of the chocolate, among other things, the first bars will not be out until April. I'll be sure to post a link to my site, where they will be sold, when they are finally released.

Anyway, so that's the update on where my chocolate-making adventures have taken me as we approach one year since I posted this demo last February.

Thank you once again to everybody for the support, and I hope that none of your New Year's resolutions included putting a stop to your chocolate eating habits. :shock:

Alan


Edited by A Patric (log)

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Hi all,

Just a note for anyone who is interested; there is a mailing list on the Patric Chocolate website now:

http://www.patric-chocolate.com/chocolate.htm

Anyone who is interested in receiving an e-mail announcing the release of the Patric Chocolate line of bars can sign up for this purpose. You also have a personal promise of mine that you will receive no spam.

Very Best,

Alan McClure

Patric Chocolate


Edited by A Patric (log)

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I had set out to do an instructional video on youtube on making chocolate at home but never got very far with it. However, there are a couple of short clips showing me toasting and shelling the cacao in my cast iron skillet.

The clips are no big deal though.

www.youtube.com and type in Jay and Irene Make Chocolate.

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Hey Alan,

I was wondering...What Origins are you going to debut with when you first open sales of your chocolate? Are you going to have single origins or are you going to have some blended chocolates as well? Whatever you could tell us would be great...

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Hey Alan,

I was wondering...What Origins are you going to debut with when you first open sales of your chocolate?  Are you going to have single origins or are you going to have some blended chocolates as well? Whatever you could tell us would be great...

Hi Robert,

Thank you for the interest. I will be releasing a number of single-origin bars, and you can expect a variety of cacao percentages. Not to be too secretive, but I would like to wait until the bars are available before I make the origin countries known.

As for blended bars, I will not be releasing any in the beginning. However, I am very interested in blends, and it is just a matter of time before I start working on adding one or two to the Patric Chocolate line.

Best,

Alan McClure

Patric Chocolate

Find out when Patric Chocolate is available. Join the Patric Chocolate mailing list with two clicks:

Click


Edited by A Patric (log)

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Hello all,<br>

<br>

Things are going well here and I can now say for sure that when the first bars are released there will be at least 4 bars and three origins. However, cacao sourcing has been going well, so depending upon time, I may be able to add one more origin and bar to that list. At any rate, if anyone wishes to know a little more about what I am doing from an outside source, there is a recently published local article about Patric Chocolate here:<br>

http://www.showmesports.com/2007/Mar/20070324Busi005.asp

<br>

<br>

Also, for anyone who hasn't yet seen the "Bar Release" mailing list through which I will send out a message announcing the release of the Patric Chocolate line of bars, I have found a way to paste the sign-up box below using html code. Just enter your e-mail address.<br>

<br>

Best,<br>

<br>

Alan<br>

<br>

<div align="left">

<div style="width:380">

<form name="ccoptin" action="http://eaui.constantcontact.com/d.jsp" target="_blank" method="post" style="margin-bottom:3;">

<font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" color="#000000">

<font size="1"><b><font size="2">Please notify me as soon

as Patric Chocolate is available:</font></b></font> </font><br>

<input type="text" name="ea" size="20" value="" style="font-family:Verdana,Geneva,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size:10px; border:1px solid #999999;">

<input type="submit" name="go" value="GO" class="submit" style="font-family:Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size:10px;">

<input type="hidden" name="m" value="1101548882905">

<input type="hidden" name="p" value="oi">

</form>

</div>

</div>

<div align="left">

<a href="http://www.constantcontact.com/safesubscribe.jsp" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.constantcontact.com/ui/images1/safe_subscribe_logo.gif" border="0" width="168" height="14" alt="" vspace="5"/></a>

</div>


Edited by A Patric (log)

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Hello all,

Well, since the almost seven months since the last time I posted to this thread, things have been hectic here. Luckily, however, everything has constantly been moving in the right direction. Starting in late July, just before another cacao trek to Central America, I finally released the first bar under the Patric Chocolate brand, but only locally.

It is a single origin 70% dark chocolate bar made only from cacao lovingly grown in the Sambirano Valley of Madagascar. This bar is pure and unadulterated chocolate, but due to the special processes employed to create it, including aging process of up to 90 days to mellow harshness and allow subtle and pleasant flavors to shine through, the chocolate is filled with notes of luscious citrus, red wine and berries, and is incredibly lacking in bitterness.

So far I have only shared a handful of these bars with friends and colleagues outside of Columbia, MO, but as of yesterday, the re-designed Patric Chocolate website and online store finally opened. You can find it here:

http://www.Patric-Chocolate.com

Over the past few months I have also added a chocolate-themed blog to the site, so for anyone who hasn't had a chance to see it, you will find it at the above URL as well.

Currently I am working on four other chocolate items, three of which will be available

by late November or early December, and another to follow in early 2008.

Until then I hope that the lone 70% Madagascar bar will be enough to keep fine chocolate lovers happy.

Also, let me mention that I will be wandering around the NY Chocolate Show in early November, though not at a booth, and so I hope that I'll have the opportunity to meet some of you. I'm already hoping to finally meet Kerry, and I'm sure that plenty more of you will be there.

Very Best,

Alan

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I've had the good fortune of tasting Alan's Madagascar bar, and it's on par with the very best I've tasted from this region. Very nicely done! Packaging is great (I shudder to think what the packaging alone must've run you Alan...).

Very well done.

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Well... I went straight to the site, I'm always interested in trying new chocolates, and ran straight into that all-too-familiar "no shipping outside the U.S." disclaimer. So I'm out of luck for a tasting but this is still cool. Best of luck with it.


Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Well... I went straight to the site, I'm always interested in trying new chocolates, and ran straight into that all-too-familiar "no shipping outside the U.S." disclaimer. So I'm out of luck for a tasting but this is still cool. Best of luck with it.

Not to worry, shipping to Canada is on the agenda for the near future (probably early 2008).

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