March 13, 2004
September 7, 2003
I've replied to similar queries before, so won't reply to this one at great length. It suffices to say that making one's own chocolate is not suitable for a small 'in-home' hobby. If you have a really large space to devote to it, and lots of time and money, then it can be done. It requires major equipment for decent results.
If you want only cocoa (for drinking) and not 'chocolate', then you can buy roasted cocoa beans and grind them like coffee, but you'll find it difficult to purchase a small ammount.
hope this helps
Oh no! My Agustus!
December 14, 2004
Oinkie, you could always buy some unsweetened chocolate and make up your own chocolate bars by adding sticky molasses sugar, vanilla pod seeds. Any other flavourings you desire, like orange or lemon zest (candied if you like). Then pouring into moulds or a tray. You would need to know how to temper chocolate but that's about it.
The quality of unsweetened chocolate you buy would be everything. Made from pure Criollo beans and made using the best techniques, if possible.
-Zero is where truth begins. Didn't you know? You can't say it wasn't obvious.-
December 9, 2004
I have made chocolate from scratch.
It is not easy. It can be very expensive in fact. I've spent a bundle on equipment and experimenting with different ways of doing it. Even so, the quality of the chocolate STILL isn't quite what you can get commercially. The flavor is great, the texture is ok. (Though I _think_ some new equipment that I got in the other day and that I am in the process of modifying and building will get me as good as what you can get commercially.)
I recommend that unless you have lots of $$$ and time that you avoid doing it from scratch. However, if you take a good quality baking chocolate and add sugar you will be fairly close and your cocoa beans will already be properly roasted and ground. You will want to use finely ground sugar to do it. Unfortunatly, confectioner's sugar is 3% cornstarch and so you can't use that. This is of course, just one of many of the problems you will encounter.
You will also need to be good at tempering the chocolate (by hand) or else you will need to invest in a tempering machine to do it for you (which isn't full-proof either) and they run around $450 for an inexpensive one.
Hope this helps,
Here's a good site/mailing list to check out if you're interested:
It's got some good info on proceedures and equipment...