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adding flavor to chocolate
March 14, 2008
10:59 pm
chocoholicsue
Santa Barbara, USA
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Hi,

I have been trying to figure out the best way to add NATURAL flavorings to chocolate by means of infusion. But I am having problems with tempering as well as grainy textures etc..

I am talking about making bars with flavors, not ganache.

Does anyone have advice on how to naturally infuse chocolate with ingredients such as rosemary, orange, coffee cardamon pods, or any other ingredient without using oils or other non-natural ingredients.

How do Vosges, Dagoba, Valrhona etc.. do it? Is it infused during melting, tempering, or does the choc have to be infused during conching? Is flavor added to cocoa butter?

Thanks.

March 15, 2008
1:54 am
deb
Calgary, Canada
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The flavours must be oil based because that is the only way it will mix with the chocolate. If you go to the link below it will answer some of your questions. Many of us on this site are also members of eg gullet.
http://forums.egullet.org/inde.....pic=113678

March 16, 2008
4:07 pm
Foodpump
Vancouver, Canada
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Hmmmm. Everyone knows that when you put a pound of butter in the fridge next to a n unwrapped onion, the butter takes on the onion smell... I've used this fact to my advantage in baking with all fat based ingredientst, and many Chefs will store white or black truffles (the mushroom ones...) in an airtight container with butter or some kind of other fat.

Chocolate is fat based and very prone to picking up odours, so why not intentionally let it pick up the odours you want it to?

March 16, 2008
4:14 pm
chocoholicsue
Santa Barbara, USA
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Thank you so much for your answer Deb. I looked up the link and while it was informative, I'm not so much interested in inclusions like nuts, raisins, etc...

What I really want to know, and I hope you can help me, is: how do I infuse flavor (for instance, rosemary) naturally into chocolate.

Here's what I did when I tried the first time. I dried the rosemary out (to take out the water content) and then melted my chocolate. I added the rosemary into the melted chocolate and let it sit there for a while hoping to infuse flavor. Then I took it out and when I continued to temper my chocolate it just didn't work. The whole thing bloomed, AND it didn't taste a whole lot like rosemary - and was a little bitter.

Do you know how the big manufactures like say, Dagoba, add in their flavors? In the list of ingredients I did not see oil based flavors, just the ingredients themselves.

Thank you for your help.

March 16, 2008
5:17 pm
jc
manchester, United Kingdom
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If you don’t mind increasing the cocoa butter content a little you can infuse the cocoa butter before adding to the chocolate, the amount will depend on what your infusing and how strong you can make the cocoa butter

Melt cocoa butter to 40 add your chosen infusion
Place into warm cupboard and hold at 40 until infused
Then cool to 30 before adding to your tempered chocolate

I hope this helps, I have made a few variations (chilli, orange zest, rose) using this method and it works well, keep a thought on how much cocoa butter you are adding and shelf life, if you had the machinery to make your own chocolate you could do this at an early stage to avoid increasing the cocoa butter content

March 16, 2008
5:47 pm
chocoholicsue
Santa Barbara, USA
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Thank you so much JC. I was really wondering about about adding my flavor to the cocoa butter but wasn't sure of the process.

As of now I dont have the machinery to make my own chocolate so I can't do it that way, but I really want to experiment with using the best chocolate couvertures available and infusing them with my own flavor combinations.

Just a few questions:

1. How do I know how much cocoa butter to use?
2. how long do I infuse it for?
3. do the infusions have to always be dried (i.e not water based) or can it be used in it's natural state (for example rose petals) being that it is going into cocoa butter first?

I suppose I need to experiment to know these answers, but maybe you can tell me what you know as well.

Thanks for your reply also Foodpump.

March 16, 2008
6:22 pm
jc
manchester, United Kingdom
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I infused lots of things from basil, chilli dried, orange zest, lemon zest and fresh mint I tried them from 1 hour to 24 hours the best was the chilli and orange zest at 24 hours

I added 100g orange zest to 300g cocoa butter and held for 24 hours, I then strained and added 100g infused cocoa butter to 1000g 65% chocolate, there are however no rules other than your own taste I found this worked ok for me it did make the chocolate very fluid and change the mouth feel but delivered on taste
I then did change jobs and stopped looking into this as a way of flavouring but at the time found it to be the best way of keeping things fresh and natural

I hope this helps

March 16, 2008
6:27 pm
chocoholicsue
Santa Barbara, USA
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Thank you so much JC. This has really helped.

March 17, 2008
2:00 pm
chloechocolat
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March 17, 2008
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Bonjour!

I read with interest your post full of questions on my past and I am surprised, as you seem to have found my website, that you did not send me an email to ask for the details that you do not seem to find in the press. It was far more simple than to post your questions , that seem to overtone I am trying to hide something or spreading inaccurate information. I hope I don 't scare you!

YOu are right, most of the press embellishes everything as they want to tell stories that make people dream, and also tend to copy each other, so the same inaccuracies are quoted all over again . But this is totally out of my control. I do not " actively capitalize on my status as a "qualified agronomist", it is the press /people that systematically ask what i have studied.

I explain to all journalists that there is no school to learn what i know about chocolate and probably plenty of schools to learn some of the topics I do not know, but they systematically try to link the cause to effect, my past to what I am now.

All what you read is true but often inaccuratly quoted or links created when there is none. As a brief summary:

born in 1967 (I am 41 ) - femela - french father and german mother

born in mexico, moved to chile at the age of 7 and to Bolivia at the age of 10 then to France at the age of 14

A levels (Baccalaureat) scientific at the age of 17

Graduated the school CNEARC (Centre National d'Etudes des Regions Chaudes) in Montpellier (degree of engineer in Agronomy , specialised in tropical agronomy)- (6 months in Egypt as intern agronomist)

Then one year in Reading University for a Master in Agricultural Economics

I then realised i did not want to be an agronomist and explored "my creativity" : video, photo, cinema, television; I studied for one year (London) then worked in the film , documentary and advertising industry for 2 years, in France and in the UK, travelling all over the world for my job.

I then decided to go back to agronomy and applied for a job at the UN, and got it, a 2 year contract in Jamaica, from 94 to 96 but unfortunatly not in agronomy, it was development projects management.

I then came back to France and worked as manager of the chocolate departement at Ladurée for 3 years, then 3 years at L 'Oreal , then as a joke with friends, i applied for the position at Fornum & Mason and was surprised to get it.

The rest , I hope, does not need details.

I am more than happy to give any additional information if you explain to me what it is for. I may have problems to remember names of ex boyfriends, but i am happy to say the truth and only the truth as long as it does not hurt other parties.

A votre disposition, mister OZ.... Chloe

March 17, 2008
8:22 pm
Scott--DFW
Dallas, USA
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As I see it, Chloe's chief qualifications for her writing and public appearances are (1) an experienced palate (developed through personal consumption and as a professional buyer), (2) connections across the industry that make her very well informed, (3) a genuine and infectious passion for fine chocolate, and (4) a direct, elegant style of writing.

Whatever the nature of her work with the UN or in film or advertising, she is an effective, appealing advocate for fine chocolate.

Scott

November 14, 2008
11:46 am
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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On an editorial note, readers might be interested in my blog post [url="http://www.seventypercent.com/pod/?p=200"]here[/url], which discusses some of the issues raised by the moderated post.

Martin Christy
Editor
http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
November 14, 2008
4:50 pm
Marcellus
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I'd be interested in seeing a reply from Chloe Doutre-Roussell to oz choc's criticism. I'm certainly no chocolate expert and haven't read the book but it is very irritating when reading chocolate books and websites to find just such manifest contradictions and inaccuracies as described in oz choc's review. I certainly disagree with the defence that criticism should be mitigated because the intended market was non-professional. So what? I'm a non-professional but were I to pay genuine money for this book I would expect genuine information in return.
Martin writes in his blog post that Chloe is "quite capable of [defending] herself if required." I would imagine that a defence from Chloe is most definitely required given that the review appears to be well-researched and thoroughly referenced.

November 15, 2008
7:02 am
HawaiiChocolate
Hawaii National Park, USA
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December 4, 2006
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For some reason I cannot log into the blog to post.I personally don't get Samanthas lengthy effort to knock down Chloe or her book. Seems like someone is taking things way too personal. The book is intended for an audience who is learning about chocolate and is such, fills the role along with many other books.
I personally know Chloe and have seen her dedication to third world farmers in helping to bring their products to an international market. She is a hardworking person of high integrity and an asset to the chocolate community whether or not her "qualifications" seem qualified enough for you.becuase of her efforts internationally many small farmers have more than subsistence, they have a future.
As for cacao flavors, Hawaii has an emerging Cacao industry and is struggling with the same issues. At first people planted anything they could get a hold of, usually forastero. The resulting chocolate is bland. Growers have finally woken up to the fact that they need to reach for a world fine flavor standard to get the premium prices and have been working with the University to develop better flavor genetics for Hawaii's diverse climate zones. Education is needed and in need of sharing worldwide to keep the cocoa industry alive and the trickle down effect of keeping farmers farming..

November 15, 2008
9:21 am
Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
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August 6, 2006
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HawaiiChocolate, you missed Martins final note:

quote:


Just a final note: some of you may want to comment on this, and we are not currently allowing comments on Seventypercent. This is purely technical as we have to move to new forum software which will allow one log in for the forum and the blog sections. This is coming soon, I promise! Meanwhile, please discuss in the forum.


"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
November 17, 2008
1:14 pm
green
Trondheim, Norway
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Althoug I haven't read the book cover to cover, I still feel entiteled to recommend it. Some of the critisism above may (or may not) be justified, but I must say I dissagree with the credibility of the review. It has got a section about calories and Cloe's daily intake of chocolate, and states that her not gaining more weight is impossible. This is based on a simple calories in = calories out wich is a clear violation of the laws of thermodynamics (our bodies are not closed systems!), and such an obvious, althoug common, mistake. My advise is read it yourself and make up your own mind, because the review by oz choc does not seem all that well-researced to me.
(And sorry if this is post is unapropriate)

December 6, 2008
12:54 am
Scott--DFW
Dallas, USA
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Samantha,

Is your chocolate available anywhere in the US?

Scott

December 8, 2008
8:37 am
green
Trondheim, Norway
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quote:


Originally posted by oz_choc
green - are you suggesting that the amount of energy entering a system (for example, a human body) is *not* equal to the energy leaving that system??


No I am not, I was unfortunately rather inaccurate in my previous post. What I ment was that since the human body is not a closed system, calories out differ from calories spent by walking/thinking/housework/working out. I am aware of what dieticians etc think about the subject, but a growing group of people working with nutrition and health are stressing the fact that the impact of what you eat on different hormones have more to say on weight gain/loss than how many calories you eat/use. Unfortunately I would say, these people are often regarded as quacks or related to the "wonder-diets" you see in different magazines.

December 16, 2008
1:21 am
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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quote:


Originally posted by oz_choc

In response to HawaiiChocolate's assertion that chocolate made from Forastero cocoa is "bland" ...


What, specifically (and briefly), do you find favourable about Forastero (as a general rule)?

quote:


I just read an article which was published in the [url="http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/nov/16/foodanddrink1"]UK Guardian online[/url] on November 16 this year. In the article, Chloe nominated Spruengli truffles made with Bolivian Felchlin couverture as being among the world's best chocolates.

I note that Felchlin's Cru Sauvage is currently nominated as one of the "Top Ten Bars" on this site, and it received a glowing review from Alex Rast.


When I do my reviews I try to ignore or at least mentally set aside any consideration of bean varietal, origin, manufacturer, country of manufacture, or indeed anything else extraneous to the actual flavour itself. There's nothing absolute that prevents a bar from a particular bean, or country, or manufacturer, from being great simply by virtue of that classification - nor anything that matter that prevents it from being terrible.

However, I think it's equally important to distinguish a general rule from an absolute principle - and there are general rules that can and do apply. For example, to make a statement like "men are stronger than women" - with regards to physical strength, is not necessarily true at the level of the individual and one can easily find women who are stronger not only than some other man you could find but stronger than almost any man. But the general rule, and it's a statistical one - applies, namely that if you were to take a random cross-section of men and women you'd find on the whole that the average strength of the men would be greater. In similar manner, while it's not impossible for, say, Hershey's to produce a great chocolate, I think most of us on this site would agree that it's rather unlikely to be what one encounters in practice. Finding an exception would not invalidate the rule. This is the kind of rule being applied (I think reasonably) to Criollos.

Where general rules go awry is when somebody uses their truth as a convenient excuse for systematic, categorical action invariably favouring one group over another regardless of circumstance. That's called prejudice and is to be condemned. However, and I am very strong on this, the mere indication of a general rule by somebody is NOT an indication of prejudice.

quote:


...

If Chloe has changed her mind about Forastero and organic cocoa, then that's great - but it seems that some people are still treating the old and totally out-dated opinions in her book as gospel.

Personally, I think the chocolate revolution has moved on.


My belief is that you can't really prevent people from drawing their own opinions from what they read so authors can be at most indirectly and tangentially responsible for the opinions of others.

With the understanding that terms like "Forastero", "Trinitario" and "Criollo" are necessarily inexact approximations, I think I'm going to tip my hand a bit here. I think to scale back on Criollo or Trinitario production would be a tragic mistake for the industry. Whatever you think of their relative quality, overall, it's hard not to observe as a general rule that Forasteros, Trinitarios, and Criollos offer different flavour profiles. Criollos are on the whole fruity and light, Trinitarios rather bolder with the occasional spicy hint, and Forasteros tend to be woodier. If, then, you were to end or reduce production of Criollo or Trinitario beans, you'd be in effect cutting out a giant swathe of the chocolate flavour spectrum, for good or for ill. There would be exceptions, no doubt - but they would remain rare and unique exceptions. This would represent a diminishment of chocolate no matter what.

One final point to the moderator - can I suggest that the title of this thread be changed to read "Criollo vs. Forastero" or something else such as that - which is the main topic under discussion, and the posts separated cleanly? As it is I think the thread conflates 2 unrelated issues - the question of somebody's professional experience and the question of quality in Criollo and Forastero beans.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
December 23, 2008
11:09 pm
Seventy%
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Alex,

A separate criollo / forastero thread would be a good idea, but that subject really takes of uniquely in your reply. It might be better if you start a new thread, cut and paste your text across and link to the new thread?

Site Admin
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