Loco for Cocoa!... from Beans to Bar!
While busily writing on my computer a few days ago, I started to smell brownies baking. Could my omnipresent desire for chocolate be causing olfactory hallucinations? It was no hallucination… but unfortunately, it wasn’t brownies either.
Franz had decided to roast some cacao beans he had purchased. When I asked why, he simply said he was going to make chocolate. “Whatever” I thought, not believing him.
Soon he arrived at the table with a large pan of roasted beans that needed to be peeled.
Drawn to the fragrance, I started to help. For most, it just took a twist of your fingers to loosen and remove the papery hull. Some beans were a bit more reluctant to give in, but we persevered.
Soon we had a bowl of shining beautiful beans. Now what?? After a brief internet search, we learned we had to grind the beans with sugar numerous times until they turned to a thick liquid.
Somehow, this just didn’t seem possible, but we started. In the absence of a grinder, we turned to our Nutra bullet. After processing a few times, we had a crumbly mess, which was hardly holding together when squeezed. Franz suggested we try to melt it in a pan. Guess what? It didn’t melt or soften at all!
Then we thought to add some cream to half the mixture and process again. This seemed to work a bit, and we finally got a thick spreadable result, that still had a grainy mouthfeel. It tasted good though, so we proceeded to spread it on foil as directed and refrigerated it.
With the remaining mixture, I thought I’d just keep trying to process it again… and again… and again, etc. etc. It seemed to take forever, and chocolate seemed to be everywhere, but eventually, my patience won out, and the result was a rather smooth, creamy rich liquid. I spread it on the foil and cooled it along with the other piece.
The result was surely not Godiva, but tasted good, and gave us a most interesting learning experience. I now have an even better appreciation for the chocolate I love!
Check out this Youtube video about chocolate from plant to bar!