Hi- new here. I'm not totally lost and I appreciate 'bean to bar' but I'm going to be trying to mess around with compounds for a little bit. There are many factors to iron out just with regards to molding and packaging before I go buy big equipment. My goal is to make a pretty darn good bar out of dutched cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and fondant sugar. Perhaps some liquid lecithin.
I've learned that so long as I use ingredients that are finer than the 45 micron level I don't need a wet grinder or a melanger, so if indeed these ingredients satisfy that requirement I can heat and mix. I've come to understand that cocoa powder is already tempered, or doesn't require tempering. If it's already in its solid state then it seems to be successfully tempered (?)
I have many a concerns because I've found only hair-brained ideas with regards to reconstitution because frankly it makes little sense to the connoisseur. Why not buy a big arse bar and melt it down? It's just the first level of process control and it cuts costs nearly in half, depending on the formula. The formula is hard to figure out because I had to do some fuzzy math.
For bean-to-bar guys like y'all it's suggested to add either little or no cocoa butter. So basically when the commercial cocoa powder is made and the butter is pressed out of it I need to estimate how much to put back in. I cheated and looked on the back of a few commercially available bars and took an average. I found that the bars range from 32%(hersheys) to 38% fat by weight. This was in the 30-50% cocoa range. I'm starting in this range for my first bar. Most of these bars were closer to 38% fat by weight, and some had other fats but I'm just going to assume cocoa butter can be substituted into the cocoa butter substitutes. Cocoa powder has already 22/24% fat in there. I don't know what that means, so I averaged 23% fat (assumption). A little fuzzy math and one can add sugar and butter in the proper proportions to make a 38% by weight butter bar. My second assumption is that a, for instance, 40% cocoa commercial bar uses 40% cocoa which has 22/24% fat by weight. Is this a fair assumption? Also, because I'm not going for "single origin" cocoa at this point should I be indifferent to deoderized/non-deoderized butter?
I have a ton more brain-droppings for everyone but I fear that many haven't made it this far down my post. I will say that after averaging bars (dagoba, lindt, hersheys, scharffen burger, valhrona, etc) I came up with a 45% cocoa bar that requires 50% cocoa powder, 25% butter, and 25% sugar by weight. Anti-climactic, no? I was going to try callebaut, valhrona, and pernigotti mainly because they're well rated and pretty standard.
Any thoughts on my train of thought and assumptions are much appreciated.
updated by @drew-e: 04/12/15 04:33:21PM