I am wondering how far people go with their chocolateries. I understand that the most extreme side of the graph would be from growing cacao and everything else and to making the actual confections. That would include, nuts, cream, butter and all other ingredients . Hard to believe that this happens somewhere! Somewhere in between could be buying cream, chocolate, and other ingredients. But this is also a wide spectrum. One can make his/her own nut pastes, gianduja etc or buy them ready. I know of a person who claims you cannot make your own gianduja and he is quite annoyingly adamant on this. What do you people out there do/make grow?
updated by @ilana: 04/11/15 10:12:44PM
What do you make/grow/do by youself?
Well, I personally make my own chocolate from the bean, and press my own cocoa butter. That's as far as I get down the production ladder. Upwards it goes all the way to boxed, finished bonbons and bars. I do make all my fruit purees and nut pastes.Your friend that says gianduja cannot be made at home is full of... hot air. Anyone with a stone grinder can turn out an excellent gianduja. I know I have many times.
I am excited to read this. A dream come true! I also thought that my "friend" is full of hot air! What a good way to put it! Do you feel the fruit and nuts you process make a difference in taste? I think that even it if doesn't-which it probably does, it shows how much you care about your product and is very dedicated and cool. I do not yet have the equipment I need to make my own purees and pastes. I want to get into it eventually. Does pressing your own cb make a difference in taste?Thanks.
Living in Guatemala, I don't really have access to pre-made nut pastes and purees, hence the venture into making them myself. I don't really use any specialized equipment except for the initial grinding of nuts, and there I use something readily available: a Champion juicer with the solid plate in place of the screen.For my fruit purees it's even more lo-tech: a stick blender and a chinois! If I have way too much passion fruit to process, I do run the seeds once through the Champion with the screen in place to squeeze that last bit of juice/pulp from them.Since I only do single-plantation chocolate, I considered pressing my own CB an absolute must. And yes, definitely, compared to commercial CB I do notice an enormous difference in taste. I use exactly the same class of beans (not seconds or thirds) to press the butter as I use for the chocolate, and am very careful not to over roast. This assures purity of taste from one bean to the other.
Since the inception of my company I have grown all of my own berries for my chocolates. I currently grow strawberries, raspberries, marionberries, grapes, and plums. I have used and or use all of these fruits in my truffles, pate defruit and bons bons. My farm is 2 acres and is certified organic.I have, for the last few months, begun turning out microbatch chocolate from bean at my shop and using that to make bons bons for my store.We also make gianduja..traditional as well as pecan, macadamia nut aand pistacchio....yer friend is wrong...
Hello JeffWe have conversed in the past. I asked about a shipment to Israel but it was too difficult and costly. I am sure one day when I visit the states, it will be one of my goals, as well as tasting the other micro batchers like Amano and DeVries etc. I am so glad my "friend" is so wrong! I have also made pistachio marzipan but have yet to figure out the perfect recipe. Macadamia and pecan gianduja sound heavenly. Do you adjust the quantities based on the fat content of the nut? I assume you do! Do you use special machinery or as Cheebs? Cheebs have you heard of the thermomix? This seems great for small micro batches of nut pastes etc.I am going to plant a passion fruit hedge, which grows fast and gives lots of fruit.Cheebs, the cocoa butter pressing is incredibly interesting. I know it is hard to describe, but how does it change or improve the overall taste? Is it non deodorized? I will have to ask Jo Zander here about his bean to bar and cocoa butter. (Jo, do you press cb?)Thanks for sharing both of ya!! I so enjoy reading this stuff.
I don't add any cb in the dark chocolate. We are working on a press for milk chocolate which needs cb. By using your own cb the aroma from the roasted cocoa is in the cocoa butter and enhances the chocolate flavor rathr than dulling it. Adding cb is necessary when you want sweeter chocolate
It's the cb that is in the beans. We don't add extra cb to the chocolate. It is 70% beans 30% sugar. An estimate of the cb from the beans is about 50% which would make the cb content of the 70% bar 35%. We have made some small batches that have added cb but I felt it was too sweet and to fatty. It makes sense with milk chocolate as there is a significant amount of milk powder and sugar. It needs the added cb in order to flow properly. Btw re this post, we are also working on developing goat milk powder. And possibly milk crumb, and then gianduja of course.