Forum Activity for @Brad Churchill

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
07/31/17 01:52:03AM
527 posts

DCM Melanger


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

My opinion:  Almost all chocolate today is not made with stone wheel grinders because it is old, and inefficient technology.  You can't even buy new industrial equipment with stone wheels (even replacement parts are hard to get).

My experience:  Most craft chocolate is gritty (and unpleasant to me) because the granite wheels cannot get the chocolate down to the smallest particle size in a reasonable amount of time.

 Clay can put you in touch with a manufacturer that offers a much better solution - a solution that is specifically designed for refining chocolate - even on a small scale like 100lbs.

You can also get in touch with me at Brad@Choklat.com I am in the process of becoming a dealer of machines I've been using for 9 years now. You will be pleasantly surprised at the price of the machines, and, like I said, I have been using them for 9 years.  They are rock solid.

Brad

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
07/25/17 08:48:38PM
527 posts

A New Tempering Machine is Closer Than Ever!


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Sebastian:

But does it come with a flux capacitor?

Hey Sebastian;

I can build one in.  See attached photo.

Oh... Wait... I just put on my glasses.  Never mind....

;-)


download.jpg download.jpg - 4KB
Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
07/20/17 05:02:42PM
527 posts

A New Tempering Machine is Closer Than Ever!


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Jim.

I am familiar with the Chocovision machines.  I had a Rev2.  It was an expensive noisy, tiny waste of money.

Brad

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
07/20/17 03:36:14PM
527 posts

A New Tempering Machine is Closer Than Ever!


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Q: What's the diameter of the bowl?

A: Diameter of the bowl is 14 inches.  You can easily dump your polycarbonate molds into it.  The overall height of the machine is 15 inches, so it can easily sit on a chair and be perfectly flush with your kitchen table.

Q: How many kilos can it hold?

A:  It will temper 1 kilo or up to 8 kilos.  Each litre of volume is about 1kg.

Q: What about cooling?  That is always the longest part of the tempering curve.

A:  All table top tempering machines use ambient room air temp to cool, because adding a compressor and cooling device would not only make the machine much larger and heavier, but also significantly more expensive and complex.  This machine is no different in that respect. HOWEVER.... Unlike any other tempering machine on the market, you can turn on and off the first two of the three tempering steps. This gives the operator ultimate flexibility with respect to how they handle their chocolate.

Each tempering cycle has three set points: 1. Heat  2. Cool  3. Reheat. 

If your chocolate is already hot, and you start your tempering cycle, it will figure that out and move to the cool stage or you can just turn set point one off completely.  The machine will then start at 2 and move to three automatically.

Maybe you want to melt it and cool it quicker - say in a water bath like I demonstrate on my website.  No problem .  Turn off set point one and two, and pour your cooled and crystalized chocolate into the bowl, push the cycle start button and walk away.  It will bring the chocolate up to your working temperature and hold it for you all day.

Maybe you have tempered chocolate.  Maybe you don't . It doesn't matter.  You can dump any kind of chocolate into it, set your temperature points, push cycle start, motor start, and walk away.  If the chocolate is cold, the motor will start automatically once the temperature sensor reads 80F/26.5C

Unlike other machines the motor operates independently of the tempering cycle.  This allows you turn off the motor to dip, pour, mix or whatever.  It will continue to try and regulate the temperature of the chocolate.  That being said, the significantly enlarged workspace helps reduce the need to turn the motor off.

Also:  If something happens and your chocolate gets too cool, the motor will automatically go into a "Hold" mode where it will shut off and wait until the chocolate is again at a safe temperature before restarting.  The software in the control center figures that out for you so that you don't turn around and find chocolate crawling out of the bowl (we have had this happen WAAAAY too many times with Hilliards, ACMC, and Pavoni machines).

Baffle:  unlike other machines where the baffle goes all the way across the bowl, essentially cutting your workspace in half, this machine's baffle is removed and replaced with a scraper that agitates the chocolate just enough to keep it from completely crystalizing.  This gives the operator maximum workspace.

Let's say you're working and running low on chocolate.  This is where this machine REALLY shines!  Melt more chocolate very quickly on a double boiler and cool it to 95 degrees F in a water bath.  While it's cooling, drop setpoint 3 (you can do that in real time with this machine WITHOUT having to reset the temper cycle) temperature to 83F/27C  it will begin to overcrystalize the chocolate in the bowl.  Once it's there, and you can see your chocolate getting thick, simply dump the new chocolate into the bowl and raise the working temperature again to your own working temperature.  The new chocolate will help bring up the temperature of the chocolate in the bowl and vice versa - eventually equalling out.  The machine will ensure that the temperature hits your target point.  Wait a few minutes for the new and old chocolate to mix and the temperature to become consistent, and presto!  a bowl full of perfectly tempered chocolate (provided of course that your existing chocolate was overcrystalized to begin with Haha!!)  You can even have spare chocolate premelted and cooled on your stove to add to the machine throughout the day.  (We do this all the time so we never have to go through the tempering process after the first cycle in the morning).

One other thing:  because this machine is for the most part round, there is a HECK of a lot less cleanup at the end of the day.  You don't have a machine with chocolate poured all over it, or a mess of chocolate in the bolt mounts for a baffle that isn't needed in the first place!

As someone who has worked with thousands and thousands of kgs of chocolate over the years, and broken or made a mess with every P.O.S. table top tempering machine out there.  I can assure you that this machine eliminates ALL of the hassle of working with a table top machine.

...and it's not going to break the bank.  After all the price is in Canadian funds.  Our dollar isn't worth much outside of Canada!  LOL

Get On the List!

Brad@Choklat.com

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
07/20/17 11:55:40AM
527 posts

A New Tempering Machine is Closer Than Ever!


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Hi Omar;

The chocolate is heated using two elements in a coil similar to that of a hair dryer.  When the chocolate is heating to the melt cycle both elements are on and it is producing very hot air.  Once the chocolate is at its final cycle (maintain temp), then the large coil shuts off and the small coil cycles.  This uses FAR less energy, and there is no risk of burning the chocolate.

The machine is also designed in such a way that all parts are very easy to get access to and replace in the event that something does break down.

ALSO:  unlike the Pavoni Mini Temper, and the ACMC Mini Temperer which have the circuit board IN the heating and cooling chamber (Stupid design.  I mean really... what were they thinking???? Who puts a circuit board in an oven???), in my machine the circuitry is kept in a completely different chamber with a consistent operating temperature.

Please send me your emails at Brad@Choklat.com so I can put you on the list and keep you updated as to progress.

Cheers

Brad

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
07/20/17 05:18:16AM
527 posts

A New Tempering Machine is Closer Than Ever!


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Super Excited! After many months of research the prototype of my state of the art table top chocolate tempering machine is up and running. WAAAY too many improvements over current machines on the market to mention! I am hoping to have this ready for market in the new year.  Here are some features:

Whisper quiet.

Large Bowl and large working area will hold up to 8 litres of chocolate.

FULLY AUTOMATED!

No light bulbs for heat.

Uses state of the art software and touch screen. 

All three stages of the tempering cycle are fully customizable for your style of tempering chocolate.

Temperature safety measures (no more chocolate crawling out of the bowl!  No more broken gear motors!)

Power saving features.

The first one begins use in our production shop tomorrow.  Next month we will build 4 more and cycle out all of our current table top machines.  After 100% uptime for the entire Christmas season we'll be comfortable enough to start taking orders.

Machines will retail for about $2,000 CDN and will come with a lifetime guarantee against defects.

Who's interested?  


temperingmachine2.jpg temperingmachine2.jpg - 465KB
Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
07/18/17 12:28:24AM
527 posts

Looking for custom chocolate syrup manufacturer


Posted in: Classifieds

Hi Ben;

Seeing as you are an "extra over the top clean label", you definitely don't want to use anything that has cocoa powder in it.  Cocoa powder is the bottom of the barrel in the chocolate industry - almost always a by-product of making cocoa butter.

A natural stabilizer doesn't mean the product isn't good. In fact sometimes the best ingredients NEED a stabilizer to remain in stasis.

As a chocolate manufacturer, I would take more pride in using xanthan gum, guar gum, or corn starch than stating that we use cocoa powder. Even the Aztecs and Mayans used stabilizers in their drinks.  Their stabilizers were in the form of starches (ground maize) in the drinks to make them rich and frothy.

...just something to think about.

Brad.

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
05/23/17 02:58:51AM
527 posts

White Cocoa Butter Color - Better Tasting Alternatives


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Josh, I can't answer the questions you asked of me.  I have had the occasion to use titanium dioxide for a couple of small special orders and for those I squirted the colorant right into the chocolate until I got the desired color, but as a general rule in my shop we don't use any colorants.

Sorry.

Brad


updated by @Brad Churchill: 05/23/17 02:59:37AM
Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
05/18/17 02:35:05AM
527 posts

Uniform Cacao Grinding


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

This will work great for you.  We have one, and can completely break nibs into almost powder, or into larger pebble sized pieces without creating a paste.

All you need is the breaker

http://www.datasweet.info/cms/front_content.php?idcat=180

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
05/18/17 02:31:10AM
527 posts

White Cocoa Butter Color - Better Tasting Alternatives


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Josh;

Cocoa butter isn't white.  Ever.

Unless you've got a direct line on the red phone to Mother Nature you're going to have to use a colorant.

You might want to look at a different supplier for your whitening agent.  It shouldn't have any flavour at all. On top of that good colorant is so concentrated that you have to generally use very little.

Cheers

Brad

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
05/12/17 02:32:10AM
527 posts

best surface for tempering chocolate


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Over the years I have had a lot of people ask me about tempering.  Here's the easiest you will see on the Internet:

https://www.facebook.com/SoChoklat/videos/1132903850118884/

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
03/26/17 04:05:46AM
527 posts

Healthy Chocolate


Posted in: Self Promotion / Spam

Haha!  Gretahass that was funny.  General statements about flavanols and UV protection...  Maybe I should just spread dark chocolate on my skin instead of SPF15.

How about we look at FACTS - such as the one that says dark chocolate (say 70%) is approximately 65% fat and sugar.  I challenge ANYONE to name one health food that is 65% fat and sugar and call it a health food with a straight face.

Chocolate is CANDY whether it's dark candy, milk candy, or white candy.

You want healthy food?  Eat a salad.

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
03/15/17 12:33:15AM
527 posts

Bean to Bar Cocoa Commercial Nib Grinder Cacao Cucina


Posted in: Classifieds

I post information and opinions on forums like this to help people in the chocolate community as a whole, not just you.

If I think a machine's a waste of money I will be happy to say so, AND explain why if pressed.  Personally I don't care if it hurts your feelings.  The least I can do is prevent someone else from making the same bad decision you did.

Further to that, IF this was simply just a classified ad, there would be no ability for people to contribute, or offer information.  Inquiries would be confidential.  However, this is a FORUM, where everyone can contribute.  So I did.

Sometimes the truth hurts.  Buy some tissue and move on.

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
03/14/17 02:50:08AM
527 posts

How to make chocolate "softer"


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

There is another option which I'm surprised that nobody has touched on, and that is to simply mold up a thinner bar.  Lots of advantages to this option, rather than adding a different fat to the bar.  While it won't make the chocolate "softer", it will be easier to break, and the flavour won't be diluted by the addition of more fat.


updated by @Brad Churchill: 03/14/17 02:51:14AM
Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
02/07/17 04:31:19AM
527 posts

Fruity Panama Beans


Posted in: The Cocoa Exchange

I may be interested in 2-4 tons.  Please email me privately at Brad@Choklat.com

Thanks.

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
02/02/17 05:25:43PM
527 posts

For Sale / Savage Bros, Side by Side Melting and Tempering System / Alberta


Posted in: Classifieds

I am interested.  Please send pricing details.

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
02/02/17 02:53:57AM
527 posts

Bean to Bar Cocoa Commercial Nib Grinder Cacao Cucina


Posted in: Classifieds

Complete waste of money.

Why?

Because as small business owners we ALL have oodles and oodles of spare time to stand around and feed tiny amounts of nibs into a machine three times, to grind it into a gritty paste that can't be used for anything other than making micro batch chocolate, which of course is what the micro batch refiners are designed to do - GRIND nibs into chocolate!

There are other more useful things to spend $7500 on.

Brad.

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
01/13/17 02:56:03AM
527 posts

WTB: Cacao liquor/ butter from Canadian distributor?


Posted in: Classifieds

I make liquor and can get my hands on a number of varieties of Ecuadorian cocoa.

Shoot me an email at Brad@Choklat.com if you like.  Maybe I can help you out.

Cheers

Brad

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
11/09/16 02:06:08AM
527 posts

Chocolate bars bending in the fridge.


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Without knowing what your chocolate recipe is, and assuming that you have enough cocoa butter in your recipe, I would have to say that your chocolate is not tempered properly.  

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
10/24/16 02:54:59AM
527 posts

How To Temper Chocolate The Easy Way.



Over the past couple of years I have seen (and responded to) MANY question with respect to tempering chocolate.  Most of the answers deal with the mechanics, but don't give the person an in depth understanding of why chocolate behaves the way it does.

This evening I turned the camera on for the first time in my shop and let it run for 25 minutes while I demonstrated exactly how to temper chocolate by hand, and explained why it behaves the way it does.  I posted the video on my company's Facebook page so everyone can watch.

I truly hope it helps those of you who are struggling with the concept.  I also hopes it prevents you from wasting money on equipment that isn't necessary to work with chocolate in your own kitchen.

Here it is.  Enjoy!

https://www.facebook.com/SoChoklat/videos/1132903850118884/

Brad Churchill

CEO

Choklat

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
10/18/16 02:53:19AM
527 posts

Chocolate With Added Cocoa Powder


Posted in: Opinion

That's a pretty general question Sebastian.  Kind of like "how high is up?".  

Big companies utilize many different distribution channels and pricing structures.  Depending on the channel, the product could go through several hands before reaching the end consumer, with each hand getting a piece of the action.  Then there's also the case of a huge chain buying direct and through sheer volume getting deep discounts (such as in the case of Walmart, Target, or Costco).

Then there's also different classes of products within each category.  Some classes command a higher retail price, even though the COGS is the same, (or maybe even less than) as a similar item in a different category or demographic.

Take Kit Kat for example.  Here in North America a 55g Kit Kat bar is $1.00 at best.

Not in Japan. Japan is Kit Kat crazy.  An 11 gram single finger is $2.24! That would make a 55g bar the equivalent of $11.12 here in Canada!

Nobody anywhere is going to convince me that Nestle's margin on a north american kit kat is the same percent as the margin on a Japanese Kit Kat, and while producing about 1.5 BILLION kit kat mini's per year just for Japan, their margin - even IF small - most likely makes Warren Buffet hard.

Hmmmm..... I don't think I'm charging enough for my bars....

Brad 

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
10/15/16 05:35:17PM
527 posts

Typical yield of molded truffles from 1 lb chocolate?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Hi Cotton;

The answer to your question is a calculation of very simple math. Add up the weight of all of the ingredients you are using and then divide that by the number of pieces you get.

An "average" commercial, molded chocolate bon bon weighs around 12 grams when finished. However there is no hard fast rule which defines this value. Our truffles for example weigh around 23 grams.

There are also no hard fast rules with respect to how far a "pro" can make a pound of chocolate go.

In the chocolate industry a "pro" calculates food cost. That's really the driving force behind what gets produced. After all, nobody goes into business to make a 100lb easter bunny to sell for 5 bucks! (exaggeration here but I'm sure you get the point)

Simple solution: calculate your food cost, and then determine if/how it needs to be altered, and what ingredients can do that.

Brad
Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
10/14/16 05:12:10AM
527 posts

help on how to use a chocolate melter/tempering machine


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Temper more chocolate than you plan to use.  The temperature fluctuations will be less drastic and take much longer.

Chocolate is forgiving in that you can retemper it many times over, so you have nothing to lose by melting more than you need, and like I said, with a larger volume in your machine, the changes in temperature will take much longer to occur, thereby allowing you to work with it more.

Brad

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
10/14/16 05:06:13AM
527 posts

Chocolate With Added Cocoa Powder


Posted in: Opinion

Hi Antonella;

In my opinion and experience, cocoa powder is the bottom of the barrel in the industry, and I would never add it to chocolate that I make.

Yes, you are right that big manufacturers do add it to some of their products, but it's never a decision predicated on creating a quality product.  It's a decision driven by profit.

In the commercial candy bar industry, the margins on chocolate bars are very very slim.  Given that (aside from vanilla) cocoa butter is the most expensive ingredient in a chocolate, and cocoa beans are the second most expensive, it comes down to mathematics - minimizing the expensive ingredients, while maximizing the intensity and flavour.

The problem is that cocoa powder is very astringent and often muddy tasting, and if anything detracts from the flavour of the end product.  I have never seen a case where it contributes positively to the end flavour of a good quality chocolate.

That's my experience.

Brad


updated by @Brad Churchill: 10/14/16 05:07:10AM
Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
08/29/16 05:12:58PM
527 posts

Please Pay Your Respects...


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Please take a moment today to stop and give thanks to the original Willy Wonka - Gene Wilder - who passed away today at the age of 83. Mr. Wilder, your persona was larger than life, and the inspiration to thousands of chocolatiers the world over. Thanks to you and Willy Wonka we think not what is, but what could be. Thank you for your gift of pure imagination to us all.

http://variety.com/…/gene-wilder-dead-dies-willie-wonka-yo…/

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
07/30/16 04:55:11AM
527 posts

Choklat Chocolate On Sale ...


Posted in: Classifieds

FINALLY.....

After 8 years I have put in place an order and delivery system.

For those of you out there who have always wanted to try my company's chocolate, we are now taking orders and shipping throughout North America.

Oh.... and I have updated our website too, so would like feedback on that.

Please give our order system a try.  I would like to work out any kinks before the Christmas season approaches!

Cheers

Brad Churchill

Choklat


updated by @Brad Churchill: 07/30/16 04:55:13AM
Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
03/27/16 06:36:34PM
527 posts

KitchenAid Precise Heat Mixing Bowl


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Hi Lauren;

Your post got me curious, and I went online to check it out.

Interesting concept for sure! Please keep everyone posted.

At the very least, it would be great for proofing dough for bread at home!  I just might have to order one myself.

Cheers

Brad

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
03/27/16 05:11:06PM
527 posts

Help with some chocolate machinery info, please


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Daniel;

The small universals I use in my lab allow me to dial the tension of the blades right back to the point where they don't even touch the side of the machine.  In that case it would still be conching.  Doesn't yours do that?

Cheers

Brad

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
03/27/16 02:11:11PM
527 posts

Help with some chocolate machinery info, please


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

David;

You were disengenuous, so I took a page from your book.

"...The problem is that someone who does not have a clue about that, already had some budget assigned to each equipment. My job is to find the specific piece of equipment ....."

I guess by your own account of how you felt you were treated by me, you insulted your employer too eh?  

If you want GOOD advice, then be humble.  Admit to knowing nothing, even if you know more than nothing.  ...and when you DO get advice.  Accept it graciously, then do the substantiation ON YOUR OWN.  Don't ask the person giving the advice to prove themselves.  Refuting a person's advice, and then qualifiying it with "correct me if I'm wrong." is simply a polite way of saying "I don't believe you. Prove to me what you say."  Stated in either context, I consider it rude.

In Canada we have an old saying:  "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth."

Brad.

Oh... and to keep on topic, I STILL recommend that you find, qualify, and hire someone who DOES have a clue.  That should be your task.

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
03/27/16 02:25:57AM
527 posts

Help with some chocolate machinery info, please


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

David, my reply WAS nice.

You asked for advice. I took some time out of my busy day and gave you very valuable advice - advice that is backed up by real-world experience. I even gave you an example.

I didn't have to say anything. In fact I could have remained silent like the thousands of other people on this forum who currently are silent on this topic.

Yet I decided to help YOU.  And whether you like it or not it is good advice.

I didn't call you names or attack you personally or insult your mother. I simply stated fact.

As a good and proper Canadian I should at this point in time I apologize to you because you are offended. After all up here we apologize to people for everything.

...but I am not going to.

Go buy that conch.  It's a great buy, and it's shiny!

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
03/26/16 08:11:33PM
527 posts

Help with some chocolate machinery info, please


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

David;

From your post above and your "theory" with respect to particle reduction based on something you might have read in a book somewhere, it sounds to me like you haven't got a clue on how to make chocolate.  At the very least, you shouldn't be helping ANYBODY set up a state of the art chocolate lab.

What you SHOULD be doing is trying to source an accomplished professional who DOES know what he/she's doing, and has a pedigree to prove it, then contracting his/her services to compose a report on the equipment needed given the vision of the corporation and budget the organization is restricted to.   That professional will know the in's and outs of pretty much all of the equipment needed for each task in the chocolate making process, and will make recommendations in their final report.  They will probably even provide names and phone numbers so accounting can place the orders.

Clay can do this.

I can do this.

This is the recommendation you should take back to the institution you are working for.  While your final report might cost you several thousand dollars and it may seem like a set back at first, one simple change in the decision to buy one piece of equipment over the other can potentially save your organization 10's of thousands of dollars.

As hard as this is to read, a professional's advice is usually worth the money spent.

I'll give you an example that just happened to me last week:

Last week I spent $7,000 on an engineering report for the mezzanine above the work area of my factory lab.  Ouch.  That stung.  It's a good thing I did though.  The engineer found significant deficiencies which could have shut the whole project down at inspection time, or even worse - killed someone when the loaded storage area collapsed on my lab.

I hope this advice helps you go down the right path.  Asking random strangers for opinions  on a specific piece of equipment because it "looks good" while helping build a "state of the art" chocolate lab is not the right path.

Case in point:  Fly to Calgary, and pay me $6,000 euro's to SHOW you why you don't need a small useless conche worth $12,000 euro's.  Your flight and my fee combined will save you $4,000 euros!  We all win!

Cheers

Brad

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
03/26/16 12:21:02PM
527 posts

Help with some chocolate machinery info, please


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

David;

I'm right in the process of building a new lab and factory.  As someone who has over the past 10 years made and sold several million dollars worth of chocolate, I can answer ALL of your questions.

Brad@Choklat.com or 403-472-8701

I guarantee that your savings will be in the 10's of thousands of dollars.

Cheers

Brad 

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
03/13/16 09:07:41PM
527 posts

Liquid chocolate to hot chocolate


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

I agree with Clay.

OMG.... Did I just say that?  LMAO

Cheers and good luck with your drinks!

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
03/13/16 06:29:32PM
527 posts

Liquid chocolate to hot chocolate


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Grant;

I've been doing this for a long time, and have amassed such a loyal following that my customers have, in the past two months stepped up and loaned my company $300,000 to build a bigger factory.

Here are some words of wisdom to live by when you are trying to "keep your costs down".

1.  Garbage in.  Garbage out.  You can't take crappy ingredients and make great things from them.  Cocoa powder is the bottom of the barrel in the chocolate industry.

3.  If you use liquor, you don't need to add fat.  The liquor is +/-50% fat already.  Use a homogenized milk, or even a 2% fat milk.  That works best.

4.  Under $20, if the quality is there, nobody cares about price.  This has been proven time and again with movie theatre admission, theatre popcorn, wine, chocolate bars, and way overpriced cappuccino's.  Make a product that WOW's people, THEN figure out your costs and charge accordingly.  People will pay the price you ask.

5.  With respect to a "vegan option", I did almost 6 months of research on this one, and it's a total bust.  I made a drinking chocolate with Soy Milk.  Anti-soy vegans complained.  I made a version with Almond Milk.  Nut allergic vegans complained, plus it tasted nutty.  I made a version with rice milk, and an amazing whipped edible oil product for the top (or optional toasted marshmallow).  It seemed to pass all the "acceptability tests" from all the hypocondriac fair trade organic non gmo wingnut vegans out there, so advertised the heck out of it.   In fact I got FABULOUS feedback during product trials.  So.... I spent several thousand dollars on marketing, literature, signage, social media (vegan facebook pages, etc.), and sold.... you ready?  40 servings.  I also threw out a lot of pre-prepared drink bases, because nobody purchased.  If you would like to create a version that caters to the 6 vegans out there in the world at the cost of quality to those who actually pay your bills, well.... I think you are selling yourself short.

Well, I hope that helps.

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
03/13/16 01:56:47PM
527 posts

Liquid chocolate to hot chocolate


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

$6 drink in Canadian Dollars .... 99cents in US Dollars.

Advice from Brad ... Priceless.

Haha! 

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
03/12/16 12:36:45PM
527 posts

Liquid chocolate to hot chocolate


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Here's a recipe you can try.  It's worked for me over the past 7 years, and I've sold close to 20,000 12 oz cups of the stuff at premium prices ($6 per cup).

4 litres of Homogonized Milk

450g of the best liquor you can buy (unsweetened chocolate)

890g of regular granulated sugar

60g cornstarch.

Shave the chocolate and set aside.

Mix the sugar and the cornstarch together, then dissolve in the milk and bring the milk to almost a boil.  

Remove the milk from heat, and stir in the shaved liquor.

Pour into a jug, and then portion out and use a steamer to reheat it as needed.

IF YOU WANT THE BEST FLAVOUR USE THE BEST INGREDIENTS.  Water isn't one of them.

Some people balk at the use of cornstarch, but it serves a couple of very important uses:  1.  It thickens the drink without making it too sweet or too bitter.  2.  It suspends all of the fats and particulate in the drink to create a homogenous beverage.   For a beverage truck type of service you are suggesting, melting chocolate and mixing it with liquid is not practical when there's a lineup of people impatiently waiting.  This beverage can be made ahead of time and quickly steamed with a miriad of spices to create different flavours.  One of my most popular is the drink with two tablespoons of hazelnut butter.  OMG!!!

It's also good to know that the use of corn starch goes back all the way to aztec times when maze (a traditional incredient) was ground with the cocoa beans to make the drink.  Back then the starches were introduced naturally.  Having said that, this recipe makes your drink closer to the traditional form than any of those you have described, and it tastes WAAAAAAY better.

Hope that helps.

Brad

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
02/18/16 01:16:46PM
527 posts

does anyone have any experience of tempering raw chocolate?


Posted in: Make Mine Raw ...

Ok Clay.  Then the answer is very simple:

Honey is essentially a liquified sugar which contains 17-20% water by weight - enough to make it fluid, but not enough to allow pathogen growth (the well known golden 80% rule in the confectionary industry)

Water interferes with the crystalization of cocoa butter, causing it to thicken drastically, or sieze altogether. 

Chocolate is a finely balanced SUSPENSION of solid particulate in a fat (COCOA BUTTER) that exhibits certain, controllable behaviours.  Adding another type of fat, or a liquid to the chocolate - even in small amounts - inevitably messes with the ability of the fat to behave in the manner needed.

ergo, honey plus cocoa paste/chocolate = "ganache" and ganache cannot be tempered like a chocolate bar.

That's one of the (several) reasons manufacturers don't use honey to sweeten chocolate.

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
02/18/16 03:35:48AM
527 posts

does anyone have any experience of tempering raw chocolate?


Posted in: Make Mine Raw ...

You say in your post above that you are using cocoa paste.  Does it taste like chocolate?  If so it isn't even remotely raw, and you shouldn't market it as such whether you're using honey or not.

JUST LIKE COFFEE BEANS DON'T TASTE LIKE COFFEE UNTIL THEY ARE ROASTED, COCOA BEANS DON'T TASTE LIKE CHOCOLATE UNTIL THEY HAVE BEEN ROASTED.  PERIOD.  PEOPLE LIE.  CHEMISTRY DOESN'T.

Furthermore, 99.9% of the cocoa paste you buy today goes well over the threshold for "raw" during the grinding and refining process (I have personally ground 10's of thousands of lbs of cocoa beans into cocoa paste.  I know what I'm talking about)

Given that cocoa beans don't taste like chocolate until they are roasted, and cocoa beans aren't called chocolate beans, and the trees aren't called chocolate trees, there is no such thing as "Raw Chocolate".  There is however, such a product as sweetened cocoa paste - exactly like you are making.

...but it's not chocolate, or anything close.

The Mast Brothers piss Clay off, and Raw Chocolate makers piss me off.  Why?  Both lie.

Brad

Brad Churchill
@Brad Churchill
01/21/16 07:30:55PM
527 posts

Part 1: Fact Checking Georg Bernardini's "Chocolate - The Reference Standard"


Posted in: Opinion

Did I get a review in the book?  I have no idea.  I scanned it.  I didn't read it.  

Ah... "Best Hot Chocolate in Calgary" award WAS in fact a competition put on by a charity, and judged aonymously by...  wait for it.... HUNDREDS OF MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC!!!!  WOOHOO!!!   You know those types of people don't you?  They're the ones who keep a business's lights on through frequent patrionage....  But then again, who cares about "those" types.  Customers are uneducated troglodytes that the business should ignore because the opinion of a self proclaimed "judge" who writes a book on the industry (add your own impressed ooooooo... and aaaaaaaahhhh... here) is more important than what sheeple a business calls customers think.  (anecdote:  If you read this and think that I don't care what my customers think, you need to know I'm just being facetious here).

Yuhuh.....

I won by a landslide two years in a row and never entered after that because the results were so skewed to me that nobody else would be able to compete fairly.

Apparently it's a good thing the judging was left up to people who PAY MY BILLS rather than the " narcissistic, bloated, self indulgent wingnut" who saw fit to give me a mediocre review in the book he wrote proclaiming to be THE chocolate reference......

I might be childish (petulant is a better word), but I'm certainly not narcissistic enough to think that my opinion is THE opinion that everyone should adopt as the gospel in my industry.  

I'm sure you can also see how much I care about what one misguided individual thinks about my chocolate when I sell out regularly and have to build a larger factory in order to keep up (currently under way now) with demand for product made with recipes that sell well but get poor reviews from people who claim to know what they are talking about.  hahaha...  That's funny...

The fact still remains irrefutable that no single person can ever claim to represent the opinions of the populus when that single person has not polled the populus for their opinions.  Anyone who tries is narcissistic by pure definition of the word.

Oh... and you won't have to come to Canada to try my chocolate.  Just North America.  Once my new factory opens in a couple of months Choklat will finally be able to produce enough to ship our "mediocre" hand made chocolate all over Canada and the US.  

Cheers

Brad


updated by @Brad Churchill: 01/21/16 07:35:45PM
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