Forum Activity for @Tom

Tom
@Tom
07/23/12 05:03:54PM
205 posts

Washing Beans after Ferment


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

Thanks for the refs Steve, i will have a read
Tom
@Tom
07/22/12 07:48:09PM
205 posts

Washing Beans after Ferment


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

Here is another technique I see a little of in cacao processing, mainly in cacao I get from Samoa and Fiji. So what they do is wash the beans with water after ferment has compeleted to get the pulp off, then they dry. This results in a shell that is super easy to winnow away. Does anyone know how this practice influences the flavour of the resultant cacao. Is this a bad practice or good practice. Anyone had any experience or care to comment?


updated by @Tom: 04/21/15 03:52:25AM
Tom
@Tom
07/02/12 12:27:17AM
205 posts

The perfect paring: Chocolate with _____?


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Last week I really enjoyed Askinosie's Davao Dark with Fuji apples, really good combo!

My other fav combo is to have a hot chocolate with any meal or food that has chilli in it. I am not a big fan of putting chilli in my chocolate or in a hot chocolate but alongside is great!

Tom
@Tom
05/31/12 06:56:44PM
205 posts

The Malting Process as it Relates to Cacao Fermentation


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

Thanks for the explanation Nat. I agree this is not part of fermentation that I have heard much about and it is interesting as it may help some of the growers I know make better chocolate.

Tom
@Tom
05/31/12 05:07:48AM
205 posts

The Malting Process as it Relates to Cacao Fermentation


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

Seneca, I was meaning that during the time between cutting a perfectly ripe pod from the tree and the opening of that pod the seeds may undergo chemical changes similar to that of the malting process as they move towards germination. I am certainly not advocating germinating seeds before fermentation. Just looking for an explanation as to why leaving the cut pods for a few days before opening and fermenting results in beans that ultimately give better chocolate, as attested to by Jim and Adeir Boida de Andrade.
Tom
@Tom
05/29/12 09:53:23PM
205 posts

The Malting Process as it Relates to Cacao Fermentation


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

Thanks for the responses guys, that has been very insightful!

So Brian, would you say that leaving the pods for the one day period gave you the best flavour in the finished chocolate, you mention it is noticably different from doing it asap.

I might try and get my mate in FNQ who grows to try leaving the cut pods for a day or so and see the effect on the chocolate.

My little cocoa babies in Darwin are going great guns, only about 2 more years and we might see some flowers.

Tom
@Tom
05/28/12 07:18:11PM
205 posts

The Malting Process as it Relates to Cacao Fermentation


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

I have read now in a few places that the best chocolate is made from fermented beans that were left in the pods for about 4 days after picking before then being opened and fermented. This got me thinking about an explanation, perhaps this is akin to the malting process. The malting process is where a grain is taken, most commonly barley, and it is soaked in water and then allowed to germinate. Once germinated it is then dried for a few days at around 50degC then roasted after that to the darkness required. The process of germination breaks down polysaccharides into monomeric sugars such as glucose and fructose and also proteins are broken down into amino acidsthese arethe two precursors for the Maillard reaction which is responsible for the flavours in chocolate.

So joining the two together is it possible that leaving the pods once cut for 4 days before opening and fermenting leads to changes in the beans akin to malting providing the bean with more precursors to the chocolate flavour? I know that cacao germinates very quicky, I am growing some in Darwin at my sister-in-laws house.

I had a quick look in the scientific lit. and couldnt find any refs on the subject, it would be a cool research project I think.


updated by @Tom: 04/21/15 12:52:21PM
Tom
@Tom
05/17/12 11:35:34PM
205 posts

Evaluation and Feedback


Posted in: Opinion

Clay, this site is by far and away the site I visit the most, several times a day, I have learnt an incredible amount, made many contacts and contributed in kind, though I do tend to answer most of my own posts. I think the free and sharing nature of this site, a nature that you have fostered is an excellent one and hopefully it inspires others to do the same. I for one have met many growers from Australia's neighbouring countries and have consulted to them on many aspects of small scale chocolate making, roasting profiles, formulations, feedback on beansetc. I don't charge forthis 'service', I taught myself chocolate making from this site and chocolatealchemy, from information provided freely and I pass that along. By doing this however, I get something much more valuable, I have built a up a wealth of knowledge and experience in local cacao and eaten a fair bit of it too!

As for paying for something on here, I don't know, I can't think of anything, maybe others can,I feel thoughit would impinge on the sharing nature of the site. Sure, though, people have to make money.

Actually, one thing I would pay for would be a 'Chocolate Life Magazine' (online)with well written and nicely edited stories. You do get that sort of thing onthis siteand from the blogs of chocolate makers etc but they are all a bit piece meal and you have to remember to go back for an update, and not all the info is in the one place in a easily digestible form. Editing an online magazine would be very time consuming though.

Tom
@Tom
05/16/12 07:20:45PM
205 posts

Theobromine: source for?


Posted in: Classifieds

Brad if you want to reduce blood pressure naturally, hibiscus tea is very good apparently (Wiki again). I looked into it becausea couple of Aussie cacao growers started eating the whole beans straight out of the pods, pulp bean everything. The cacao beans they grow up there are very purple. Anyway they found they were able to ditch their blood pressure meds. This could be a combination of the theobromine as well as the complex mix of anthocyanins found in the purple beans - the same anthocyanins that are found inhibiscus tea, which are the blood pressure reducing agent. I did read on this further and it was a particular two anthocyanins that were the best - as far as I can remember.

Tom
@Tom
05/15/12 07:30:37PM
205 posts

Theobromine: source for?


Posted in: Classifieds

You can do the same with tea and extract the caffeine, it was a second year uni chemistry prac. Maybe they should do theobromine too, the prac would smell pretty good at least.

Tom
@Tom
05/15/12 07:06:11AM
205 posts

Theobromine: source for?


Posted in: Classifieds

I am intrigued, what would you want it for?
Tom
@Tom
05/05/12 07:00:39PM
205 posts

White Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

As with my carob chocolate post i am not a white chocolate fan but am interested in its history. Apparently it was first made by the Nestle Co in 1930. What i am interested in is why, what was the motivation, was it just a way to sell more milk powder or was it to showcase the flavour of the milk. Was the cocoa butter deodorised, was this first bar like the Askinosie bars with good quality milk powder and cocoa butter that had that cocoa aroma to it?
updated by @Tom: 04/20/15 06:55:45PM
Tom
@Tom
05/07/12 12:20:59AM
205 posts

Carob Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

Is that the carob pod powder or the thickening agent made from the seeds?

Tom
@Tom
05/05/12 06:54:45PM
205 posts

Carob Chocolate


Posted in: Opinion

Before the predjudice starts, do people actually know what carob is? I didnt until recently, and no i am not going to go on some hippy rant about chocolate replacement, i make chocolate from bean to bar myself and nothing could substitue. Carob, as i found out is actually a sweetener, with no real chocolate flavour, the carob pods are roasted, deseeded and ground to a flour which is high in sugar and fibre and tastes like dates or malt powder....certainly not chocolate. Coincidentally, it is my daughters favorite climbing tree down at the creek near our house, we had no idea the 10s of kilos of pods on this massive tree were, sweet and edible. I now think of them as natures muslie bars, about 50 percent sugar, high in fibre, low in fat, with 6 percent protein (which is pretty high really) and no fat and raw taste like malted dates. Excellent for little tree climbing bodies. One of the main products from carob production is a delicious syrup, which is great in milk and on ice cream.Anyway, my question is, who invented carob chocolate and why, i havent been able to find anything about it yet.
updated by @Tom: 04/20/15 02:20:04PM
Tom
@Tom
04/20/12 03:55:20AM
205 posts

Samoan Gold Standard Cocoa now available for testing


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Hi Howard, I have consulted to Australian growers, several companies in the Philippines and several growers in Samoa as well as having tried as much cacao I could get my hands on from the South Pacific region. I would love to give you feedback on your beans and can put it in context of the region. I also know a few people in the industry that value my oppinion on such things and could become clients. 3kg would be ample for assessment. Let me know.
Tom
@Tom
04/15/12 11:50:26PM
205 posts

"We Eat With Our Eyes." Hmmmm.... I'm not convinced.


Posted in: Opinion

I don't tend to buy chocolates (centres with a coating of chocolate)personally, I prefer solid dark chocolate bars. But I was recently in a shop, it was holidaysand I was buying some for my daughter and wife. I knew what flavours they liked and all my purchases were based on my knowledge of chocolate and how certain flavours would be represented in the offerings in the cupboard and there was a great deal to choose from. All my purchases bar onewere based on how I thought it would taste, not how it looked. It was also influenced by not wanting to give my daughter artificial colours and flavours and what I thought would have been freshest.Though I did buy one that looked like big red lips which was made of coloured white chocolate with a white chocolate ganache, I bought this because it was cute andromantic and not for taste. I knew it would taste like waxymilk and sugar with vanilla...and it did! What a surprise.

So majority on taste! or rather perceived taste, I knew they used Belgian covertureso I wasn't going to eat any.

Tom
@Tom
04/20/12 07:51:49AM
205 posts

Sugar Free Chocolate


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

Coconut sugar is not as sweet as cane sugar so you may need to consider that in the formulation. i used some of Ernestos, it really complemented the Australian chocolate i made from it, it also has a quite distinctive flavour too, i really liked it. It ground in pretty much the same as normal sugar. Tempered no probs. i made a dark choc and the diabetic woman at work loved it, moderation is key though, it is not sugar free.
Tom
@Tom
04/02/12 11:38:11PM
205 posts

Daintree Estates Article


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Further to coincidently running into a large cacao tree in the Darwin Botanic Gardens that turned out to have a very high proportion of white beans in the pods,in the inflight magazine was an article on Daintree Estates Chocolate - Australias newest chocolate maker. This was a huge 5 page article, quite well written and acurate which I was impressed with. See attached.


updated by @Tom: 05/11/15 09:15:42PM
Tom
@Tom
05/05/12 07:13:48PM
205 posts

Fermented cacao beans-bar


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

The mechanical grinding pocess to refine chocolate can destroy enzymes and proteins. Shearing force alone is enough. I posted the ref once before but it was lost when a raw food hippy took their post off, i will dig up the ref again when i have time at work.
Tom
@Tom
03/14/12 11:09:06PM
205 posts

The best way to include coffee into chocolate


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

2-5% coffee ground into whatever chocolate you are making makes a fantastic mocha bar of chocolate. I reccommend it with a really fruity chocolate like Madagascar or Australian with a little milk powderit is by far the prefered bar that I make and I make a lot of different and crazy stuff. I find it grinds down so it is not noticable in the chocolate - smooth as and at this level there is no problem with cross contamination of chocolate batches. I make this type of chocolate a lot. Ghirardelli makes a similar type of bar to this. Do it!

Tom
@Tom
03/08/12 09:36:26PM
205 posts

What happened to Samoan cocoa?


Posted in: History of Chocolate

Very interesting read, thanks for posting.

Tom
@Tom
03/08/12 09:39:25PM
205 posts

Samoan cocoa beans


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Thanks Richard, I look forward to it, yours will be the third plantation I will have tried beans from in Samoa, it really is a very nice origin bean.

Tom
@Tom
03/06/12 09:39:24PM
205 posts

Samoan cocoa beans


Posted in: Tasting Notes

That is quite a journey, I wish I had a hidden plantation too!

On the website are the bars you are selling ground liquor bars?

Tom
@Tom
03/07/12 09:36:51PM
205 posts

new member


Posted in: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

The more the merrier!

There is nothing like using your own cocoa liquor in cooking, roasted just the way you like it. You also have 100% control over added sugar etc.

Tom
@Tom
02/28/12 10:02:55PM
205 posts

Cream Filling


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

I have often thought to give that a try, what fruit concentrates do you use, what gives a good result. I have easy access to apricot and mango, I think apricot might be good - with a milk or dark milk chocolate.

Tom
@Tom
01/28/12 05:03:50PM
205 posts

Dark milk chocolate


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Well i would say you have too many solid particles for the amount of naturally occuring cocoa butter in the beans you used. I would add cocoa butter but since that is not an option you could go for a vegetable oil with a high bp and little flavour so as not to change the taste of the chocolate too much. I am not sure how much you would be able to get away with before you will have trouble tempering the resulting chocolate but i would guess not more than 5%. Also if you do this it won't strictly be chocolate anymore because you have other non cocoa fats in there. I do this when i make a choc-hazelnutspread but then i adding more than 5% and the result is spreadable.
Tom
@Tom
01/27/12 07:40:25AM
205 posts

Looking to learn how to make chocolate - bean to bar process


Posted in: Chocolate Education

He does have a stone grinder, read the '$4000 pregrinder, really, really' thread from a year back.I have made beautifully refined chocolate on my Spectra 10 every weekend for almost 5 years, same machine, no mods, changed the belt once and had the motor serviced once. A damn good investment!!!
Tom
@Tom
01/24/12 05:25:20PM
205 posts

World Chocolate Awards


Posted in: Opinion

It does seem that you have given it a great deal of thought.

Tom
@Tom
01/24/12 03:11:41PM
205 posts

World Chocolate Awards


Posted in: Opinion

How is vintage considered, if it took three years some of these chocolates will have changed in taste, single origin and blends? Some will not be available from small producers and for flavoured chocolates from the likes of Coppeneur, their lines change rapidly, year to year almost. I do appreciate the logistical problems involved in producing a book and tasting that many chocolates though.
Tom
@Tom
01/16/12 05:28:51PM
205 posts

"fair trade is dead" - an interesting perspective


Posted in: Uncategorized

I loved the reply to this article: "Please remember that Fairtrade refers to the FLO global system, whereas fair trade is a concept and anyone can claim to be fair trade without having to show compliance to any standard or practice"

This is like saying that anyone that doesn't believe in God cannot possibly be a good person and do the right thing.

Tom
@Tom
01/04/12 10:23:32PM
205 posts

Adding Cacao Butter


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

Sounds like a bit much cocoa butter, not enough sugar, not wrong though, that formulation is I think similar to what Pralus does as standard - from memory, I haven't got a bar with me to calculate it. I usually do a dark choc as 60 nibs, 30 sugar, 10 cocoa butter. This is a very standard choc formulation and gives you a good basis from which to tweak your recipe to suit the origin. It gives a chocolate that pleases most tastes too, not too sweet, not too bitter.

As for fluidity of your mixture, it won't matter, it will just grind down quicker as the grinder will spin faster and since it is all cacao fats it will temper fine.

Tom
@Tom
01/04/12 10:29:34PM
205 posts

How much chocolate do you eat per day, on average?


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I don't think that it is the chocolate that causes the weight gain per se. For me it was the introduction of a very calorie dense food into my diet which didn't change my other eating habbits, so I would eat normally and then add on top, or in between the extra caloric hit from 50-100g of dark choc per day. It wasn't that significant either but having weighed 69kg for as long as I can remeber, I noticed the variation - especially when not excersising regularly.

Tom
@Tom
01/03/12 09:15:12PM
205 posts

How much chocolate do you eat per day, on average?


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I'd do maybe 50 to 100g per day, lets say 50g average. I make a lot and also buy bars of the good stuff, constantly tasting and re-tasting. I find with dark chocolate that you are about right,30g and I'm good for a while.

Its interesting you mention the weight gain their Brad, I also found that when I started making chocolate, it was much easier to gain weight when not excersisingwith that muchchocolate as part of your diet. I currently ride 150km per week to and from work and do weights regularly too toenable myself to enjoy the amount of chocolate that I do.

Tom
@Tom
12/31/11 01:18:59AM
205 posts

Baking Chocolate


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

Willie Harcourt-Cooze first book had recipes only using cocoa liqour, his Uk company runs a line of premium cacao liquors of various origins. I too use my bean to bar liquor in my baking, you cant beat it for flavour control, though i find i have to invent most of my recipes to get the chocolate hit that i am after.
Tom
@Tom
01/28/12 04:52:02PM
205 posts

What's the best dark chocolate you tasted in 2011?


Posted in: Opinion

No worries Jun, just telling it how it is, i'll send those bars soon, it is still scorching down here...too hot to send yet.
Tom
@Tom
12/30/11 07:08:21PM
205 posts

What's the best dark chocolate you tasted in 2011?


Posted in: Opinion

Good idea for a thread! Well my access to new and exciting chocolate brands is a bit limited living in Australia but here are my highlights from 2011, which was quite an exciting year in chocolate for me. I really enjoyed Pralus study in Venezuelan chocolates 'Les Crus d'Excellence' and Valrhonas El Pedregal. It was interesting to see the difference in the Porcelanas. I really loved teh strenght in the Valrhona offering, sometimes i find there chocolate a little muted. I also really enjoyed the Elderflower and dark milk chocolate from Coppeneur, a really amazing combination I thought. I also made some chocolate from the Philippines which had the most fantastic golden syrup flavour note, like Sebastian's these are not commercially available. Also made an extremely complex chocolate from, again non commercially available Samonan beans..... now I know what is ment by 'strawberries and cream' flavour note in chocolate.....amazing!I also got to visit a cacao plantation for the first time which was the most incredible experience, i made chocolate from the bean while i was there and tasted the fresh pods of the same bean. I was surprised to be able to taste the same flavour notes in the fresh bean and the finished chocolate, incredible.2011 was a very good chocolate year!
Tom
@Tom
01/02/12 06:53:45AM
205 posts

Making Cocoa Beans… Chocolate!


Posted in: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Great stuff! Yeah makes the house smell fantastic!
Tom
@Tom
12/31/11 01:12:50AM
205 posts

Making Cocoa Beans… Chocolate!


Posted in: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Should smell a bit acidic and a bit chocolatey. Never musty or mouldy smelling.
Tom
@Tom
12/30/11 05:37:11AM
205 posts

Making Cocoa Beans… Chocolate!


Posted in: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Yes, get a propper grinder. Also i think your roast is a bit low in temp, i would so something like 5 min at 170 deg celcius then 150 deg celcius for about half an hour. The sugar wont dissolve in the cocoa liquor it has to be ground in that is why you need a propper grinder. A propper grinder will also help to remove some of that acidity by alowing hou to conch properly. Also your beans may be the probelm here if they are not fermented well, you cant turn bad beans into good chocolate, it only works the other way around.Good luck
Tom
@Tom
12/23/11 04:44:17PM
205 posts

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays From Brad!


Posted in: Opinion

Merry Christmas, there have been some intersting discussions over the years, also a lot of learning.
Tom
@Tom
12/14/11 10:01:49PM
205 posts

Bitterness


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Here

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