Conche or sugar mill?
Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques
Hi all, first I want to really thank you for all the wonderful cacao wisdom you share here. I read your blogs, and have slowly figured out how to make my chocolate bars thanks to you. It is time to get some more advice as to next steps in my chocolate bar creation.
I am currently selling my bars in one local natural food grocery. I sell about 10 dozen bars a month there. I wish to add more retail outlets, and need to send samples. Before I do this I wonder what "the next step" in making them more delicious and more marketable might be?
So, first off, what I am doing is making them out of "raw" powder (debatable I know), cacao butter and coconut sugar. My first concern is the texture is somewhat coarse because the coconut sugar is so granular. I do grind it in a magic bullet first, but it is still too coarse, especially in the 75% where the sugar makes up so much of the volume. Is a conche the best next item to buy? If I understand the blogs here, the conch will grind down the sugar and other particles, and in that process also volatize off some undesirable flavors?
My system of melting and tempering is ok, though it is manual. Still I can make and temper a 4 pound batch easily. Is the conche the machine I need??? And if so, I need one that can deal with at 4 pounds at a time. That volume will grow. So suggestions as to what brand and model would be appreciated? On the other hand, perhaps that is not the machine I need? Also, I wonder since the powder is so fine, it is almost dust, am I conching basically just the sugar? If that is the case, would I do better finding a mill for the sugar? What else will the conching do for my chocolate? Also, I am still a small business, run in my home kitchen, with a state license, etc. Still, if it is noisy and running for days, that is a big impact. What would be the quieter brand of conche, assuming conching is the solution.
So, the coarseness is an issue. Is it pointless to conche chocolate that is made from fine powder, or will it improve the taste as well as the sugar texture?
updated by @Mack Ransom: 04/09/15 07:00:21AM