Learning a little more about chocolate so you can educate people
That doesn’t mean you should get all ego crazy like you know better. This means being able to gently inform your friends, family and clients so they can better understand the why’s and what for’s. “No one likes a know it all “ as my dad used to tell me, so be sweet when you share this info.
Generally people who love cooked chocolate, don’t like raw chocolate and I have found that this is for one of a few reasons ;
1 – The consistency is not the same. Commercial chocolate is made using a conching machine. This is effectively a conch shaped industrial machine which scrapes the chocolate slowly over the course of 12-72 hours. The longer you conch the chocolate, the smoother it is. Companies like Lindt conch their chocolate for 72 hours and this means that the chocolate microns are so small that when they melt on your tongue they sink right down into the taste buds, therefore you don’t feel the graininess of the chocolate.
If the chocolate is not conched, then you will always feel the graininess of the chocolate because your taste buds are microscopic and you are putting something on top of them which doesn’t slot in = gritty.
2 – The environment of the mouth. Let me explain. During my time at The Raw Chocolate Company, we would sell chocolates at food festivals and such events and, of course, we’d give out tasters; all stall holders would give out tasters. In one case, the stall holders on either side of use were a jam and chutney company and a cupcake company. So, people would make their way to us after either overwhelming or dulling their taste buds.
Of course, once to have smothered your mouth in sugar and spices, the taste of raw chocolate is going to be dull in comparison. Similarly, the mouth should be room temperature or warm when tasting chocolate. If you have just been sipping on a cold or icey drink and then try chocolate (of any kind, not just raw) then the cacao fat will clump up on your tongue and feel waxy.
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If you’d like to get started with your first batch of tempered chocolate after the next email, then here is a list of things you’ll need to have on hand.
Sharp, inexpensive chef knife – you’ll use this to shave the cacao butter, so don’t spend much on it ( this’ll do the job )
Kitchen thermometer (this I the one I use)
Electronic kitchen scales with gram function ( these are the ones I use)
High speed blender or spice mill (such as this)
Cacao butter – I use Peruvian or Ecuadorian
Cacao powder – I use Peruvian or Ecuadorian
Dry sweetener of your choice ; coconut sugar, xylitol, raw cane sugar, etc…
Till next time bye for now!