Ask the Alchemist #51

I have not yet tried making chocolate. I’ve just been trying to research it as much as possible before I begin the process. I originally was going to grind cocoa nibs and try to make my own chocolate that way. But as I’ve continued to research there is just so much work involved in that simple process! So now I am considering purchasing cocoa liquor/mass from another manufacturer and using the santha to create my own finished product. Any general thoughts or recommendations? I know of E. Guittard, Callabaut, any other suggestions for manufacturers that I can buy the liquor from?

Well, to my mind, and of course I’m biased, you lose 90% of what makes homemade chocolate so great. The freshness and the ability to choose just the profile of flavors you want based on origin and roasting. The best analogy to me would be buying a cake mix, adding your own eggs (and maybe a couple spices) and calling it homemade. I guess it kind of is….but it’s not. The cake mix has most of the flavor development all built in.

And to remind you of a few things that might help you decide to go nib to bar.

If taken slowly, the Melanger will grind nibs. i.e. no Champion needed

If you buy nibs, you won’t need a Cocoa mill

If you buy nibs, you can roast them in your oven

The short of it is if you are going to invest in a Melanger, there is really no great reason not to just make your own totally from scratch.

One Response to “Ask the Alchemist #51”

  1. I completely agree – and if you do it properly you will learn that the time and effort are well worth it. In moments of elation over my chocolate I am convinced I have found the secret to the Universe. It’s that good and, moreover, people tell me I have ruined them for other chocolate. I’ll take that kind of endorsement any day.

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