In honor of Valentine's Day, I was requested to make a chocolate dessert. Having just roasted up four pounds of beans the night before (starting work on a husk vs no husk experiment), I decided to pull out my Champion Juicer and make a quick chocolate sauce for some cherries we picked and preserved this year.

I measured out a small amount of roasted beans, about 10 oz. I sent them through the Juicer, collecting what flowed through the lower juice screen, and returning the husk and other cocoa from the spout back to be ground again. After two more quick passes, I had about ½ cup of cocoa liqueur, and a tablespoon or so of husk that I threw away.

I added an equal portion of "raw" sugar to the cocoa, mixed well and sent it through the Juicer. First lesson. Use powdered sugar, or pre powder it in a blender before you use it to make chocolate. It just did not work well. The particles stayed to large. For tonight it worked out just fine as I was already planning to add a liquid (milk of some type) so I knew this would dissolve the sugar. Indeed it did. After collecting the sweetened cocoa, I mixed this with about an equal portion of milk. Now, remember, I was making a dessert, not eating chocolate. Anyway, as I fully expected, the addition of a liquid to the warm chocolate made it want to seize up. I passed this through the Juicer, and wow, I almost stalled it. I took it very slow and added a little more liquid and passed it through one more time. This time, with the liquid out massing the chocolate, a smooth rich milk chocolate sauce poured forth.

I heated this gently on the stove top, and then poured it over the warmed spiced cherries. Even though the cocoa only made up 20% or so of the mixture, it was a strong deep, smooth chocolate flavor.

So those of you not quite ready for chocolate making, might I suggest just making your own baking and cooking chocolate. The whole endeavor took maybe 20 minutes and I could see it taking even less the next time. If you are one to cook from scratch, as I am, this extra step of grinding the cocoa you need on the spot is not difficult at all and well worth the effort.