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I’ve tried making silk from my home pressed cocoa butter. Thank you thank you thank you for giving us the way to press it!!!! My problem is that the brown butter does not really thicken up like silk and letting it settle out doesn’t work well either and all the filters I have used clog up too fast. Do I have to use a different temperature? Am I doomed to buying cocoa butter for making silk? Please help.
First off, you are welcome.
Yep, brown cocoa butter doesn’t turn into silk very well. And even if you get it to thicken, the resulting Silk isn’t as aggressive as clarified Silk. The cocoa particles get in the way of the crystallization and result in a weaker temper. It is the same reason you can’t really temper or create Silk from Chocolate. All the impurities get in the way.
It almost feels like this next bit of information is a little too late since the Sansaire has gone out of business and NutriChef as discontinued their oil press (yes, I’m looking into alternatives). Nonetheless I have a pretty simple method of methodically clarifying your freshly pressed cocoa butter. Let’s jump right into it with a bunch of photos.
Weigh out and melt your cocoa butter that needs clarifying. Heat it up to over 212 F.
Bring an equal amount of water to a boil in a very large pot. The mixture will expand at first.
It is worth noting I have only done this with pretty small batches. If you are doing larger amounts of cocoa butter, say over 5 lb, I suspect you could cut back on the amount of water.
Pour in the cocoa butter.
SIDE NOTE: It is important to not skip or combine steps here. Just mixing non-boiling water and not hot cocoa butter can cause an emulsion that seems to resist separating.
Keep heating the mixture being VERY careful to watch out for foaming and a boil over and adjusting your heat accordingly.
The goal here is to boil away all the water. It may well take an hour.
Just keep at it and watch the progression.
As the solids start to coagulate you will start to see hints of clear butter. Start turning the heat down so you don’t actually burn the solids that are dropping to the bottom.
It will be pretty obvious when all the water is gone and the solids have all dropped to the bottom. Mostly it will stop bubbling. Feel free to stir gently from time to time.
If you can keep an eye on the temperature you will see that it starts to rise past 212 F when the water is all gone. I take mine to about 230 F to be sure.
I recommend straining it in two stages. Once through a coarse screen and then a finer coffee filter if you need. I personally didn’t find the need for the finer coffee filter if you are careful pouring off the butter.
And there you go.
Clarified fresh pressed cocoa butter.
The one on the left is what I just poured off delicately and the right is what I was less careful with. Both turned into fine Silk.