From beans to bars
April 28, 2008 12:26 PM   Subscribe

Steve Gisselbrecht writes about his experiments taking chocolate from beans to bars at home.

One of the main barriers for the home chocolatier is the lack of home conching machines. Steve also has a write-up on tempering chocolate, which is the step after conching.

This is really going from raw beans to full-on prepared chocolate, not like the claims of this company discussed previously on the blue. As a bit of trivia, his husband was mentioned on the blue previously
posted by rmd1023 (17 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Think the article has been Mefi'd or worse.
posted by autodidact at 12:35 PM on April 28, 2008

This had better involve plates of beans.
posted by anthill at 12:45 PM on April 28, 2008

the coral cache still works
posted by puke & cry at 12:45 PM on April 28, 2008

Related: I totally wanted to fpp this guy, who is 22 and has his own tiny little chocolate factory furnished entirely with equipment he built himself. The story's amazing and it's seriously damn good chocolate.
posted by clavicle at 12:52 PM on April 28, 2008 [3 favorites]

Great article Clavicle.
posted by autodidact at 12:59 PM on April 28, 2008

These guys have a tiny factory that I took a tour of a few months ago. The machines and the processes and everything are really cool. They don't conch their chocolate because they're going for the cacao flavor (if you've ever had cocoa nibs, their chocolate is very much in that vein). It's really yummy, but also very different from stereotypical chocolatier-shop chocolate, which I'm guessing is what conching helps work towards.
posted by rivenwanderer at 1:01 PM on April 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

Well someone has overthought.. oh, fuck. Dammit!
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:23 PM on April 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

Clavicle: neat article.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:07 PM on April 28, 2008

What an amazing article!
posted by Nelson at 2:16 PM on April 28, 2008

Steve's husband Tom is a neat guy, too.
posted by clockwork at 3:03 PM on April 28, 2008

Chocolate is probably the most awesome thing in the world but I often forget what an industrial product it is. It's odd how chocolate is associated with countries like Switzerland and Belgium which are thousands of miles from where cocoa actually grows but were the first places to put industrial-grade machinery to work to make new foods.
posted by GuyZero at 3:05 PM on April 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

Man, am seriously hanging out for chocolate now.
posted by shelleycat at 5:08 PM on April 28, 2008

Clavicle, you totally should've. And the hot choc they make from his chocolate at Kopplin's is...well, i'd call it transcendent hot chocolate, but it's really a whole 'nother beverage.
posted by desuetude at 5:35 PM on April 28, 2008

There is (or was, no idea what happened during the 'civil unrest' there) a little hotel near the bus station in Oaxaca. The ground floor is a chocolate shop. Not a touristy thing but a place where mothers stop to get some chocolate on the way home from the market. They get the green beans, and process them all the way to the final product. The formulas are posted on the blackboard, and you can custom order. The typical is like 90% cacao, 10% sugar and traces of almond oil, for the traditional hard chocolate that you dissolve in boiling milk. I once stayed in the hotel, and my clothes smelled of chocolate for a week.

On that trip, I also learned, after putting a 2 kilo bag of freshly mixed chocolate in my pack, that the reaction is fairly exothermic.

Chocolate as a status symbol is fairly new in the US, I believe. Imagine this kind of setup in some place like San Francisco, done in an earth friendly style, with some literature printed in post consumer paper reminding you that this is fair trade, mixed crop cocoa beans you are buying, produced by hand by the last surviving descendants of the Mayan. It would be like printing money. Just hoping these stock options amount to something better than toilet paper.
posted by Dr. Curare at 6:12 PM on April 28, 2008

Questions? Comments?

posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 7:32 AM on April 29, 2008

check this out this is the bestest ever! chocolate science!
posted by femmme at 7:34 AM on April 29, 2008

Oh man, I love cocoa nibs. I keep buying Scharffen-Berger's, but what I dont understand is why it seems to cost more by weight than chocolate that's been further processed.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:57 PM on April 29, 2008

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