Not only is Jenni a great chef, she’s an amazing friend. She’ll help you through any baking dilemas; she’ll calm you down when you run out of Nutella and she’s funny! What are you waiting for?! Follow her on Twitter @onlinepastrychf and check out her blog “The Balanced Pastry Chef”. Now read her adventures in chocolate making below!
How to Make Chocolate. From Scratch! First, just let me say that I am Thrilled to be writing a guest post for the Lovely, Talented and Amazing Nelly! Thanks for asking me, Nelly. And since I love Nelly so much, I wanted to make sure that I had an Awesome Thing about which to post. And I have. I hope you’re ready.
After about 25-30 minutes of conching, it was time to temper. I was able to get the burned batch in temper. The second, awesome batch was less Cooperative, but I managed to get it close. Most chocolatiers have tempering machines. Those that don’t generally temper by seeding. Seeding is a process in which you add small pieces of solid tempered chocolate to hot melted chocolate to encourage proper cocoa butter crystallization. Introducing seed crystals into the batch makes it much more likely that all the other fat falls into line. Considering that a)we didn’t have a tempering machine and b)I was trying to temper solely based on temperature without seeding, I will Take almost-tempered! Once I finally admitted defeat, we decided to make a 2:1 chocolate to cream ganache and then make truffles. So we did. Our batch of chocolate weighed about 275grams, so I heated up 137.5 grams of heavy cream and whisked it into the chocolate along with a wee splash of vanilla. The resultant ganache (again, texture notwithstanding), was a Revelation. Far be it from me to wax poetic about some fermented, roasted and ground beans, but dang! The vanilla further rounded out the flavors and it was Just. So. Good. One interesting side note: unlike most commercially produced chocolate, ours did not contain lecithin. Lecithin is a powerful emulsifier that is added to chocolate to keep the cocoa butter from separating from the rest of the chocolate. It became Evident that the addition of some lecithin would prove Useful because, after we made the ganache (introducing even more liquid to the fat), some of the cocoa butter actually leaked out of the ganache. See?