Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Batch #1.75 – Belize Criollo/Trinatario – 34% Milk Chocolate with Powdered Cream

So when I reprocessed my Belize Criollo/Trinatario Dark Chocolate (55%) to Milk Chocolate I made one big mistake – I used Non-Fat powdered milk instead of Whole Milk powder. Hey I’m a novice Chocolate Maker, remember!

When I realized what I had done wrong I ordered both Full Cream and Whole Milk powder so I could try making milk chocolate with both and see if there was any difference. I started with the Full Cream Powder, and because I’m once again modifying the Belize Criollo/Trinatario, I’m calling it Batch #1.75. At this point in the manipulation of this batch I wasn’t sure how much powder to add, so I just guessed and added 70 grams. The Full Cream Powder was 75% fat, so my new batch of Milk Chocolate ended up with 34.4% cocoa and 33% fat.

I started Batch #1.75 on December 19, 2016 at 3:30 pm.  Just dumping the powder into the liquid chocolate seemed to worked fine, and I also didn’t get as much “fluffing” as the explosion in Batch #1.5.  This lack of fluffing was probably because I used a lot less volume of powder.

I let the chocolate refine for about 3 hours till it had a mouth feel that was as smooth as silk. At this point the liquid chocolate tasted really, really good.  But sadly, with all the addition of all the milk, the blackberry tones of the Belize Criollo/Trinatario chocolate were lost.  Again, it tasted as good as anything you could buy in a store, but it didn't taste unique anymore.

For tempering I once again used the Cocoa Butter Silk method of seeding the chocolate, but sadly each attempt at tempering seems to be getting worse and worse. See all the veins and splotches of lighter chocolate – I recently read that this is cause when you don’t agitate the seeded chocolate enough. Another problem I had was with the chocolate sticking to parts of the molds. I guess this is another symptom of badly tempered chocolate.  But, hey, they did still have a nice shine and snap.

So at this point in my Chocolate Makers Journey, my biggest stumbling block is with tempering and getting the liquid chocolate to stay at the correct temperature as I stir in the seeds.  As per the Alchemist's instructions when my chocolate stabilizes at 94 I add the seed and stir for three minutes.  Based on his instructions the chocolate should now hover around 92 degrees, but mine drops more to the 86-87 degree range.  I can't seems to stir and keep the temperature at the optimal 90-92 range.    I tried warming it with a hair dryer, but it didn't work.  I tried placing it in warm water but that didn't work either.  I was going to try a heating pad, but I couldn't find one in the house.  Very frustrating.  What I really need  is a tempering machine.

Maybe I’m buy myself one as a Christmas present.

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