Monday, November 28, 2016

And So It Begins ....

So one day I decided to become a Chocolate Maker.


I had always been fascinated by chocolate, and after reading a book on the chocolate making process I decided to give it a whirl. I needed a new hobby anyway. I had been making custom cakes for a few years, but after a run-in with a bridezilla I decided fancy cakes were too stressful and prone to disaster.


So in November 2016, I started my Chocolate Maker’s by journey.  I began, of course, by looking for some cocoa beans. Actually, first I read some books, then I bought a couple of cocoa seedlings (I killed one but the other is still hanging on), and then I went looking for beans. An internet search of “cocoa beans for sale” brings up the be-all-end-all site for the novice chocolate maker. It is John Nanci’s Chocolate Alchemy. WOW! I was like a kid in a chocolate store.


But confusion soon set in.  There were so many varieties of beans and so many choices of format. (Is format the right word?)  Which cocoa bean should I get?  There were cocoa beans from all around the world: from Belize and Bolivia to Venezuelan and Vietnam.  Once I selected a cocoa bean, then I needed to decide on the format: did I you want whole beans? Roasted or un-roasted, or maybe nibs?  Again, did I want them roasted or un-roasted.   Can you understand my dilemma?


In the end I decided on the Honduras Wampusirpi cocoa bean in honor of my mother who is from Utila, Honduras. The Chocolate Alchemist site offers a “Apprentice Kit” so I opted for that. It comes with the bean of your choice in both roasted and unroasted forms, and nibs again in both roasted and unroasted forms.  The kit also has cocoa butter, lecithin, and some chocolate molds. The kit has almost everything you need.


So now I have the beans so next I needed some equipment.  After reading the info on the Chocolate Alchemist I decided that the only thing I really, really needed was the Chocolate Melanger/Refiner/Concher. After a little research I settled on the Premier Tilting Chocolate Refiner – Melanger.


Now I'm sitting at my front window waiting impatiently for the UPS/USPS guys to arrive.  I can't wait to begin my journey as a Chocolate Maker…