Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Batch #4 - 65% Dark Chocolate - Peru Oro Verde Criollo 2015

Batch #4 is the second Peruvian bean for the special Chocolate Alchemy had a few weeks ago.  I was very happy with the taste of the first bean I tried: Peru Chuncho 2016-17.  The chocolate from that bean had a noticeable apple tone.  It was really unique and delicious. 

Chocolate Alchemy labels this Peru Oro Verde Criollo bean as "a light balanced cocoa bean with notes of soft tropical fruits and nuts."  The more detailed write-up says that the flavors are vibrant and dynamic.  Fruits galore: banana, strawberry, plum, mango, and other general tropical fruit flavors, but no one flavor dominates so you get a very soft fruitiness.   

I can't wait to try it!

Saturday, January 28, 2017 - 9:00 pm - Batch #4 begins....

After the issue with husks in the last batch, I pick through this bag but found very little in the way of husks.  I ended up with 912 grams of nibs.  I put 1 cup into the melanger and let her rip.  I also had to keep the cover on the melanger because it was spitting out nibs left and right.  I even got one in the eye.  Talk about hurt!!

I think I may have added to many nibs at once. The melanger got seriously bogged down...

9:15 pm - I had to added 40g of melted cocoa butter to keep it happy...

The melanger was okay for a short while, but it started straining again as I added more and more nibs.


9:30 pm - All the nibs are in but the melanger is struggling again.  I didn't want to add any more cocoa butter, so I took out my "chocolate" hair dryer, and heated the nibs so they would release the cocoa butter locked inside.

9:45 pm - The mass is flowing somewhat, but still very chunky.  The granite wheels seems to be jump and skipping a lot.  I guess I added the nibs too quickly.  Lesson learned.

10:15 pm - I've been sitting in a room next to the melanger, and at about 10:15 I noticed that the melanger was running smoothly.  No more jumps and skips due to large nibs.  I removed the plastic cover so the moisture and volatiles could escape.   I also put my improvised bug guard over the meleanger.  Don't want any nasty stuff falling into the open bowl.

Sunday 5:00 am - I let the melanger run all night, and by 5:00 am on Sunday everything was flowing smoothly.

10:15 am - After 13 hours of run time I added the sugar.

11:40 am - After an hour of refining the sugar, the mixture still looks grainy but it feels smooth in the mouth.  Taste Test: You can really taste the fruit in this one, and there is a sharp bite at the end.  Not bitter, just a bite.

1:11 pm -  Off while we leave the house.  16 hours of processing time so far.
5:15 pm - Back on.
9:30 pm - Off.  20 hours of processing time so far.  At this point I would normally add the cocoa butter, but I ran out.  Oops.  I have some scheduled to arrive on Monday.  Thank you, Chocolate Alchemy!

Monday, 9:00 am - The chocolate has hardened to a solid block overnight, so I had to use the hair dryer to melt it.  It took about 30 minutes.

9:30am - Everything melted, finally able to turn the machine back on.

3:15 pm - Yeah, the cocoa butter has arrived.  Added 234 g of Natural Cocoa Butter and let her rip.  I'm going to give it about 4 hours to incorporate everything.  I can't wait to taste it, and see how it differs from the Peru Chuncho I did last week.

Monday, January 30, 7:45 pm - Finished !!  Approximately 30 hours of processing. 

So how does this Peru Oro Verde Criollo  taste?  In a word: Fruit-Bomb.  (Or is that two words?)  Lots of fruity flavors, and sweet.  I can't wait to temper and mold this stuff to see how it tastes once it is solid.

One thing that concerns me is the presence of a oily looking sheen on top of the chocolate.  (The sheen doesn't photograph well so I didn't include a picture.)  I wonder if the melanger is leaking some lubricant???  I will have to read the manual.

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