Sunday, February 26, 2017

Batch #5 - 65% Dark Chocolate – Peru Piura Blanco 2016/17

Batch #5 is the third Peruvian bean from the special Chocolate Alchemy had a few weeks ago. The special included four Peruvian bean from 4 different parts of the country. The first source I tried was the Peru Chuncho (Batch #3) which made a great chocolate with a distinct apple tone. The second source bean was the Peru Oro Verde Criollo (Batch#4) which had an amazing fruity taste. To me the words Fruit Bomb came to mind when I tasted my finished Oro Verde chocolate.

This third source bean is named Peru Piura Blanco Organic 2016/17 and comes from the Chulucanas region of Peru. The Chocolate Alchemist describes the beans as having “well developed chocolate notes with tons of elegant fruits.” Other descriptions include, “lovely rose aroma and sweet full bodied florals.” Sounds divine.

On this batch I did a little more experimenting with putting the nibs directly into the melanger without any added cocoa butter to help things along. With Batch #4 I added the nibs too quickly and the machine bogged down, so this time I started out with about 1/2 cup of nibs and I pre-heated the bowl of the melanger with a hair dryer. I read somewhere that this will help the cocoa nib heat up quickly and release their internal cocoa butter faster.

Friday, February 10, 2017 @ 1:38 pm - I added the first 1/2 cup of nibs to the melanger and pushed the power button. I added more nibs at 1:46, 1:59, 2:18, 2:35, and 2:45. In total 903 grams of nibs were added, and surprise, surprise I didn’t have to add any additional cocoa butter to keep everything moving. My reason for not adding any additional cocoa butter at the beginning is I read somewhere that the refining step (reducing the particle size) is more efficient and faster if you don't add extra cocoa butter.  The cocoa butter coats the sugar and solid cocoa particles and makes them slide past granite wheels rather than crashing into the wheels and getting pulverized.  Sounds reasonable to me so now I don't add the cocoa butter till the very end.

Friday, February 10, 2017 @ 3:30 pm - I did a taste test and found a earthy taste to the chocolate, and a mild bitter bite.

Saturday, February 11, 2017 @ 5:00 am - I added 632 grams of sugar.

Saturday, February 11, 2017 @ 2:00 pm - The mixture is very, very thick, and it hardly flows.  The mixture is much thicker than any of the other batches I have made.  But this one didn't have any added cocoa butter so that may be the reason.

Saturday, February 11, 2017 @ 2:30 pm - At approximately 24 hours of run time, I added 271 grams of melted cocoa butter and the mixture gets very thin.

Saturday, February 11, 2017 @ 10:30 pm -Turned the melanger off.  Processing time with cocoa butter - 8 hours.  Total processing time was approximately 32 hours.

Sunday, February 12, 2017 - Tempering and Molding

I'm still having problems with tempering and molding - my finished chocolate just don't look perfect.  I've read some articles and how-tos so I tried some new things.  First off I polished the molds with melted cocoa butter, and warmed the molds to around 85 degrees before adding the melted chocolate.

I also skipped the water bath during the tempering.  I just started added small amounts of the grated Cocoa Butter Seed Silk at 95 degrees.  The last bit of the Silk went into the chocolate when it was about 93 degrees.  I let the chocolate sit for 2 minutes till it reached 92 degrees, and then pour into the waiting molds.

After my six bars and 12 tasting squares were molded and vibrated to remove the bubbles I put them in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.  I let them sit for 24 hours and then unmolded.

I was happy to find no bloom on my bar, but sadly, my finished chocolates still didn't look great. There was no swirls of bloom, but the bars just didn't look shiny.  And those stupid release marks!!!  Every piece of chocolate had a release mark!!

Polishing with melted cocoa butter was also a bust.  The molds I'm using have a lot of grooves and creases and the melted cocoa butter pooled in the corners.  The melted cocoa butter also didn't give the bars a shiny look so I just don't see any added value in the step.  Not doing that again.  

So my chocolate bars are still a work in progress, but hopefully one day I will get it right.

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