History of Chocolate

Theobroma - The Cocoa Tree. The ever flowering cocoa Paradise tree produces light-yellow and reddish blossoms all year round. The tree has its origin in Central America and flourishes in the humid Equatorial region. The cocoa pods ripen from green to yellowish to red-brown directly on the tree trunk and on the thick branches. The pods contain 25 to 50 aromatic bitter seeds, the cocoa beans. More than 200 years ago, Carl von Linné, the founder of modern botanic, gave the cocoa tree its botanical name "Theobroma cocoa" or "Food of the Gods". The name is justified as Chocolate has always been considered a heavenly delight. Chocolate is stimulating, it positively influences the cardio-vascular system, triggers feelings of happiness and desire. Some say that it has an aphrodisiac effect. Xocolatl - Divine Drink of the Aztecs Because cocoa beans taste bitter, they were roasted and then ground on a hot stone. The cocoa was whisked to a froth with water and spices and served as "Xocolatl" in golden cups. The Aztecs celebrated the Divine drink as the "Bridge to Heaven". Cocoa beans, called "Cacahuatl", were used as a means of payment. The Discovery of brown Gold In 1502 Christopher Columbus was the first European to come into contact with cocoa during his fourth journey to the New World. However, it seems as though he did not show much interest in it. Hernando Cortez, the conqueror of Mexico, found cocoa interesting mainly because of its stimulating effect: "A mug proves a soldier with a day’s vigour". In 1528 he brought the first cocoa beans to Spain. From elitist luxury to a mass produced product. When Princess Anna married Louis VIII she brought this customary drink to the French court. This was the beginning of an inexorable and popular fashionable drink in Europe. With the start of the industrialization of Europe, chocolate in solid form became increasingly appreciated. In the 19th century the Swiss made history by discovering the conching method and the Milk Chocolate. Today the demand for chocolate has increased greatly to a global uniform mass product without identity. However, the real chocolate lover searches for authenticity, the original, unspoiled chocolate quality. We are chocolate lovers too - therefore we only sell high quality.


Working with Chocolate

Any Pro Chef or Experienced Candy Maker will tell you –

Always purchase the best chocolate and tools to produce a great tasting final product.

The Best – Cacao Barry, Felchlin or anything from Italy, France, Switzerland and Europe - Click Here!

The Worst – Poorly processed cheap quality with lots of sweet fillers,

mostly used in low cost commercial candy and inexpensive baked goods.

1. Using a Double Boiler

A. Melt the chocolate to 100-110 F
B. Allow the coating to cool to:

1. 84 F if Milk Chocolate
2. 85 F if Dark or Semi Sweet Chocolate
3.
87° F if White Coating

C. Hold the coating at this temperature until it starts to thicken

1. Thicker coating means more "seed" crystals
2, Thinner coating means there are less "seed" crystals

D. Allow the coating to warm to:

1. 86 F if Milk Chocolate
2. 90 F if Dark or Semi Sweet Chocolate
3.
90 F White Coating

E. Hold the above temperature.

 

2. Hand Dipping

A. Melt some coating by either:
1. Placing some coating in a sauce pan in a warm oven

a. Do not heat above 125 F
b. Stir occasionally while melting

2. Or placing some coating in a double-boiler

a. Use low heat
b. Stir coating while it melts
c. Do not allow water or water vapor to come into contact with the coating

B. Cool the melted coating to about 91 F
C. Pour about 1/2 lb. of the melted coating onto a cool surface
D. Mix and fold the coating with the hand until it become fairly thick
E. Add about 2 lbs. of the melted coating to the thickened coating
F. Mix the two together very thoroughly

1. Add more of the 91 coating if it is still too thick
2. Add less 91 coating for more advanced temper

G. Coat the centers

1. Cover the center with tempered coating
2. Shake the excess coating off the center
3. Place coated center on a tray, foil, or waxed paper
4. Trace a design on the top using a finger

3. The 80/20 Method of Tempering

(NOTE: this method will work with both chocolate and compound coatings that have a melt point of approximately 92 F.

It will automatically adjust the coating to the proper final temperature.)
A. Melt some coating as described above.
B. Cool the coating until it is 93 F
C. Pour 20% of the coating into a separate sauce pan
D. Stir the coating in the pan containing the 20% until it starts to become pasty
E. Return to 20% to the pan containing the 80% of the coating F. Mix the two together thoroughly
G. The coating should now be in temper state.

4. Important Temperatures ( Ideal Settings)

A. Work area 70-80 F
B. Molds 78-82 F
C. Candy Centers 70 F or cooler
D. Cooling Area 65-70 F (initial cooling)
    Cooling Area 45-50 F (main cooling – refrigerator is acceptable)
    Cooling Area 65-70 F (final phase – packaging and serving)

5. Useful Chocolate Making Tools 

1. A thermometer - preferably a digital or metal pocket thermometer that can be calibrated - Click Here!
2. A high heat spatula with a rubber blade (also high heat oven mitts)
3. Double Boiler

4. Non Stick Silicone Molds

5. Cutlery & Kitchen Supplies

6. Bench Scraper and Offset Spatula

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Troubleshooting Chocolate

 

PROBLEM: BLOOM (Gray Surface)
Probable Cause #1: Poor Quality Chocolate. Excessively cold air or too rapid a cooling rate Solution: Use warmer air during initial cooling in cooling area
Probable Cause #2: Lack of cocoa seed crystallization Allow the chocolate to thicken more before heating the chocolate to the deposit temperature
Probable Cause #3: Excessive amounts of incompatible fat
Solution: CANNOT BE CORRECTED BY TEMPERING (small amounts - up to 5% - can be added to pure chocolate to recover the product
Probable Cause #4: One of the most common causes is improper storage conditions in which the product is temperature stressed
Solution: Do not allow the chocolate to be subjected to alternating periods of warm temperatures and cold temperature during storage

PROBLEM: FINGERPRINTS
Probable Cause #1: Fingers are warmer than the temperature at which cocoa butter will melt
Solution: Do not handle the chocolates unless hands are cool and dry or wear gloves

PROBLEM: GRAY IN SOLID CHOCOLATE
Probable Cause #1: Cold air is blowing on the chocolate as it is poured into the mold
Solution: Raise the temperature in the work area and keep drafts from blowing on the chocolate

PROBLEM: GRAY SURFACES
Probable Cause #1: The chocolate was too cold when it was deposited
Solution: Raise the chocolate to the proper deposit temperature
Probable Cause #2: Excessive "seed", the chocolate is too advanced in temper
Solution: Add some untempered chocolate to the tempered chocolate to dilute the amount of "seed" to the proper level

PROBLEM: STICKY SURFACES
Probable Cause #1: Moisture is condensing on surface of the chocolate (sweating)
Solution: Dehumidify the air in the room or allow the chocolate to warm up before exposing it to room air

PROBLEM: GREASY SURFACES
Probable Cause #2: The chocolate was not properly tempered
Solution: Be sure there is enough "seed" before molding

PROBLEM: VERY SHINY SURFACES
Probable Cause #1: The chocolate was not properly tempered
Solution: Be sure there is enough "seed" before molding

PROBLEM: CHOCOLATE BECOMES GRANULATED WITH TIME
Probable Cause #1: The chocolate was deposited without being tempered
Solution: Start Over ! Follow one of the listed tempering procedures

PROBLEM: GRANULATED STREAKS DEVELOP IN THE CHOCOLATE AFTER TIME
Probable Cause #1: The "seed" material was not mixed adequately with the untempered chocolate
Solution: Be sure the chocolate is thoroughly mixed before attempting to deposit it
Probable Cause #2: Hot air was blowing on the stream of chocolate as it was being poured into the mold
Solution: Be sure the air in the work area is not warmer than the chocolate that is being deposited

PROBLEM: CHOCOLATE IS STICKING TO MOLDS
Probable Cause #1: The mold is too cold
Solution:  Be sure the mold is approximately 70 - 80 F before depositing the chocolate

 

 

Click Here for Chocolate! Click Here for Cooking Supplies! Vanilla Beans, Vanilla Paste & Vanilla Extract!

 

Vanilla Recipes Click here! More Recipes!

 

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