Making chocolate the traditional way can be done at home, although it’s a lengthy and
involved process. If you want to pursue making homemade chocolate as a hobby and
it’s important to you to make all of your chocolate from scratch you can do that but
you’ll need some specialized equipment and a lot of time on your hands. Some people
really do enjoy making chocolate from scratch, so you should give traditional chocolate
making a try to see if it’s a hobby that you are interested in pursuing. Using a traditional
process to make chocolate home has several steps:
1. Choosing the beans. Chocolate is made from cacao beans so when you first start
off making chocolate the traditional way you need to start with some high quality cacao
beans. There are suppliers on the Internet that sell different varieties of cacao beans in
many different price ranges so if you are looking for whole cacao beans it isn’t too hard
to find them.
2. Roasting the beans. Cacao beans need to be roasted just like coffee beans. You
can roast them at home on a cookie sheet in the oven if you watch them carefully or you
can buy a specialized cacao bean roaster for at home use if you’re going to pursue
traditional candy making as a hobby. The beans are usually roasted for as little as five
minutes or as many as 35 minutes depending on the type of bean and the flavor that
you want to achieve.
3. Getting the chocolate out. After the beans are roasted you need to crack open the
outer shell of the bean to get the chocolate that is inside out. There are several ways to
do this at home. You can lay the beans in a single sheet on a counter or on a baking
sheet and use a hammer to crack the shells open, then use a blow dryer on a low
setting to blow the hulls of the beans away from the chocolate or you can use a juicer to
accomplish the same goal. This step can be very messy, so make sure that you have a
mop and bucket and lots of clean up supplies standing by.
4. Grinding and Refining the chocolate. Now you need to grind the chocolate down
as fine as possible. If you’re going to do this at home many expert chocolate makers
recommend using a high quality juicer to grind the chocolate. After the chocolate has all
been ground as finely as possible you need to add milk, sugar, preservatives, or
anything else that you’re planning on adding to the chocolate to enhance the flavor.
Once everything is mixed with the other ingredients the chocolate will need to be
agitated slowly but constantly. This process could take up to 12 hours to get the
chocolate to exactly the right consistency. Experts recommend using a stand mixer on
a low setting to refine the chocolate.
5. Tempering the chocolate. Once the chocolate has been fully refined it needs to be
tempered before you can use it. Tempering chocolate at home can be a very
complicated process but if you want to cheat a little and speed up the procedure you
can use a microwave to temper your homemade chocolate. Once the chocolate is
tempered and is smooth, hard and shiny it’s ready to be used or eaten.