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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2014-07-18 09:32:01
Subject: Test Batch 130/70/8

It's time to get a little scientific on the chocolate. Right now I am making what a chocolate geek might call a 130/70/8 batch.

That is, the final roast temperature of the cacao was 130C (OK, 266F for you norte americanos).

It's a 70% dark bar, meaning 30% of the mass is sugar, the rest is cacao, or cocoa butter.

8% of the bar, while still counting into the 70%, is cocoa butter.

A little note on those dark chocolate bars you'll find in the grocery store. While 70% does mean that it is 70% chocolate, some of that might be pure cocoa butter. A cacao bean is just over 50% cacao butter, which is why it is creamy and smooth after it is ground into a chocolate bar. However, not all 70% bars are created equal. Even if you take the quality of the bean out of the equation, some manufacturers might use more cocoa butter than others. Cocoa butter has very little of the sharp flavor you would find by biting into a cacao bean. Adding more cocoa butter makes a bar of chocolate more mild. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Some people prefer mild cheddar cheese or medium roasted coffee over the stronger stuff. All that to say, a label like "80% Dark Chocolate" is no indication of how strong the bar will be. It is possible to do some reverse engineering on the ingredient label, as I often do, to determine how much is straight chocolate, how much is cacao butter.

So back to the 130/70/8 batch. I have four different, 25 lbs. roasts from the 100 lbs sack of cacao that I bought. Each has a different roasting temperature. The plan is to make up a batch of each one, using 30% sugar and 8% cocoa butter, ask our local dark chocolate fans to taste test each one, and come up with a winner. After that I will probably vary the sugar percent to see what more like, but we can always keep a variety in stock.

We will be using the new winnowing contraption later today to winnow some 135's that I cracked this morning. I will try to post some photos.

Replies to this message
Thinking and Praying for you  by Adam Stockin on Sunday July 20, 2014
re: Test Batch 130/70/8  by Mark on Friday July 18, 2014

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