How to make chocolate in 10 easy steps.
Alas, artisan chocolate is a tiny bit labour intensive requiring much fussing, obsessing, checking and hand-doing stuff. But it's worth it.
1- Sort Beans
Lay them out flat. Promise yourself this time you won't go through each bean by hand. Go through each bean by hand, picking out twigs, strings and other stuff. Run a magnet over it, just in case.
2- Roast Beans
Promise not to burn yourself this time. Sort beans into three sizes - large, medium and small. Roast all separately, documenting the different sounds, smells, temps and timings closer than any NASA scientist on a rocket launch. Take out, burn your finger. Cool beans on home made contraption lovingly held together with more than a little duct (duck?) tape.
3- Crack Beans
Break beans into little-bits by running through the lovely-named, yet oddly appropriate, Crankandstein.
4- Sort Beans
Run cracked beans, now in small pieces, through a sorter which separates them into small, medium and large sizes.
5- Winnow Beans
Now that the cracked beans have been sorted by size, separate the good stuff (nibs), from shell (husk) through a contraption involving much piping, a mallet and a dedicated vacuum cleaner.
6- Grind Beans
Take the separated nibs and grind them. Feel the magic as solid nibs turns into a moist paste, called liqueur.
7- Conche Beans
Take the liqueur and run it through a magical gizmo called a conche, nothing more than a tub which endlessly runs grinding stones to develop taste. Add sugar s-l-o-w-l-y. Let run for three days or so.
Wish you could take a break, but this is not about you. You've got chocolate ! It's a bit tired though, so pour in baking pan and let rest for 30 days or so to let the flavours get to know each other and percolate.
It's just about ready. Time to buff it up and round out the taste. Temper it in machine that puts the sheen on and takes the edge out by playing with temperatures. Plan in exquisite detail an approach to pouring chocolate into moulds to avoid making a mess. Listen to Q on CBC and get at it. Make a mess, but the chocolate looks lovely in the moulds. Let it cool a bit. Considering the clean up that's coming, you're allowed to have a tiny taste.
Take out that glorious piece of gold foil and dress up that bar. Throw on the wrapper with the black bird. It's done! How cool is that?