Originally Posted by Snowbunny
Has anyone made there own chocolates?
I have looked at websites and it is all so expensive...I am wondering if I can make my own?
It's not that expensive when you consider a serving size is 2 oz, that's really small. One of those big 3.00 Green & Black's bars would last a long time.
I don't think you can make chocolate at home easily.
Process (From How Stuff Works
Cacao beans are fermented for about a week, dried in the sun and then shipped to the chocolate maker. The chocolate maker starts by roasting the beans to bring out the flavor. Different beans from different places have different qualities and flavors, so they are often sorted and blended to produce a distinctive mix. Next, the roasted beans are winnowed. Winnowing removes the meat (also known as the nib) of the cocoa bean from its shell.
Once roasted, winnowed, and blended, the nibs are ground, and the ground nibs form a viscous liquid called chocolate liquor (the word liquor has nothing to do with alcohol -- that's just what it's called). All seeds contain some amount of fat, and cocoa beans are no different. However, cocoa beans are half fat, which is why the ground nibs form a liquid. If you have ever ground up peanuts to make real peanut butter, that is similar -- real peanut butter is a thick liquid. The difference between peanut oil and cocoa oil is that peanut oil is liquid at room temperature while cocoa oil is a solid up to about 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius).
You can do two different things with chocolate liquor. You can pour it into a mold and let it cool and solidify. This is unsweetened chocolate. Or you can press it in a hydraulic press to squeeze out the fat. When you do that, what you are left with is a dry cake of the ground cocoa bean solids and cocoa butter (useful in everything from tanning products to white chocolate). If you grind up the cake, you have cocoa powder. You can buy both unsweetened chocolate (baking chocolate) and pure cocoa powder at the grocery store. What you are buying is ground cocoa beans, either with or without the cocoa butter.
There are three basic things that must be done by the chocolate maker to make a chocolate bar:
Adding ingredients - The chocolate that we eat contains sugar, other flavors (like vanilla) and often milk (in milk chocolate). The chocolate maker adds these ingredients according to his or her secret recipe.
Conching - A special machine is used to massage the chocolate in order to blend the ingredients together and smooth it out. Conching can take anywhere from two to six days.
Tempering - Tempering is a carefully controlled heating process. According to this Chocolate FAQ, tempering is "a process where the chocolate is slowly heated, then slowly cooled, allowing the cocoa butter molecules to solidify in an orderly fashion." Without tempering, the chocolate does not harden properly or the cocoa butter separates out (as cream separates from milk).