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Create Your Own Chocolate from Scratch

You donít have to be Willy Wonka to create your own chocolate masterpiece. There are two ways you can make your own chocolate. Thereís a very long process that only the best chocolate makers use. This would not be the one you would want to try Ė trust me on this one.

Unless youíre privy to a chocolate factory, the second way to make chocolate is quicker, easier and more fun to create. This method, like the more tedious one above, requires raw cocoa beans, which you can find at just about any grocer or can be ordered via the Internet. The difference is that it doesnít cost a fortune to create. It takes about ten dollars to create eight ounces of delicious chocolate that you can enjoy right at home.

Create Your Own Chocolate from Scratch

Hereís how you can create your own chocolate the less expensive way. Spread the raw cocoa beans on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. One they have cooled completely, peel the beans by hand.

Next comes the fun part. Itís time to crush the beans into smaller pieces. There are a few ways this can be done, so choose the one that works best for you. Cover a cutting board with a towel and spread the beans on top of it. Layer another towel over the beans and using a small hammer, smash the beans. Another way is to place the beans in a plastic freezer or sandwich bag before placing between the towels. This will keep the beans from falling out all over the work area.

There is more to the smashing step, because a hammer will not get the cocoa beans as small as they need to be. Next, you will need to grind the pieces with something such as a pepper mill or mortar and pestle until the cocoa is a pulp like or mushy consistency.

Next, itís time to melt the chocolate. Place the ground up cocoa beans in the top of a double broiler pan and fill the bottom with water. Heat the smashed beans on low stirring in 1/2 cup of sugar for each pound of cocoa beans. For instance, if you started with two pounds of cocoa beans, before grinding, you would add one cup of sugar to the mashed beans.

Youíll need to stir the mixture until it is smooth and creamy. Once it reaches the consistency necessary, pour into the molds of your choice and allow for hardening. You can speed up the hardening process by placing the chocolate molds in the freezer, just be sure it does not freeze completely.

Once hardened, chocolate should be stored in an area that is cool, dry and dark. You can store in plastic bags or containers.

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