Need some advice about how to manage bean to bar viscosity issues. Using a cocoatown grinder and the chocolate came out too thick to be able to temper properly.
Any advice on what may have gone wrong or how to prevent this?
Past advice has been to be careful of over-grinding in the melangeur. Add cocoabutter. Be careful of the type of sugar.
I work with coconut sugar and my experience is to store your sugar with desiccant to control the humidity. I store mine in buckets with cans of desiccant to absorb moisture. This has worked for me over the years.
Thanks so much for the feedback.
This was a 71% chocolate, which I added no cocoa butter to. (Beans from Guatemala). I usually add some. I will add some Organic Cocoa Butter Next time. I added sugar 12 hours into grinding. I do not, however, pre-grind my sugar to get the particle size down before adding. Would this make a great deal of difference?
More importantly, this was my first experiment with Organic Coconut Blossom sugar. I would ideally like to try and use this for some or all of my bars because of it's lower glycemic levels. I was afraid that it would not work out and have negative effects on the quality. The flavor is fine, but the texture was horrendous and impossible to work with. Will likely go back organic cane sugar.
- two things to pay attention to include:
a) the fat content of the beans themselves
b) the recipe
The fat content of beans can range from 47-53% or thereabout. The same recipe (70% cocoa and 30% sugar) can have very different viscosities based on the native fat content of the beans. In general, I advocate adding enough cocoa butter to make your life easy in depositing and molding, and to achieve a good mouthfeel.
The kind of sugar and how/when it's added will also have an effect. In general, most makers I know advocate waiting several hours after the liquor has reached a fine paste before starting to add sugar. Some sugars, especially coconut blossom sugars, have a high moisture content that will affect viscosity. Crystal size, moisture content, how/when added will all have an impact on final viscosity, as will the particle size distribution of the chocolate.