Before You Buy the Chocolate Making Supplies…

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Chocolate Maker or Chocolatier?

We often get asked, “What are the best chocolate making supplies?”  But there is another question that begs to be asked prior to selecting equipment.  That question is, “Are you creating chocolate from cocoa beans or making chocolate confections from chocolate produced by a chocolate maker?”   Chocolate makers pursue the craft of creating chocolate from bean to bar.  Chocolatiers are passionate about the creation of chocolate confections whether they be bon-bons or truffles.

We have a soft spot for chocolatiers—those artisans that struggle to tame the fickle beast that is chocolate into submission.  Those brave souls who combine pop rocks and bacon and mustard into something that actually doesn’t taste as bad as it sounds!

So what is a Chocolatier?

A chocolatier is someone who makes chocolate confectionery such as truffles. The term “chocolatier” is also used to describe a shop or business which specializes in the sale of chocolates and candy, and as an umbrella term for prestigious firms which manufacture high-quality chocolate. Most of the world’s best chocolatiers can be found in France, Germany, and Switzerland, although a rising movement in the United States is also worthy of attention.

In the sense of someone who physically makes chocolates, a chocolatier is a professionally trained cook who has chosen to specialize in chocolate confectionery. He or she is very knowledge about chocolate formulations, the procedures for making chocolate candy, and the history of chocolate. It is common to apprentice at a chocolate-making firm to learn more about the trade after being educated in culinary school.

A chocolatier is not the same thing as a chocolate maker. A chocolate maker specializes specifically in the formulation of chocolate itself, working with the raw ingredients to produce chocolate which is sold to chocolatiers and cooks to be turned into chocolate confections and other foods. Chocolate makers are schooled in the chemistry of chocolate, the process involved in turning cacao beans into chocolate, and the many types of cacao beans which can be found around the world. Major candy firms employ their own chocolate makers who also enforce consistency standards, while smaller companies source their chocolate from other firms, with in-house chocolatiers turning the chocolate into a final product.

In the sense of a store where candy is sold, a chocolatier typically stocks a range of chocolate confections, and a smaller array of candy. Hand-made truffles are commonly on offer, along with things like fudge, chocolate bark, bar chocolate, chocolate-dipped fruit, and novelty items. The shop may make its own chocolate, or source products from companies which produce chocolates.

Many prestigious chocolate firms also refer to themselves as chocolatiers, out of a desire to stress the idea that they produce artisan products in-house with highly trained staff. These firms produce chocolate confections on a much larger scale than a small shop, which requires the services of talented chocolatiers to ensure that the products are uniform, and of the highest quality possible.

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