How to Make Homemade Chocolate–At Home!

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Make your Own Chocolate Bar from Scratch!

Part of the current chocolate movement is home chefs wanting to try their hand at bean to bar chocolate production.  Not to be confused with the raw chocolate movement which promotes creating of chocolate bars without heating/roasting the cocoa bean.

There are many in the chocolate world, including the Chocolate Guru, that feel this process can be dangerous due to the possibility of bacterial contamination of the cocoa bean and the subsequent exposure to Salmonella and other food-borne illnesses.  For that reason, the following is a home method for making chocolate from cocoa beans that does require roasting of the bean.

Homemade Chocolate

Making homemade chocolate can be a long process, and it may take many tries and a lot of patience. There are no right or wrong recipes, and a combination of many different ingredients may be used to obtain the desired taste, but practice makes perfect-and the payout makes the hard work well worth it.  Just remember, if you tackle this project at home, don’t substitute vegetable fats of any kind for the cocoa butter or you will be creating a non-chocolate bar—and who wants to do that?


Cocoa beans


Cocoa butter


Roast the cocoa beans in the oven or in a coffee roaster. The beans should be roasted between 5 and 35 minutes, at a temperature between 250 and 325 degrees Fahrenheit.   This will vary from bean to bean.  Begin roasting the beans at the hottest temperature, gradually reducing the heat until the beans begin to crack. The cracking sound indicates the roasting is complete.

 Shell the cocoa beans by removing the husk (outer shell) from the nib (actual bean). This process can be time-consuming, since the most effective way is by hand, and is easier if the beans are roasted properly.  Using a hairdryer on low blowing lightly across the surface of the beans can help by blowing the lighter shells away from the nibs.

Grind the shelled beans until they become a fine chocolate liqueur. Some juicers work well for this process; otherwise it must be done by hand and can be rather messy.  We’ve seen a Champion juicer used with good results.  If you do use a juicer, keep transferring the waste container back into the juicer until you have a minimal amount of waste.

Add cocoa butter, sugar and milk, if you’d like. Every chocolate maker uses a different recipe, so this step allows for some experimenting. Start by adding very little milk and cocoa butter.

Fold the chocolate continually upon itself. This is called conching, and the longer it is done, the oilier the chocolate finish will be. (The less it is done, the grittier the chocolate will turn out.) This may need to be done for hours for a smoother finish.  Table top melangers are available which take much of the hard work out of this process (see equipment suggestion below).

Cool the chocolate to about 90 degrees Fahrenheit and pour it into the desired mold. Use a mold to make bars or other shapes.

Tips & Warnings

    • For semisweet chocolate, added sugar should make up 20 percent of the chocolate.
    • Great bean-to-bar equipment

    • Here are several sources for purchase of raw cocoa beans

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