Friday, November 14, 2008

The First Success!

So after going back and forth trying to decide if I could have pride in chocolate that I hadn't made from scratch I decided that it was worth a shot. So I found some dark chocolate that did not already have vanilla in it (since I would like that to be Amabella's signature flavor), and made up a batch! The chocolate that I found melted really well, it was already tempered, so that was one less step I had to worry about, and the vanilla added into just fine!

I still haven't been able to find molds that I'm happy with, so I bought some cheap-o ones just to test out the chocolate and the artwork. I bought some pearl dust to paint onto the pieces, and I'm pretty happy with the way it looks. It's very shimmery, so it's a little hard to see in pictures, but I did my best to photograph them. I also only started out with the gold pearl dust, just to test it out. I need to get better at the pearl dust/lemon juice ratio, but by the end of the first batch I was already getting better. I also bought more colors so I can try them out not too!

Here's some of the stencils I have done already... don't mind the bubbly chocolate, or the fingerprints... I got a little anxious to start with the stenciling, so I kept poking the chocolate to see if it was solid yet.

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and the signature, Vanilla:
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Soo the other exciting news is I may already have a supplier lined up! One of my very good friends hooked me up with a theatre in town that would like to talk to me about an opportunity to sell my chocolates! Now, obviously, I won't be ready this month or next, but I'm hoping by January to have enough things

Friday, November 7, 2008

Try, try again... and again...

So I had a couple of major failures last night. Trial and error is really hard, especially when your materials aren't cheap. These were my first attempts at making chocolate from chocolate liquor. It is a solid liquor, so it melted easily, but it is unsweetened. Usually the sugar and other flavors are added in the grinding process. Or during the conching process. But since I'm not a factory, I can't do that. So I added the sugar in slowly, hoping that it would dissolve nicely into the melted cocoa. It wasn't too bad. It was still a little grainy, but the chocolate had a beautiful shine to it.

Then I added the vanilla - an alcohol based substance - to a very hot oil based substance. Big mistake.

Needless to say, this is not a chocolate I can mold into lovely little perfect squares. The hot vanilla turned it into a charred mess of really delicious-smelling goop.

So, round 2! I decided that, since it was still grainy, and all of the sugar hadn't dissolved, I was going to melt the sugar first - with the vanilla - and then add it to the melted chocolate. Liquid added to liquid should be good, right? Wrong.

As you can see, the sugar was much hotter than the chocolate. So when I added it to the chocolate it instantly cooled, and turned into an amoeba of rock candy.

Needless to say I was a bit discouraged. And by a bit, I mean there were tears. I ended up emailing a friend of my sister who is an accomplished choclatier. He was very obliging, and tried to answer all of my questions. He too is interested in working with flavors. Apparently, though, he does not make his chocolate from scratch. He says, that's what the chocolate production companies and factories are for. They make the good chocolate with the the large machinery, and we add the flair.

I didn't want to do this originally. I wanted to have complete control over every aspect of the chocolate. But I have to admit, it's looking more and more appealing every day.