Pralines made by chocolatieur

The shapes of chocolate: powder, drink, spread…

Let’s get this straight. Nobody became good in anything in one week. When we started we had to figure out many thing that nobody told us before and after years and improvement we are still studying. Sometimes we feel like we are totally ignorant, sometimes we get lost among all the things we could, we should, maybe we have to do. The lesson is: if you want to be better in tasting start today and never finish, but before study the subject of your investigation. This is another post dedicated to the types of chocolate you can find around. It may sounds obvious but it actually gives you the chance to recap and to go deeper into the knowledge of chocolate. Continue reading

bancarella di tavolette di cioccolato in turchia

The shapes of chocolate: tablets

Hooked on your daily piece of chocolate? Welcome to the club of the tablet lovers! Next time you’ll be looking for your dark treat do it consciously thanks to our #LearningtoTaste course. You won’t have to ask the local surly hipster delicatessen shopkeeper how much those tablet contain of cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar, stevia, and more flavours you wish you could recognize.

Here are some tricks to #LearntoTaste e to recognize some of the classification and variety available in the market. Continue reading

uomo con occhiali e una fava di cacao in testa

Chocolate: origin and creation

The world “Chocolate” comes from xocolatl, which is the aztech world for “bitter water”. As a matter of fact chocolate is bitter itself, the same as coffee. Eventually we learned to mixing it with cocoa butter, sugar and other ingredients. During the last years we’ve been seeing more and more offers for high percentage cocoa chocolate bar, but don’t be fooled! A great chocolate doesn’t necessarily contains a lot of cocoa powder, instead a fabulous chocolate is the one with an excellent taste balance. You get an excellent chocolate out of high quality ingredients and a great preparation.

How is Chocolate Made?

The chocolate tree grows between 20 degree North and South of the Equator at its best. Its seeds, the cocoa beans, are fermented together and dried at the sun. At this initial stage the beans go to the chocolate producing factories for the next important process. Most of the chocolates commonly sold are produced out of a blend of cocoa of different origins, again like  coffee. Today it’s becoming common to find “single origin” cocoa chocolates, or Cru.

Usually the cocoa beans are selected and washed before being roasted. Now the barks are separated from cocoa nibs after a special process. The nibs are then powdered and resulted in a solid dry cocoa without any fat.

Last phase is the conching. It can last very long, days and days. Everything is put into machines that keep the temperature between 45 and 50 degree and they mix the future chocolate finely and longly. The very last part is the temperation. This is quite delicate since we don’t want a crumbled chocolate, we want a chocolate that melts in our mouths but not on our hands.

Congratulations: you just learned your first lesson about chocolate!   🙂

 

Tavoletta di cioccolato semiscartata

Learning to taste chocolate: introduction

Every Saturday we’ll be talking about how you can learn to taste, understand and better evaluate chocolate.

This is not a real course. There will be no certifications, no high expertise requirements, no final tests. This is the passion that drives us everyday to create, experiment and taste chocolate. Few times ago we decided to put together our experience here on our blog.

You Can Be a Chocolate Expert

It’s true – anyone can educate him/herself on how to recognize the multiple variations in taste of chocolate, or coffee, or cheese, or wine. It’s mostly a matter of dedication and perseverance driven by passion. Don’t worry if you haven’t learned to taste anything before, or that you tried so many wines before and still can’t spot the difference from a 4 Eur or a 30 Eur bottle. After all, that’s never affected your ability to love wine! And this is the key to picking up a food and discover it through the diverse origins, preparations, mixes, pairings. You don’t need to buy a weird suitcase full of things to smell with your closed eyes.

You only need to look, smell and bite a small piece of chocolate, concentrate about your feelings. Once you start, you’ll be amazed how many prompts you’ll get to help you build on those first tastes. You’ll became more experts in crus, cocoa, percentages and types of chocolate preparations.

So, don’t take it too much seriously, just try to enjoy your tablet of chocolate as much as you can, but do it with us!