femme avec tablette de chocolat dans la main

How to make homemade chocolate?

how to make homemade chocolate

You love chocolate like 99.9% of gourmets and you would like to be able to make your own homemade chocolate ?

Do you think it's too complicated and that the organic chocolate bar sold on the market is enough to reach your annual dose of cocoa ?

Have you ever wondered where cocoa comes from and how does it turn into chocolate ?

Then it's your lucky day because we have a talkative chocolatier on our team who knows the subject perfectly.

shiny chocolate candies

The manufacture of chocolate requires several specific steps to follow. The know-how of the chocolatier is acquired over time in order to master the artisanal techniques to transform a cocoa bean into a chocolate bar. The ingredients are not numerous but as in baking, everything is a question of dosage and temperature.

You will discover all the tricks and little secrets that chocolate makers jealously guard in order to make your homemade chocolate yourself!

Fasten your apron and let's discover it all together right now.

different types of chocolates

The different types of chocolate

Chocolate is a very vague word. Before learning how to make your own chocolate , you have to know what type of chocolate we are talking about.

So let’s start together by discovering the different kinds of chocolates:

  • dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is a mixture of at least 3 ingredients : cocoa paste, cocoa butter and sugar. It must therefore contain at least 50% cocoa to have the designation of dark chocolate.

  • milk chocolate

Milk chocolate is a mixture of at least 4 ingredients : cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar and milk. It must therefore contain at least 25% cocoa to be called milk chocolate.

  • white chocolate

White chocolate is a mixture of at least 3 ingredients : cocoa butter, sugar and milk. It must therefore contain at least 20% cocoa butter to have the designation of white chocolate.

Commercial chocolates are often made with additives and extra flavorings that distort the quality of the chocolate or mask poor quality cocoa.

couverture chocolates

  • The chocolate couverture

It is a chocolate whose cocoa butter content is higher than that of the simple traditional chocolate bar . Chocolatiers only use this type of chocolate because it makes it easy to get smooth, shiny chocolate.

  • cocoa powder

There are 2 different kinds of cocoa powder :

  1. The first is a cocoa paste from which all the moisture and fat have been extracted, highly prized by chocolatiers and pastry chefs.
  2. The other is a dried cocoa paste from which the moisture has been extracted but not the cocoa butter, often used commercially for breakfast chocolate drinks.
  • The cocoa bean

The cocoa bean is the seed extracted from the cocoa pod that grows on the cocoa tree. It is then fermented and then dried before being roasted to transform it into chocolate .

  • Cocoa nibs

Cocoa nibs are the pieces of dried cocoa bean once extracted from its shell and crushed before being roasted. Some purists prefer it raw but chocolatiers use it after roasting because it releases more flavors like coffee beans.

cocoa pods and beans

  • cocoa butter

The cocoa bean consists of 53% cocoa butter, obtained by pressing the cocoa bean to extract its fat. Cocoa butter is the most expensive vegetable butter in the world.

This is why expensive cocoa butter is replaced by other, cheaper types of fat in lower quality commercial chocolates.

As you may have understood in our explanation above, the quality of chocolate is directly linked to its cocoa butter content. The richer the chocolate is in cocoa butter, the higher its quality.

Now that you have mastered the basics, we will see together how to transform cocoa into chocolate and how to prepare it in order to obtain chocolate and shiny candies and bars like those in the windows of the best chocolate shops .

chocolate making

The making of chocolate

    Now that you know the subtle difference between chocolate varieties , you are ready to start making it at home.

    Water is the main enemy of chocolate. Remember to dry all your utensils and equipment for making your homemade chocolate .

    Let's see together how to prepare your own chocolate according to the method of your choice set out below:

    • How to make shiny chocolate candies

    Candies are chocolates filled with a ganache, praline, caramel or a cream of your choice.

    With the use of polycarbonate chocolate molds , you get crunchy and shiny chocolate candies that are well filled.

    Their realization takes longer than the manufacture of simple chocolate bars and we will see why.

    Don't worry, our method is really easy, fast and foolproof!

    To obtain very shiny chocolates like those of chocolatiers, with a thin and crunchy shell to the bite, it is absolutely necessary to temper the chocolate beforehand.

    Thanks to the polycarbonate chocolate molds , there is a very simple trick with powdered cocoa butter that we add to the chocolate and which saves us from going through the 3 stages of the chocolate temperature curve .

    If this “holy” curve is unfamiliar to you, don't worry, you'll also find our tempering recipes below.

    For an artisanal result , you will need a chocolate mold, a kitchen thermometer, a spatula and two piping bags.

    Here you will find all the recommended equipment for this recipe .

    Let's see together how to easily make dark chocolate candies filled with milk chocolate ganache :

    Here is the list of Ingredients to prepare 36 chocolates: (so 2 ​​moulds)

    • 120 g dark chocolate (preferably couverture)
    • 1.2g cocoa butter powder (optional)
    • 85g milk chocolate (preferably couverture)
    • 60 g full cream
    • 10g of honey
    • 10g butter

    Melt the dark chocolate, preferably in a bain-marie (or microwave) between 40°C and 45°C.

    Then let the chocolate come down to 35°C and add the cocoa butter powder. Mix well with the spatula .

    Pour the chocolate on your mold and turn it over to let the excess flow out.

    Then smooth the surface of the mold with the stainless steel spatula or with the blade of a knife to remove the excess chocolate .

    Place the mold upside down in your freezer , on a sheet of baking paper, while you prepare the ganache.

    To prepare the ganache, melt the milk chocolate, preferably in a bain-marie (or microwave).

    Then heat the liquid cream with the honey, then remove from the heat as soon as it boils .

    Pour this hot cream over the melted milk chocolate , in 3 times, mixing well between each addition using a silicone spatula.

    Then add the butter, and continue to mix well with the spatula.

    Pour everything into a piping bag.

    Take the chocolate molds out of the freezer and pipe a dab of ganache into each chocolate shell directly into the mold, leaving 1 millimeter of empty space at the end.

    Put the chocolate molds back in the freezer for 5 minutes.

    homemade chocolate making with ganache

    In the meantime , melt the dark chocolate again if necessary.

    Pour it into a piping bag .

    Take the chocolate mold out of the freezer and pipe the remaining dark chocolate over the ganache , to close the candies .

    Smooth with the stainless steel spatula or with the blade of a knife to remove the excess.

    Return the chocolate mold to the freezer for 15 minutes. When you see by transparency that the chocolate is starting to come off, it is ready to be unmolded!

    Thanks to the polycarbonate chocolate moulds , all you have to do is tap the mold upside down on a work surface so that the chocolates fall out on their own.

    You will be very surprised by the ease of unmolding and especially by the extra shiny final result of your homemade chocolate !

    For more spectacular results with colored candies , you will need to add food coloring to your chocolate molds before you start pouring any chocolate.

    And for an even more magical result you can use a pastry airbrush by simply pouring the food coloring of your choice into the spray gun as explained in our video tutorial in another article.

    You will find all kinds of polycarbonate chocolate molds on the online store: rabbits, eggs, chickens, hearts, fruits, Christmas, etc...

    Your chocolate candies will make a perfect personalized gift to offer during unforgettable family events such as weddings, birthdays, Easter or Christmas .

    The homemade chocolate bars are also infinitely customizable according to tastes and colors.

    Let's see together how to make your own chocolate bars .

    home-made chocolate making

    • The preparation of artisanal chocolate bars

    Do you prefer to start by making your homemade chocolate bars?

    The method is extremely simple if you have the right tools.

    For an artisanal result, you will need a chocolate mold , a kitchen thermometer, a spatula and two piping bags.

    As for the realization of candies and chocolate confectionery such as fried foods, mouldings, truffles, pralines, it is absolutely necessary to use tempered chocolate , the recipes of which you will find below.

    Pour your tempered chocolate of your choice (dark, milk, white, pink, etc.) into a piping bag then pour the liquid chocolate over your chocolate molds up to the edge or a little before if you want to add other ingredients such as hazelnuts, almonds, dried fruits, etc.

    Then tap your mold against the work surface, avoiding the chocolate to flow in order to remove the excess air trapped in the chocolate. You will then observe small air bubbles rise to the surface of the chocolate.

    Refrigerate your bars for about ten minutes until the chocolate crystallizes and ends up shrinking slightly, which will make it easier to unmold .

    shiny chocolate bar

    To unmold your chocolate bars , simply flip the mold over on your counter and it should pop out without tapping the back of the mold.

    If you follow our tempering methods below, then your homemade chocolate bars will be shiny and crunchy.

    If the result does not suit you because you notice white marks or irregularities then simply melt the chocolate again and start tempering again.

    Little tip , adding cocoa butter makes it possible to obtain a more shiny chocolate and to easily catch up with manufacturing errors .

    Don't worry , it is possible to make homemade chocolate bars without tempering. However, the result will not be very satisfactory when tasted and we advise you to do so only for your pastry chocolate bars that you reserve for your next dessert and pastry recipes (chocolate mousse, chocolate mirror glaze , chocolate ganache, chocolate cake, etc.)

    Indeed your chocolate will be melted for the realization of your recipe , it is therefore useless that it is shiny.

    • How to make chocolate from cocoa beans

    Let's discover together the different steps to understand how the bean becomes cocoa and how cocoa becomes chocolate:

    cocoa beans

    Roasting the cocoa bean

    Roasting the cocoa beans will allow them to develop their aromas, which will give the chocolate its typical flavor .

    • Turn on your oven at 130°C
    • Place the dried cocoa beans in a bowl and add 5% water
    • Mix by hand to moisten all of the beans.
    • Then place the cocoa beans on a baking sheet
    • Bake 45 min for dark chocolate (30 min for milk chocolate)
    • Take out the cocoa beans and let them cool.

    Chocolatiers prefer to shell the cocoa beans after roasting to preserve the natural flavors .

    Now that your cocoa beans are roasted and begin to smell of chocolate, we are going to move on to the essential step of grinding.

    shiny homemade chocolate bar

    Grinding the cocoa bean

    Before you start grinding your homemade chocolate, check that your mixer or blender is powerful enough to chop dried fruits such as hazelnuts for example.

    This step will allow you to crush your roasted beans and mix them with the main chocolate ingredients which are cocoa butter and sugar.

    • Melt the cocoa butter in a bain-marie or in the oven at a temperature of at least 70°C.
    • In your mixer or blender, place the roasted cocoa beans with the hot melted butter.
    • Let the melted butter simmer with the cocoa beans for a few seconds then mix for at least 5 minutes at maximum power.
    • After 5min, you will obtain a cocoa paste, also called cocoa mass.
    • First add the icing sugar then the powdered milk if you are preparing a milk chocolate and mix for another 2 minutes minimum to obtain a homogeneous texture.
    • Continue to mix at maximum power for at least 5 minutes until you obtain a chocolate paste.

    Reserve this paste in your blender and see together how to move on to the next conching step which will transform this raw chocolate paste into a liquid chocolate .

    homemade chocolate conching

    Conching your homemade chocolate

    Conching is the process carried out by artisan chocolatiers to refine chocolate by improving its texture. This refining process can last 48 hours to obtain the smoothest possible chocolate.

    We present to you a simplified conching that will allow you to round off the taste of your homemade chocolate. This step is not essential, but strongly recommended to obtain homemade chocolate in tablets or candies .

    • Continue to mix your chocolate paste waiting in your blender. Let it run for 30 to 45 minutes at the minimum speed of your device.
    • Regularly check with your laser thermometer that your chocolate paste does not exceed 70°C. If so, take a break and let cool for a few minutes before resuming the conch .

    Before you start conching homemade chocolate , check that your mixer or blender is powerful enough to withstand long use.

    The longer the conching step, the better the result. Your homemade chocolate is now liquid.

    If you want to make homemade chocolate for pastry use in a future dessert recipe, then pour it now that it is hot in your chocolate bar molds without going through the tempering stage.

    If you prefer to prepare homemade chocolate to make your own candies and chocolate bars like those of the chocolatier, then let's move on to the next step, so dreaded by amateurs, called tempering .

    How to temper chocolate?

    Now you have chosen the type of chocolate you want to make. So here's how to take the next step of tempering so complicated for beginners.

    Tempering is a more or less tedious process depending on the method you choose. It allows the chocolate to go from liquid to solid state while retaining its flavor and elegance.

    It is a question of controlling the temperature of the chocolate in order to make it crystallize thanks to temperature curves that chocolatiers know by heart!

    Be aware, however, that the temperature curves are not the same depending on the type of chocolate; black, milk or white

    Let's see together the different ways to temper chocolate in order to obtain the best taste with a shiny appearance:

    All the techniques are given for 400 g of chocolate, so for 2 to 4 bars.

    Preparation time: 15 min / Melting time: 15 min / Total: 30 min

    tempered chocolate bain marie

    The water bath technique

    There are several methods of tempering in a bain marie but we will explain the simplest to you. The essential utensils for this method are the laser or probe thermometer and a silicone spatula in order to lose as little chocolate as possible.

    1. Start by cutting the chocolate into pieces or pour your couverture chocolate pellets into a stainless steel bowl to melt it in a bain-marie. In the meantime, prepare a bowl of cold water larger than your bowl and add ice cubes to it.
    2. When the temperature of the chocolate reaches 50-55°C (45-50°C for milk chocolate, 45-50°C for white chocolate), remove the chocolate bowl from the bain-marie and place it in the bowl. 'frozen water. Stir constantly with a spatula until the temperature drops to around 35°C.
    3. Take the bowl of chocolate out of the bowl of ice water and continue stirring until it drops to 28-29°C (27-28°C, 26-27°C).
    4. Put the chocolate bowl back on the bain-marie to bring it up to 31-32°C (29-30°C, 28-29°C).

    homemade chocolate tempering

    The seeding technique

    1. Cut your chocolate into small pieces . It is essential that the chocolate is well chopped , and not just in squares, for this method to work. Place 300g in a stainless steel bowl and melt in a bain-marie until the temperature is between 50 and 55°C for dark chocolate (45-50°C for milk chocolate, 45-50°C for white chocolate). The bain-marie allows you to better control the temperature than the microwave.
    2. Remove the bowl from the bain-marie and reserve a third of the chocolate in a small bowl. In the remaining 2/3, pour the 100g of unmelted chopped chocolate that you put aside at the beginning. Mix with a spatula until the temperature drops to 28-29°C (27-28°C, 26-27°C).
    3. Add 1/3 of the reserved chocolate to the small bowl. It has cooled but is a bit warmer than the chocolate you added your 100g of unmelted chopped chocolate into. The temperature of the 400g of chocolate will rise to 31-32°C (29-30°C, 28-29°C).

    table of tempered chocolate
    The table technique

    This method is identical to that of the bain marie but you need a marble work surface preferably to cool the chocolate .

    1. Start by cutting the chocolate into pieces or pour your couverture chocolate pellets into a stainless steel bowl to melt it in a bain-marie. When the temperature reaches 50-55°C (45-50°C, 45-50°C), pour two-thirds of the chocolate onto the marble . Reserve the last third in a bowl.
    2. Using a stainless steel spatula, move the poured chocolate over the marble constantly until the temperature drops to 28-29°C (27-28°C, 26-27°C).
    3. Return the chocolate to the bowl and stir the reserved third of hot chocolate into the bowl until the temperature rises to 31-32°C (29-30°C, 28-29°C).

    easy chocolate molds

    The Cocoa Butter Technique

    There is another trickster technique, which is not very common but which works very well: tempering with cocoa butter powder .

    1. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie between 40 and 45°C.
    2. Leave the dark chocolate to cool to 34-35°C or 33-34°C for the milk chocolate and at room temperature for the white chocolate .
    3. Then add 1% cocoa butter powder , so 4g for 400g.
    4. Mix until you reach 31-32°C for dark chocolate or 29-30°C for milk or white chocolate .

    chocolate tempering with cocoa butter

    The tempering technique

    Simply set the machine to the temperature to be reached to have your chocolate always tempered and successful every time.

    No other steps are necessary with the automatic tempering machine .

    Whatever the method chosen, once your chocolate is tempered, it must be used immediately, and therefore poured into your tablet or candy mold in polycarbonate, preferably.

    The polycarbonate molds prized by chocolatiers make it possible to obtain crunchy and shiny chocolates at the same time.

    All the difficulty will consist in maintaining the adequate working temperature if you have several tablets or candies to prepare. You will therefore have to rest your container above the bain-marie, fire off, for a few seconds from time to time.

    If you let the chocolate harden without using it, rest assured, it is not lost but you will have to start the tempering curve from the beginning.

    Thanks to the hot air gun you will never again have difficulty keeping your chocolates tempered and you will no longer have to start the tempering curves again!

    There are other less restrictive methods to make homemade chocolate but the results are much less satisfactory.

    Let's see together how to do it:

    chocolate ganache candy molds

    Other ways to make homemade chocolate

    • Prepare your chocolate with cocoa powder

    It is possible to make chocolate bars with cocoa powder but the end result will not be of high quality.

    This is generally the easiest method used to introduce children to chocolate making .

    Here is our recipe for a 70% cocoa couverture chocolate for a 100g bar:

    • 30g icing sugar (no alternative possible)
    • 30g of cocoa powder (pure and without sugar)
    • 40g cocoa butter

    Melt the cocoa butter in a bain-marie.

    Add cocoa powder.

    Add the icing sugar.

    Let everything cool to 34°C and add half a teaspoon of cocoa butter (optional) and stir well with a spatula.

    When the chocolate drops to 32°C, pour it into your chocolate moulds .

    Reserve in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes

    To unmold your chocolate bars , simply flip the mold over on your counter and it should pop out without tapping the back of the mold.

    chocolate tempering with cocoa powder

    It is also possible to make homemade milk chocolate by adding powdered milk to this recipe.

    However, we do not recommend it because this mixture requires a conching period of more than 24 hours so that the milk powder blends perfectly with the other ingredients.

    • Prepare homemade chocolate without cocoa butter

    Cocoa butter is logically the most suitable fat for making chocolate .

    However, this ingredient is expensive and we may not be able to obtain it easily.

    Know that it is possible to replace it with other fats such as vegetable oils including coconut oil for example. It is best to choose deodorized coconut oil so that the taste of your homemade chocolate is not overwhelmed by that of the coconut.

    Here is a coconut oil recipe that you might like.

    • Prepare your chocolate without lactose, without milk, without gluten

    Some lactose intolerant people are frustrated because they can't enjoy good milk chocolate.

    Dark chocolate is by definition milk-free, lactose-free, gluten-free in its composition and although it is delicious, children often prefer milk chocolate.

    Here is our recipe for a lactose-free milk chocolate for a 100g bar:

    • 50g icing sugar (no alternative possible)
    • 30g of cocoa powder (pure and without sugar)
    • 30g coconut milk powder
    • 20g cocoa butter
    Melt the cocoa butter in a bain-marie.
    Add cocoa powder
    Add icing sugar

      homemade lactose-free chocolate

      Let everything cool to 34°C and add half a teaspoon of cocoa butter (optional) and stir well with a spatula.

      When the chocolate drops to 32°C, pour it into your chocolate moulds .

      Reserve in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

      If your budget allows you, you can replace the cocoa powder with dark chocolate couverture and add vegetable milk powder, such as coconut milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, etc.

      • Prepare your homemade chocolate without sugar

      Some chocolate lovers are sugar intolerant and only 100% cocoa dark chocolate is sugar free.

      On the other hand, it is very bitter and I did not really appreciate it as it was during the chocolate tasting sessions.

      The other solution in order to be able to make homemade chocolate without sugar is to replace this ingredient with sweetening sweeteners such as stevia or preferably powdered aspartame.

      airbrush for homemade chocolate decoration

      • Prepare homemade chocolate without a mold

      It is possible to make homemade chocolate without a mould, however the result will not be that of the chocolate maker.

      The texture will not be thin and crunchy in the mouth and the chocolate will not be shiny even after hours of tempering.

      However, if you want to try, then pour your hot and liquid chocolate into empty eggshells, for example to make chocolate Easter eggs .

      You can pour your chocolate into any container you have in your kitchen to create chocolate shells in table glasses, create shapes in cookie cutters, or make little cubes with an ice cube tray that everyone everyone necessarily has in their fridge.

      You can also make decorative elements like chocolate leaves using rhodoid leaves .

      quick and easy homemade chocolate bar recipe

      • Prepare homemade chocolate without a thermometer

      As you have understood, the thermometer is the chocolatier 's best friend.

      However, if you don't have one on hand, then the best solution to temper your homemade chocolate without a thermometer is the seed tempering technique.

      Chop your chocolate into flakes then melt ⅔ of them in a bain-marie over low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula.

      When your chocolate is melted, remove it from the heat and pour the remaining ⅓ over it and wait 1 minute.

      Mix it with a silicone spatula and hurry to pour it on your chocolate mold before it cools.

      homemade chocolate colorings

      • How to store homemade chocolate

      In order to keep your homemade chocolate in the best conditions, it is recommended to wrap them in aluminum foil and then store them in airtight bags in the fridge or in a dry place at a temperature below 18°C.

      Thereafter, avoid temperature variations in your homemade chocolate if you don't want it to whiten or harden and lose its flavor. You can keep it this way for several months.

      If this is the case, you will have to start the tempering process that you know well now.

      Use gloves for making shiny chocolate like candies and bars if you don't want your fingerprints to remain etched in the chocolate.

      Chocolate hates water : dry your molds and utensils well while working the chocolate.

      Also watch out for moisture that can settle on the chocolate and this condensation will dissolve its sugar. Once the water has evaporated, the sugar will form crystals on the surface.

      Chocolate does not like heat either and oxidizes quickly: protect it as much as possible from air and light!

      Before tasting, it is best to let it come up to room temperature and take full advantage of its aromas, unlike cold chocolate .

      Unmold homemade chocolate candies and ganache

      Do it yourself !

      Now you know all the secrets of chocolate making and you're ready to temper your homemade chocolate like a pro!

      Our tips and advice will allow you to choose the method that suits you best in order to obtain brilliant, artisanal quality chocolates .

      A few suitable utensils will allow you to make superb homemade chocolates more easily and quickly .

      Discover our Chocolatier Kits for beginners, amateurs and professionals by clicking on the image below:

      the shiny homemade chocolate kits

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