Let me introduce you to our friend the melanger.
That’s where we make our chocolate. We start with some cocoa butter, heat it up to around 115-120° F, and then add the nibs – which had a nice aroma and pleasing mild flavor that made it possible for me to nibble on a couple without being blown away by bitterness. Dave noted that these nibs had a shorter but warmer roast to conserve the fruity character, which was what resulted in the outstanding plain nib flavor.
I can only imagine how nicely the chocolate turned out.
It turns out that chocolate making isn’t exactly easy, and that trusty melanger can get jammed if the chocolate becomes too cold. Solution? A blast of hot air from $10 hair dryer to loosen everything up.
Genius. Pure genius.
As the melanger does its thing, the particulate diameter of the chocolate decreases continuously. As the limit of human detection is roughly 20 micrometers, Madre works to undercut this by hitting 15 micrometers to keep the chocolate smooth on the tongue. A micrometer lets us know how close we are getting, and though that batch wouldn’t be ready for molding before I left, another was in the tempering machine and ready for pouring.
I was amazed at how quickly they worked to mold all these bars. After all the roasting and conching, all the tempering…just a few minutes brings us dozens upon dozens of beautifully molded chocolate bars.
Beautifully molded chocolate that I brought back with me.
Thanks, Dave, for letting me see your operation for a few hours.
Have you ever seen chocolate made? Did you see them use a hair dryer?