Cusco – Chocolate Making

One of our stops into a local business was the Cusco Chocolate Museum.  We decided to return later in the day to take a two-hour class on making chocolate.

The class was a hands-on education on the 9 steps of making chocolate.

First, the cocoa beans are roasted.

Cocoa beans roasted in a small clay pot

Then the beans are peeled and separated from the husk.  The resulting beans are called nibs.

Peeled cocoa beans and husks

The husk can be used to make tea.

The nibs are ground into a paste.  This is the result of about 10 minutes of hard work on the mortar and pestal and about 10 nibs.

Nibs ground into a paste

The faster way is to use a coffee style grinder.

Grinding the nibs

The result is a bowl full of ground nibs.

Bowl of ground nibs

The ground nibs are mixed depending on the type of chocolate being made.  For example, if the chocolate is 70% cocoa, it is 70% ground nibs and the balance milk and sugar.  The combination is left in the mixer/grinder for 24 hours.

Chocolate being mixed

The result looks like fudge.

Then the chocolate is tempered – brought to a specific warm temperature and then cooled to activate certain compounds in the chocolate which ensure it has a long shelf life.

Finally the chocolate is heated again and mixed with any other ingredients.  In our class we had the opportunity to develop our own recipe by selecting any combination of approximately 20 ingredients.  Everything from salt and sugar, cloves and cinnamon, nuts, etc.

Preparing our own chocolate

A few hours later after the chocolate had cooled, the result was ready to consume.

The result of our hard work

We used 50% cocoa chocolate.  That’s strong enough to taste good, and mask any bad decisions you made selecting your ingredients – so they all tasted good!

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