Dr. Reyna Flores, panelist on the Process, Recipe and Equipment webinar brought to you as part of our Empowering Chocopreneurs series was kind enough to answer the questions put in the chat. Big Thanks to Dr. Flores on behalf of all attendees and readers who will benefit from this blog.
Q. Did someone experiment with honey?
A. Yes, as long as it´s powder.
Q. When you use honey do you dry the honey?
A. Yes, dry through the method of freezing.
Q. Can we use normal sugar and grind it before adding to chocolate? Will
this make a good taste?
A. Normal sugar, standard sugar must be added once the cocoa nibs have
had at least 6 hours grinding.
Q. Do you think it is necessary to dry the jaggery sugar?
A. Yes, very necessary in order to avoid moisture in your liquor of
Q. When using molasses should it be powder or liquid?
A. Powder always.
Q. Have you used stevia?
A. Yes I have used it, powder as well.
Milk and Milk Substitutes
Q. What is the best brand in powder milk?
A. It is hard to say. In my country it all seems to be very bad. They
got a lot of additives.
Q. Can we use non-fat milk powder?
A. Yes you can but need to balance the mixture with cocoa butter.
Q. Is it possible to provide us with the brand name for goat milk?
A. Meyenberg Goat Milk
Q. How do you clean the melanger?
A. With warm water and mild soap.
Q. Can you use it right after you clean it or you need to leave it for a
day or half a day before using it to make sure no more water inside it
before using the next batch?
A. I can use it right after cleaning it, because I make sure I dry it
Q. How long do you leave the melanger on? 18 hours to do the grinding?
A. It always depends on the kind of beans you got, or the type of
chocolate you want to make. Sometimes the beans are very acidic and you
need many hours of conching to dissipate acidity.
Q. Do you keep the machines overnight or you turn them off and continue
grinding the next day as it is not safe to keep the machines running
A. I turn them off to continue the next day, I make sure to cover the
machine with a blanket to keep it warm.
Q. When you leave your chocolate in the equipment all night, how do you
restart the machine?
A. I first make sure the mixture stays liquid.
Q. What is the average recovery of cocoa nibs by weight after winnowing
with reference to Cocoa bean weight?
A. You lost 1/3 average less with lavado beans.
Q. I'm planning to purchase some equipment. What are the 2 important
equipment needed for the bean to bar process?
A. The melanger and winnower.
Q. How do you roast the beans?
A. CocoaTown roaster.
Q. In roasting beans, is it important to roast it in a roaster that
moves in circular motion while roasting?
A. Very, very important.
Q. What is the minimum level of fat you need to have in your chocolate
in order to be able to work with it?
A. I do not know the answer in numbers. I see the fluidity of the liquor
and I know if I need to add cocoa butter.
Q. For new people entering this field to make chocolate using your
machines, we need someone to tell us what is the process to make
chocolate. For example, we start with buying beans, what kind of beans
then next step is what roasting them? adding what ingredients and etc
A. It is a very complex process, you need to know about cocoa beans and
have a notion of the types of fermentations, to determine the best
roasting level they need to create the right chocolate, what kind of
sweetener you want to use etc. Knowing some basics is important. The
process is very noble and the results make you happy.
Q. Can we make chocolate from cocoa powder instead of using beans?
A. It can be, to do that you must rehydrate the cocoa powder with cocoa
Q. In my little experience using the grinder too long some flavors get
lost, have you had this experience and do you give importance to flavor
over the texture?
A. The flavors are very important, the ones you want to lose are the
Q. At what temperature do you let the chocolate rest in the machine?
A. 48 – 54 C
Cocoa Butter/LecithinQ. Do you use natural or deodorized butter?
Q. I use too much cocoa butter in milk chocolate, almost 35%, is that
A. Yes, remember it is related to the amount of milk.
Q. Cocoa Butter is it in powder shape or what?
A. It can be shaped in small beans, micro spheres and bars.
Q. What happens if you do not use Soy Lecithin? Does the shelf life of
chocolate get shorter?
A. It is known soy lecithin lengthens the life of chocolate and gives
fluidity but also it is an allergen.
Q. At what temperature do you cool the bars after tempering?
A. 14-16 C
Storing and Transporting
Q. How do you manage transportation of finished bars to customers...
especially with commercial logistic companies? Have you had the issues
of melting/deforming by the time it gets to its destination. Do you use
A. A special packaging is needed, taking into account the season of the
year, the distance the package will travel to determine the kind of
Q. In your experience what is the main obstacle when you started your
A. The big industry and the habit of people in consuming chocolates with
chemical products that are cheaper.
Q.There are many chocolate makers, chocolatiers, and people who are
looking to make a business from it… what is your recommendation to the
person who is starting the business?
A.Work in the local market, re-educate people in the consumption of good
chocolate, know the taste of your local consumer and from there go ahead
to a more distant market.
Q.Are there set recipes to make chocolate instead of trying to do trials
and fail? Can we skip this trial and error step?
A.Yes there is a lot of information about proven recipes.
Q.What is the basic recipe in order to start the chocolate business?
A.You can try 72% of cocoa nibs and 28% of sugar, is the right balance.
Q.How many grinders do you need to start a small business?
Bean RelatedQ.What is the difference between fermented bean and Lavado bean?
A.Lavado beans are harvested and then the pulp (mucilage) is washed and
the beans are placed to sun dry for 4 to 5 days. Cocoa beans with pulp
are placed in wooden boxes for several days to develop chemical
processes and with this aromas and flavors are acquired in the cocoa -
this results in fermented beans.
Q.How do you know that the beans are good, is it from smelling it or the
way it looks?
A. Smelling and how they look is the key.