June 17, 2020 0 Comments

Chocolate conching is not a precisely defined process and there are still elements of skill in producing a good flavoursome chocolate with the right viscosity for. The manufacture of chocolate is done through several processing stages which require maintenance of the liquid state up to the final stage – tempering (turning. The process of conching is unique to the chocolate industry and critical to the production of fine chocolate. Yet it remains an arcane mystery to.

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Once chocolate liquor is produced from the cacao chocolste, more cocoa butter must be added back to it to produce couverture or other chocolate meant to be eaten as is. To that mixture conchijg added sugar, milk powder in the case of milk chocolate and flavorings, such as vanilla or spices. This mass is heated and undergoes further grinding to reduce particle size, after cohcolate conching begins. Originally, conches were long stone receptacles in which the chocolate mass was pounded, often with stone balls and usually for multiple days!

The process takes its name from conch shells, which the receptacles resembled in shape. More modern conches are rotary, with mixing blades that work the mass in a longitudinal motion. Chocolate undergoing conching begins as a doughy or powdery mass, but ends up as a thick fluid.

And there are present-day manufacturers who have done away with the conching process altogether, substituting instead an emulsification process that uses a machine resembling an eggbeater.

For how long is chocolate conched? In older equipment, conching periods can range from a few hours up to a few days or longer, and opinions on timing tend to vary widely.

Some reports indicate that fine-quality chocolate is conched for up to 96 hours, some insist the conching period is as long as five days, and one article maintained that good chocolate is conched for a minimum of one week.

On the conchig hand, he says, chocolate mass made from fine-flavored cocoa beans usually requires a good deal of conching to bring out the desired taste in the finished chocolate. In any case, modern rotary conches are changing chocolate manufacturing, because they reduce the length of the conching process significantly and can handle enormous quantities of chocolate chocolqte one time in some cases, over 5 tons!

But what does conching accomplish, that it has long been considered so vital a part of chocolate manufacturing? That depends upon your source of information. It is usually said that conching is important to the flavor development of chocolate.

Pollard states that many of these components are harsh-tasting; once these are allowed to evaporate, the chocolate flavor can more fully express itself. Given that chocolate contains at least a few hundred flavor components, not all of which are known or understood well, he may have a point. Conching may also reduce the size of particles in the chocolate mass or alternatively, simply smooth the particles out. The importance of this cannot be overstated, as good chocolate should be perfectly smooth on the tongue.

In theory, at least, conching accomplishes this via conxhing. It has also been suggested that conching drives off any excess moisture in the chocolate, which may assist in the evaporation of volatiles. Although the amount of moisture remaining in the chocolate liquor is low roasting the cocoa beans drives off most of itconching may help reduce moisture content slightly. So why the question mark in the title? Because not everyone agrees that conching is required for a good-quality product.


In the January, issue of Food Processing MagazineManaging Editor John Gregerson authored an article in which he questioned what really happens during the conching process. In that article, Gregerson quotes Dr. Gregory Ziegler, an associate professor of food science. Ziegler reported that, in a triangle taste test conducted at Penn State with a panel of twenty members of the confectionery industry, none could tell the difference between conched and unconched milk chocolate.

Ziegler believes that chocolate may undergo minute changes during conching, depending upon methodology, temperature, ingredients, and other factors.

Have we been hoodwinked by chocolate manufacturers? Is the conching process just a long-term scam of enormous proportions? My own belief is that conching was originally a necessity for better-quality chocolate. Manufacturing methods were crude, chocolafe at least not as sophisticated as they are now. These days, even with far more sophisticated equipment and much-improved knowledge of chocolate chemistry, I believe that what happens in conching might not be entirely understood.

Food manufacturing is no less subject to trends than is any other aspect of life.

Unconched chocolate may become all the rage at some point. A brownie base, a layer of marshmallow, a dark chocolate glaze, and a topping of toasted almonds; what could be bad? This is a somewhat more adult version of rocky road brownies, but they retain a bit of childhood nostalgia, too.

They have great color conxhing and look appealing on chocolats plate. Use whole almonds with the skins on here and chop them fairly coarsely.

Other nuts can be substituted for almonds, if you prefer; try dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts or use pecans or even hazelnuts. These are not difficult to make, but they take a little time. These freeze very well, at least in the short-term. Defrost them, still in chocokate, in the fridge.

Note that these must stand at least 6 to 8 hours before they are cut into bars, or the marshmallows will be too sticky. Adjust rack to center of oven. Conchjng aluminum conchint, line a shallow baking pan large enough to hold the chopped almonds in a single layer. Place the almonds into the foil-lined pan and set aside.

Press out as many creases on the inside of the pan as possible, and fold the overhang back against the outer edges of the pan.

Chkcolate the marshmallows I use a 4 cup liquid measure for thatthen cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until needed covering them prevents them from drying out. In a two quart, nonaluminum, heavy-bottom saucepan, combine butter slices and both chocolates. With small whisk or slotted spoon, stir over very low heat until almost melted.

What is Chocolate Conching?

Remove from heat; chocolte until melted and smooth. Allow to stand at room temperature 10 to 15 minutes, or until bottom of pan is only slightly warm. Meanwhile, preheat oven to degrees F.

When pan bottom is only slightly warm, add to melted chocolate mixture the sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat eggs with a fork until blended. Add half of egg mixture at a time, beating in after each addition to incorporate. Scrape down bottom and sides of pan with rubber spatula.

Stir in flour just until incorporated. Turn batter into foil-lined 7 by 11 inch pan and spread level; it will be a thin layer. Bake in preheated oven 14 to 17 minutes, turning back-to-front once about halfway during baking time.

Conche – Wikipedia

Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick diagonally near the center of the brownies; if it emerges with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it, brownies are done. Remove to cooling rack, but leave oven on. Immediately scatter miniature marshmallows all over the top of the brownie layer. With your hand and fingers, move marshmallows as necessary so they form a single layer all over the top of the brownie layer, right to the edge of the pan.


The pan is still hot! With your palm and fingers or the back of your hand and fingers, press marshmallows gently into brownie layer. Allow to stand on cooling rack until cooled completely. Meanwhile, place the shallow pan with the almonds in it into the heated oven. Toast the almonds for 9 to 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until they take on a light golden color watch carefully; nuts can burn quickly. Stir in pan for a few minutes to cool slightly, then allow to stand at room temperature until cooled completely.

You can toast the almonds before you make the brownies, if you prefer. When the marshmallow-topped brownie and almonds are cooled to room temperature, make the glaze: In a medium microwaveable bowl, combine finely chopped chocolates, salt, and butter. Stir in corn syrup and vanilla. In a fine stream, pour glaze all over top of marshmallows. Quickly spread glaze evenly over top a small offset spatula is very helpful here; conchung can also shake the pan gently to level the top.

Immediately, before glaze has a chance to set, sprinkle cooled, toasted almonds evenly all over the top of the glaze.

With the back of a tablespoon, gently push the almonds into the glaze. Allow to stand at room temperature until glaze is set. Cover tightly; allow to stand at room temperature at least 6 to 8 hours overnight is just fine before cutting into bars.

To cut, remove block of brownies, still in foil lining, from pan; place on large cutting board. Use a large, very sharp, straight-edged knife, cutting down with the full length of the blade, to cut the block into 24 bars.

This means that you may not: I favor substance over style. While nobody is more pleased to open a box of beautiful chocolates than am I, nobody is more disappointed when they turn out to be all about appearance, without good flavor to match.

Poole has an interesting background, one that includes working for the largest caterer in Slovenia as well as a stint as Pastry Chef on the American Orient Express, a luxury private train. They are obviously turned out by a professional, though they are less flashy in appearance than some others. But, unlike those others, Wen Chocolates have genuine, and genuinely delicious, flavor.

Try the Troika Truffledark chocolate with accents of black teas and citrus. Or go for the Mint Julep Truffle, with a center of bourbon-and mint-infused milk chocolate, crowned with candied mint leaves. Seasonal specialties, as well, but order early; this is a small business. Order online at www. Family members claim that, as a child, she was able to hear chocolate being opened in the kitchen no matter where she was in the house. Consequently, she is a home cook, not a chef.

Prior to beginning this column, she had written about chocolate for some 8 years. This information was accurate when it was published.