Ok…….I roped you in with the chocolate and I promise I’ll get to it in a minute. I can’t stop wondering about something and it’s been driving me crazy. It’s been three months of quarantine and now everything is opening up, but I still don’t understand the lines of people waiting to get into stores. Who are these people and where were they before this? I didn’t go out much, but I came up with two theories of grocery store lines.
- With fast food and restaurants closed, people had to shop often and cook all their meals at home.
- People needed to get out of the house and grocery stores were their only option. Some waited on line to socialize even if they just bought a few items.
Now I’ve been out more often and have seen for myself….there are still lines….sometimes long and going around corners, but I think it’s mostly because stores are limiting the number of people and let shoppers in “poco a poco”. Lucky for me, I can stay home which takes me to the reason you started reading this blog…
I’ve often heard that making chocolate is like making coffee. I’ve done that before: pick, dry, shell, roast and grind. It wasn’t very difficult and I made coffee with varying degrees of success.
When I looked up the chocolate process I was immediately intimidated. It has its own vocabulary: Fermentation, winnowing, refining nibs, raw cocoa liquor “conched” so I decided to close my computer and just try.
First of all, it’s hard (for me) to know when to pick the chocolate. Once you open the pod up, with a knife and hammer, you can see if the beans are easy to remove.
- I pulled out the beans and put them on a tray. They were kind of slimy so I left them outside in the sun. I left them for a couple of days and they were kind of dryish when it started to rain.
- I stuck them in the oven on low heat and checked until they seemed hard and dry. They were easy to crack open, some by hand and others with a pilón.
- Once the shell was off, I put them in a coffee grinder until it turned to powder.
- I ground some of the powder with a little sugar and mixed it with coconut oil and froze it.
Totally amazed….I made a chocolate cup which tasted like real chocolate. I’m anxious to try it again now that I somewhat know what I’m doing. As I perfect it, I’ll let you know.