Wednesday, September 2, 2015

DIY Chocolate: No Milk Chocolate On Hand? Make some!

A rare thing happened last week. I ran out of milk chocolate.  And unfortunately, it would have been 3 to 5 days before I could get some back in stock (ahem, just one of the problems I face living on an island in Northern Ontario).  Since the busy summer tourism time was still in full swing, I needed to make milk chocolate truffle tarts immediately. So I got to thinking: why not make some milk chocolate?

I did have milk powder on hand, so I knew it was possible to make milk chocolate. But I was still faced with two choices: 1. Use cacao nibs and the skim milk powder to make milk chocolate from bean to bar (see below for a recipe), or 2. add skim milk powder to a semi-sweet chocolate to turn it into milk chocolate.

I quickly ruled out the bean-to-bar option because I don't have a melangeur.  I still use my blender to make homemade chocolate from bean to bar, which means the chocolate would be slightly gritty, which is not nice for truffle making.  And even if I did have a melangeur, I would need to grind the chocolate for at least 24 hours to get it smooth, which meant I still could not make my tarts on time.

So I opted for adding the instant milk powder to semi-sweet chocolate. I simple melted the chocolate over a double boiler, then carefully sprinkled the powder in while using an immersion hand blender to ensure there were no lumps. The chocolate then had to be tempered.

I admit, I was surprised by how good it turned out.  It was not perfectly smooth, like off-the-shelf might be, but it was just fine in my recipe for smooth milk chocolate truffle.

And when I compared the chocolate tarts? Surprisingly, there was no taste difference between my usual milk chocolate truffle tarts, and the ones with the milk chocolate that I made at home.

If you want to make milk chocolate at home, try my method of adding milk powder (about 28-30% of your final batch size) to semi-sweet dark chocolate.  Or, make it from bean to bar using only a blender, smoothie maker or coffee maker!  Here is a recipe for a lovely dark-milk chocolate made from bean-to-bar with natural sugars, using only your blender, coffee maker or smoothie maker!

Bean-to-Bar Dark Milk Chocolate Recipe
(9 ounce batch size, 51.39% cocoa solids):

You need:
  • 2 and 1/4 oz of instant skim milk powder (25%) - I purchased some at Bulk Barn
  • 3 and 5/8 oz of roasted cocoa nibs (cocoa beans, shelled and roasted) (40.28%)
  • 2 and 1/8 oz sugar (I used organic coconut sugar, but you can use granulated cane sugar if you like) (23.61%)
  • 1 oz melted cocoa butter (melt in microwave for 2 minutes) (11.11%)

Instructions:
  1. Melt the cocoa butter in the microwave for 2 minutes on high power.
  2. Mix together cocoa nibs, sugar and skim milk in a blender or smoothie maker (I use the Ninja smoothie blender attachment)
  3. Grind by pulsing on and off for a couple of minutes until the mixture looks moist or darker in colour.
  4. Stir the chocolate mixture, then add the cocoa butter. Grind off and on for a few more minutes until the mixture resembles melted chocolate. Make sure your appliance does not start to become too warm. Stop grinding if the motor area feels warm to the touch to prevent it from overheating.
  5. Pour into a bowl (plastic, glass or stainless steel are all fine choices).
  6. Place over another bowl of ice and water to temper the chocolate. Stir the chocolate (without letting a single drop of water get into the mixture) until it cools to about 80º F. If it starts to harden, rewarm it for a maximum of four seconds in the microwave.
  7. Pour into chocolate or candy molds and then bang them on the counter a few times to get out the air bubbles (you can see clearly from my pictures, that I lazily skipped this step). If you don't have molds, pour onto a large piece of waxed paper and smooth out with a spatula. Cool in the fridge for up to a half hour, then pop out of the molds, or if using waxed paper, break up into pieces.
  8. Seal in an airtight container or in candy bags, and enjoy at room temperature for up to six months!


I like these little flower molds from Bulk Barn. 
The chocolate is perfectly portioned for consumption and each piece is gorgeous!

6 comments:

  1. I like it chocolate and my favorite and very nice image. http://www.bagsandpouches.com.sg/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi there, I love all your efforts in this chocolate journey, but one thing you may want to know, and that's how dangerous the microwave is for health and in that case, I would not consider it the best chocolate in the world. My family only consumes organic chocolate too, and the thought of something organic being zapped in the microwave, is sacrilege.. I hope you look into the dangers of microwaved food, and save your organic ingredients.

    Love and Peace and Good luck with your business.
    Annalisa

    ReplyDelete
  3. Is it possible to use real milk instead of powdered milk?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! Not if you still want solid milk chocolate. What you will have with liquid milk is a truffle or ganache, but it will still be like dark chocolate in nature. You can often find milk powder at the grocery store, or a bulk food store, or coconut milk powder also. I hope that helps!

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  4. I wonder if I could use stevia instead of sugar?

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