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  • Dec 29

    Why We SHOULD Add (a little) Sugar to Chocolate

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  Health & Eating, Science

    Sweetness and sugar are hugely complicated. And they are also hugely controversial. As far as chocolate is concerned, Epicurus was right. As he advised: “Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance”. The addition of sugar to chocolate IN MODERATION can be wonderful. But too much sugar (as in most ultra-processed, […]

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  • Oct 24

    The Art of Roasting Cocoa Beans

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  How is Chocolate Made?

    Contrary to common belief, the building blocks of chocolate’s final flavour profile are established well before the cocoa beans meet any other ingredients. The chemical reactions that do, or do not, take place within the bean can make a world of difference to the chocolate we eat. Some of these reactions take place during the […]

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  • Oct 24

    Why Do I Crave Chocolate During My Period?

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  Health & Eating, Science

    We have all seen that stereotypical image of the menstruating woman; the emotional wreck slumped on the sofa with a hot water bottle, tissues and, yes, a huge slab of chocolate. Whilst she’s sometimes a sight of pity, more often she’s the butt of a joke. But as those of us with wombs will contest, […]

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  • Oct 24

    Why are emulsifiers used in chocolate?

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  How is Chocolate Made?

    Have you ever scanned the back of a chocolate bar and wondered why the ingredients list reminds you of the glossary of your old chemistry textbook? Lurking behind the cocoa butter, cocoa mass, milk and sugars lies perhaps the one of the most controversial ingredients in chocolate making; emulsifiers. It’s time to investigate what these […]

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  • Sep 05

    asSALTed … Why It’s Worth Taking Salt A Pinch More Seriously

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  Health & Eating, Science

    Salt is an intriguing addition to craft chocolate and a critical culinary tool, but it also can be a major problem. Humans need a (small) amount of salt per day to survive, but ‘in excess’ is also incredibly harmful. Indeed overdosing on salt was an approved suicide mechanic for aristocrats in ancient China. Today this sort of overdosing is […]

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  • Aug 05

    The Science of Chocolate

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  Science

    This is our section on the science of chocolate making. For the science of chocolate eating (!), see our section on Taste & Flavour. There is no one right way to make chocolate. (Though there are plenty of wrong ways, of course!) Since the recent boom in craft chocolate making, we’ve seen our makers push […]

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  • Jul 25

    How to Temper Chocolate

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  How is Chocolate Made?

    By now, you’ve probably heard us talk about “temper”. You might have watched Great British Bake Off contestants struggling in vain to temper their chocolate creations. You might have wondered why your chocolate has turned white, and instead been taken down a rabbit hole of crystal structures. But fear not, this quick guide will tell […]

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  • Jul 20

    How to Mould Chocolate

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  How is Chocolate Made?

    Once you have mastered the art of tempering chocolate (using our guide to perfect tempering), the shiny and crisp results are perfect for making little chocolate truffles and shapes. There’s a surprising amount to consider to get moulding right – from the size of the mould to the material you use. This handy guide will […]

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  • Jul 10

    Grinding & Conching

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  How is Chocolate Made?

    Once the cocoa beans have been harvested, fermented, dried, roasted, and cracked, they arrive at the grinding and conching stages in the form of cocoa nibs. What is grinding? Grinding is the process of converting the cocoa nibs into a fine powder and then into smooth chocolate. In order for the coarse cocoa nibs to […]

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  • Jul 08

    How to Dry a Cocoa Bean

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  How is Chocolate Made?

    You’d be forgiven for thinking that there can’t be much to say about the drying of cocoa beans. But you’d be wrong! It’s a crucial balancing act: dry too slowly and your beans go mouldy; dry too fast and the beans taste bitter. The choices made during the drying stage have a big impact on […]

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