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  • Sep 05

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

    By Nick Saxby  ·  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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  • Jul 06

    What is Chocolate Bloom?

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  Science

    If you have ever delved to the furthest corners of the kitchen cupboard and found a bar of embarrassingly out-of-date chocolate, it probably had a layer of what looks like speckled grey chalk on its surface. This is not in fact mold, but rather an indication that the chocolate has ‘bloomed’. What is chocolate bloom? […]

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  • Jun 30
    Cocoa Runners Stack of Chocolate Bars on a Table

    The Proof is in the Packaging

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  How is Chocolate Made?

    Pick up a chocolate bar and what do you see first? Not the shiny brown bar or the beautiful moulded design. No. It’s the wrapper on the outside. It’s the first thing customers see and an incredibly important thing to get right. But the secrets to a good wrapper are much more complex than you might […]

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  • Aug 23

    Fermentation: The Forgotten Hero of Craft Chocolate

    By Spencer Hyman  ·  How is Chocolate Made?

    Many of the world’s greatest foods and drinks involve fermentation: wine, beer, coffee, bread, cheese. Exactly the same is true of chocolate. Life would be a lot less fun without the miracles that yeasts and bacteria perform in transforming grapes into wine, hops into beer, and cocoa seeds into chocolate. This week’s blog post aims to explain […]

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  • May 02

    Rant On Raw Chocolate

    By Spencer Hyman  ·  Science

    We passionately believe that small batch, single estate craft chocolate tastes better, is better for you and is better for cocoa farmers and indeed the planet. It’s made with high quality, simple ingredients (often just cocoa beans and some sugar) and it’s a treat where a few squares are brilliantly satisfying. Artisan makers work directly […]

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