Hot chocolate will cost very little if you prepare your own chocolate bars. The quality of the chocolate depends solely on the freshness of the cocoa, which is indicated as follows: Break the bean, and if the interior is neither decayed nor rotten, the bean may be used. After purchasing very fresh cocoa beans, roast them like coffee beans in a brazier, a few at a time. When the beans begin to crack slightly, immediately pour them onto a clean table so that they barely touch one another. Be careful not to overcook them, because overcooked cocoa beans are as unfit for use as undercooked ones.
After the beans have cooled, skin them and grind as fine as possible. Then, in
When the powder turns into a smooth, oily mixture, gradually pour in
Thoroughly stir the mixture of cocoa and sugar, and then pour it into tin molds, shaped like small bars of chocolate. These shallow molds must be wider on top and narrower on the bottom. When spreading this mixture, shake the molds thoroughly to distribute the chocolate evenly. Set the molds in a cold place, cover them with muslin to protect them from flies, and leave them to dry. When the tops have dried, remove the bars from the molds and spread them out on clean paper to dry thoroughly on the other side. Then wrap in paper. Good chocolate must be a very dark, reddish color; it must be very smooth and melt in the mouth.
© 1992 All rights reserved. Published by Indiana University Press.