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The role of milk powder in chocolate. Is fat free ok?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

(First of, I'm new here and this is my first post, if this is the wrong forum for my question, or there's a better one, please let me know)

 

I just made my first chocolate ever and of course it wasn't 10/10. The texture was kind of "sandy". Some sort of small crystals in the chocolate. Based on my research the most likely problem is that the steam from the pot** used for heating contaminated the chocolate. Do you think i'm right? 

 

But putting that a bit aside, my main question is whether the fat in milk powder plays an important role in the chocolate or not. I literally walked the whole supermarket trough almost three times before I found powdered milk and even that was "fat free" powdered milk. I was wondering what kind of effects, if any, does the lack of fat have in the texture and taste of my chocolate.

 

 

** Edit: In the original post, I had mistranslated the word pot into kettle. So to clarify, a pot was used, not a kettle.

post #2 of 9
What was the process for making your chocolate? Did you roast your own beans or start from nibs? A Sandy texture is from not being able to grind fine enough. What did you use for processing? Did you add granulated sugar?

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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately I'm not in possession of all the equipment needed to start all the way from beans, so I used cacao butter, cacao powder (very fine powder, so not an issue I suppose), powdered/icing sugar and milk powder and a pinch of salt. Of these, the milk powder has the least powdery form.

post #4 of 9
Europeans will never call anything with the slighest amount of dairy "chocolate", it obviously and practically is called "milk chocolate".

Fat conent in milk powder is subject to rancidity, the higher the fat content, the lower the shelf life.

Like others, i'm cuious about your procedure. Why was it necesaary to heat in an open kettle, and where is the source of water that produced steam?
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

(Reply to foodpump, saying this because as a new member my post are approved by a mod and the latency in their appearance may make things confusing if more people comment before they are posted)

 

Sorry about the improper terminology I'm quote an amateur at this, but on the upside, you just witnessed a European calling milk chocolate just chocolate.

 

Because I was unable to find a "good" page with recipes for chocolate (Are there any recipes here btw?) I used a YouTube tutorial, so perhaps there's a flaw in my procedure.

 

So first of the ingredients are:

50g cocoa butter
50g icing sugar
3 TBL cocoa powder
2 TBL powder milk
A pinch of salt

 

Because of all the questions about the "kettle" I started wondering whether my translation is a bit off and it turns out it is. Sorry for that. What I meant is a pot. In my native language Finnish it's called a "kattila" so a minor mishap took place. 

 

So, to my procedure. 

 

As per the tutorial, I put my cacao butter in a metallic bowl over a pot filled with boiling water and then added rest of the ingredients to the molten butter. I do not have the capability to measure the temperature of the mix so one of my theories was that the sugar did not properly melt. I noticed small sand like texture in the final stages of mixing the ingredients. During the process I few times removed the bowl form on the top of the pot allowing considerable amounts of vapor to escape. That vapor is my main suspect at the moment. After mixing the ingredients I tempered the chocolate on my table that I had previously cleaned and dried as thoroughly as I could. Also I must add, how long does tempering around 100 g of chocolate usually take? I tempered it for around 10 minutes and got a bit desperate as nothing seemed to happen but as I left the chocolate on the table alone for a while I noticed it going solid and quickly put it in molds. 

 

And also, in addition to affecting the shelf life, do you know if the fat freeness of the milk powder has any considerable effect on the taste of the finished product? 

post #6 of 9
Yes, the water vapor will affect the mix. But firxt, you have to understand that there is no water--0% water in chocolate, or in any of your ingredients for that matter. Sugar, even icing sugar will not dissolve in fat (cocoa butter). When water is introduced to chocolate, it "siezes", or stiffens up almost i mediately and can not be melted or tempered.

Tempering is properly called "pre crysalization", and you create or introduce "good" crystals (beta 5) to take over the rest of the mass, These will only form at 31-32 Cel.

Fat content of the milk powder will give milk chocolate richness and creaminess, as well as giving some milk flavour.
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Ok, thanks, I think I'll try alternative heating methods next time. 

 

Could you clarify a bit what you meant by 

Quote:
 there is no water--0% water in chocolate

 ?

 

 

 

And do you think it is possible to make up for the lack of milk fat (Fat free milk powder) by either increasing the percentage of cocoa butter of introducing some alternative source of fat? (Perhaps some other product containing milk fats?) 

post #8 of 9

It's exactly what I said, there is no water in chocolate.  None, nada, 0 percent.  This is why plain dark chocolate has a shelf life of over 5 years.

 

Of course you can increase the cocoa butter content.  You have to remember that only cocoa butter has the unique property of staying solid at room temperature, yet melting immediately in the mouth. This is what most quality chocolate manufactures use to "thin out" their chocolates.  And besides, no EU country will allow any other kind of fat other than cocoa butter in their chocolate.

 

The only dairy fat you can add to chocolate would be 100% butterfat.  However, your chocolate will loose it's "Snap",  it's rigidity and hardness and shine if you add this.  Any other dairy product will have a water content to it, and this will cause the chocolate to seize up and dramatically decrease its shelf life

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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Ok, got it. 

 

Thank you very much for all your help, I think I'm ready my second attempt at making chocolate. 

 

I'll report back afterwards. It may take a while though, my studies are getting in the way of making chocolate :D

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