Equipment needed for making chocolate at home
If you are thinking about making bean to bar chocolate or are starting a small chocolate making business, there are a few pieces of equipment you just cannot go without. Then there are some other instruments, utensils and accessories that help to make the process a hell of a lot easier. If you want to stand out in the chocolate making world with modern professionally made chocolates, then you need the necessary equipment to make it happen.
No matter whether you are making chocolate at home or starting an artisanal business, there are many types of equipment that will help you improve. But, what are the most essential pieces of equipment for making small scale bean to bar chocolate?
This list is perfect for individuals, families and small scale businesses that want to make high quality, professionally looking, mouth-watering chocolate bars.
Essential Chocolate Making Equipment
1. A Melanger (Wet Stone Grinder)
This was the first machine I bought after deciding to try making bean to bar chocolate. It is an absolute necessity if you want to make chocolate as smooth and as silky as you’d find in the shops. It is such a versatile piece of equipment, as it not just allows me to make a whole range of chocolate, it can also be used to make things like peanut butter.
They come in a range of sizes and styles depending on the scale of production. But for homemakers or small businesses, I highly recommend the Premier 2L Tilting Wet Stone Grinder. It is what I use and you can see that throughout my blog.
2. Chocolate Moulds
It is with the experience of using a large variety of different moulds that I recommend getting a decent one. A quality chocolate mould makes all the difference, especially when it comes to the final result. It is the mould that gives the chocolate bar that shiny sheen and is important if you want professional looking chocolate bars.
3. A Thermometer
An accurate thermometer is vital when it comes to bean to bar chocolate making. A few degrees out when tempering will result in a dull chocolate bar that melts in your hands. It is also important to keep track of the temperature when roasting the beans so you can record when you hit the right tasting notes. An infrared thermometer works best in my opinion but the main thing is that it is accurate and reliable.
4. A Roaster
There are many ways to roast cocoa beans but if you are going to be doing it on a regular basis, you will need a bean roaster. Roasting the beans kills any bacteria, loosens the shell and develops the flavour. A roaster allows you to control the temperature for a far more even roast and to stick to certain flavour profiles for each batch of chocolate.
5. Kitchen Scales
Kitchen scales are a must-have tool when making any recipe. When you have formulated your own chocolate bar recipes and have found the exact ingredient measurements, you will need some scales for consistency. After many ingredient experimentations, I record the measurements when I find a chocolate bar recipe that I am happy with. This makes it far easier to recreate the next time I make it.
Other Useful Pieces of Equipment
6. A Tempering Machine
A tempering machine is not vital for making chocolate at home but saves a lot of time and effort for small bean to bar businesses. There are several ways to temper chocolate but a tempering machine is the most efficient and consistent. It is important for a business to consistently produce professional looking chocolate bars and a quality tempering machine will allow that.
Additional items: Pots, pans, bowls, microwave and other utensils.
There are a few ways to melt chocolate without buying an expensive machine. Chocolate can simply be melted with short bursts in the microwave. Place chopped chocolate in a glass bowl and give it quick 5-10 second bursts in the microwave and then stir. If you don’t have a microwave you can also melt chocolate in a double boiler. Heat up a small amount of water in a pan and place a glass or metal bowl with chopped chocolate on the pan. Stir constantly until melted to prevent burning.
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If you are looking to start making chocolate check out the Chocolate Equipment Page for the kind of equipment I use.
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