From Bean to bar

Cocoa Varieties

      • Criollo – The Rare
        • South, central America, Sri Lanka, Caribbean islands
        • only 5% of worlds chocolate is from this plant
        • Difficult to grow / vulnerable to threads
        • pods are white to pale pink
        • small pods

      • Forastero – The Versatile
        • Most common used bean,
        • about 80% of worlds chocolate is from forastero
        • from the Amazons region
        • extensive subspecies
        • higher yield, weaker flavour
        • yellow to purple in colour
        • big pods

      • Trinitario – The Hybrid
        • south-east Asia, southamerika( Mexico, Venezuela)
        • it combines the hardiness of the forastero and the tasteand flavour profile from the criollo
        • multi coloured beans
        • medium sized pods
        • cross pollination not gen manipulation

Tempering of chocolate

Super extensive explanation of chocolate tempering:

Smaller explanation:

Cocoa Butter, the fat in chocolate is a polymorphic fat. Which means that it can take up to 5 different forms depending on the temperature it has been tempered to.

I will not go in all depth here with it, although it is an interesting topic.

The only form we want to achieve is the V Form which is the most stable form that creates a nice snap and a good melt on the tongue without being split and greasy.

How do we achieve that?

Heating up the chocolate to 50 C will loosen all the crystals and the chance of sugar bloom or fat bloom is less given.

Now it can be tempered down to 24C which will create a stable V form of the Cocoa butter crystals. To be able to work with it without the chocolate being to thick or hardening in the bowl,, we need to heat it up again. Here is where the differences are coming in.

  • White chocolate – 28C
  • Milk Chocolate (up to 40% cocoa content) – 30C
  • Dark chocolate (from 41% – 99%) – 31C

Now the chocolate can be used. Setting time for perfectly tempered chocolate will be less than 2 minutes at room temperature.

How to temper chocolate:

There are a few varieties on how chocolate can be tempered. I would like to only explain two the Seeding technique and the tabeling technique.


After the Chocolate has been melted at 45 – 50 Degrees Celsius, We start adding small chunks of stable chocolate to get the temperature down to the desired temperature stated above. The stable crystals in the chocolate will work like a vaccine getting the right crystals in there. However this method takes a long time and lots of stirring which might cause the chocolate to aerate and will make the work flow quite difficult.


Melted chocolate at 45 – 50 degrees. 2/3 are getting poured onto a marble surface while 1/3 remains in the bowl.

The chocolate on the table is now moved with a paletknife and scraped back together to avoid lumping and setting. After a while it will start getting thicker this is when we have reached about 24C now its time to get the chocolate back into the bowl and incorporate it with the still hot chocolate.

This is the quickest method being used, however it requires cleaning the marble surface and quite a bit of precision on what actually 2/3 are.



The History of Bread and or sourdough is so ancient that there can be only speculations, in my opinion the most plausible theory would be:

3000B.C. flat breads where common item in egypt to eat prepared as a slush from coarse flour and water baked on stones heated by fire. Eventualy one of these slushs was forgotten for a day or just put aside to use another day, the next day it was discovered that bubbles had formed and a sour smell was coming from the „dough“. Ignoring the fact that it didnt look apealing nor smelled it was baked anyway and the bubbles leavened the first real bread. Ancient egyptians discovered that bread cooked like that is a lot easier to digest, and tastes better. From here on the sourdough made his way through the world.

What is sourdough and what does it do

Sourdough is a dough of flour and water in the presents of lactobazilli and wild yeasts.

The Question after what a Sourdough actually does is a little more complex. A wide range of lactobazilli is needed to give the sourdough a pleasant and round aroma as well as wild yeats to increase the leavening. In all tradition flour and water is mixed together and set somwhere outside to collect lactobazilli and yeasts.

The Lactobazilli break down the starches ( Maltose) into its two glucose molecules, during this process glucose and lacto acid is producedd by the lactobazilli. The yeasts on the other side can’t methabolize maltose but can use the glucose to produce CO² and a little amount of alcohol.

As part of the starches are borken down into their block molecules, it is easier to digest as the body doenst have to break down the amylum(starches) by himself

How to make sourdough

However, this process discribed above can be dangerous as you have no way of knowing if there are any bacterias of harm in the dough. A more secure way would be to introduce the right bacterias and yeasts from the beginning and not leaving it to luck.

This is by no means a theory that is usually taught, or recognized by other bakers, but nontheless an easy way to produce a very potent sourdough.

Wild yeasts can be found on a wide array of fruits, just to name a couple of the most potent that worked really well for me.

Raisins, Plums, Cherries. Raw honey

The fruits used, should be organic and not treated with any kind of insectizide

These fruits come sometimes with a dusty layer on the outside, this is the wild yeats which we want to loosen to use in our sourdough. I would wash for example the raisins in equal amount of water and leave them in there for 24 hours. That gives the substrat enough time to get the yeasts going but also will loosen a little of the sugar of the raisins which helps as food for the yeasts.

Coming to lactobazilli or lactobazillus acids. There are some which are better than others. I have worked with most of them, as they’re available on the market for bakers to buy from a big supplier.

Lactobazillus Francenciscanus

lactobazillus fresenius

lactobazillus acidophilus

lactobacillus casei

This is a healthy mix of homofermentative and hetero fermentative lactobacillis.

Homofermentative lactobacillus are producing only one type of acid the lactic acid whereas

heterofermentative lactobacillus are producing lactic acid and other acids as well as alcohol to an extend.

Why is Sourdough based bread better for our body?

Sourdough is more digestible than standard loaves and more nutritious too. Lactic acids make the vitamins and minerals in the flour more available to the body by helping neutralise the phytates in flour that would interfere with their absorption. The acids slow down the rate at which glucose is released into the blood-stream and lower the bread’s glycaemic index (GI), so it doesn’t cause undesirable spikes in insulin. They also render the gluten in flour more digestible and less likely to cause food intolerance.

This could mean that people with gluten intollerance or wheat allergies (not celiac) are able to eat sourdough based bread.

There are a few scientific articles regarding the ingestion of sourdough and how they will positively affect the glycaemic index of bread, which can be easily found online.

Basic Recipe

Yeast water

100g raisins

100g water (30C)

Mix and rest for 24 hours, Then drain


100g Yeast water

50g Yoghurt (not pasteurized)

150g Flour(rye, whole white, Soft flour, Spelt)

mix and leave until bubbles form on the surface, about 24 – 48 hours


300g sourdough

150g water(30C)

150g Flour (see above)

Leave for 24 – 48 hours until bubbles form and the dough seems to have doubled in volume

Discard half of dough and repeat feed until the desired acidity und leavening has been reached. Now the dough can be fed with double than the the sourdough weight.


300g sourdough

300g flour

300g water

repeat every 12 – 24 hours depending on the activness

Basic Sourdough bread recipe

500g T55

300g Sourdough

200g Water

12g Salt

(10g Spice mix(Roasted and ground: Carawayseeds(60%), coriander seeds(15%), fennel seeds(25%)))

mix together until a smooth dough forms Transfer into a container and let rest at room temperature for about 3-4 hours

After the first hour, start folding the dough with wet hands from the edgesinto the middle. Repeat after the second hour. The dough should feel very light by now repeating 2 more folds in the 3rd hour.

The dough is now ready for pre shaping and bench resting

Tip the dough out on the table and fold the sides in to form a ball. Leave to rest on a floured surface for 30 – 45 minutes. If the dough goes flat with sharp edges it has not been developed enough and needs a reshape and another bench rest.

It should look like a thick pancake with thick round edges.

Now its time for shaping and retarting

the dough can be retarted for up to 12 hours in the fridge in a cotton cloth dusted with rice and wheat flour. Then turned out when ready to bake scored and baked.

Sourdough is by no means limited to use in bread doughs. Far more applications are known. Just to name a few:

Sourdough waffles

sourdough pancakes

sourdough doughnuts

sourdough bread

sourdough crumpets

sourdough naan

Further Informations and books

Tartine book vol1 – vol3

the bread bakers apprentice

Chefs are not artists

When I was working in Kelowna where I met Sweet’nSalty (not the same restaurant but the city), I heard something that stuck with me since then as a chef.  A small newspiece was being filmed for the restaurant I worked at and as the commis chef was busy preppy away, making individual potato gratin, one of the presenters said “Look at that…look at that craft.” Continue reading

Foraging – the joys of mushrooms hunting

As the work started in a new place you meet new and exiting people with whom you can connect on a different level than just cooking or working the same thing.

The new guy who started let’s call him ‘x’. X is a charming guy  who invited me to go mushroom hunting with him. As we all had 3 days off, there was no second thought on that one. Sunday morning we went into the woods. The exact location needs to be disclosed, as it is apperantly illegal to go foraging there.

Continue reading

Formel B – getaway in Copenhagen


On my recent trip to Copenhagen, there where a couple of choices to be made where to eat to find the real new Nordic cuisine. To find out what all this fuzz is about.


Through recent searches I was convinced that dinner at Noma was just way over my budget. 1700Dkk is the price of a menu there. Roughly £170, but wait there is more. Since Rene redzepi started with his new Nordic cuisine. in 2005. The bookings to his newly made temple of new Nordic cuisine excellence seems to be bursting over of reservations. Right now hes opening registration to one of the spaces there to eat 3 months in advance. Continue reading