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A cold smoking experiment...


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As it was a nice chilly weekend and I had some time on my hands, I thought I'd do a little bit of cold smoking as it's been a while.

As well as several blocks of cheese which I want for Christmas and want to give plenty of time to mellow, I decided to give something else a try while I had some space, after  bit of thought I decided to give something quite different a try, chocolate!

I did a bit googling and found a few references to cold smoking chocolate but not a huge amount of info but I figured it might work well what with the fat content of the chocolate. I decided to try three different types of chocolate to see what gave the best results (or any at all...who knows). I ended up buying some Cadbury's Dairy Milk, Cadbury's Bournville and some cheap and cheerful Morrisons Milk Chocolate.

After a little pondering on how  best to load up the chocolate in my Callow smoker, I remembered my old toast rack (sadly unused and unloved since I had to go gluten free 2 years ago...). I dug it out of the cupboard and it turned out it was pretty much perfect for the job, stainless steel so simple to clean and about to hold six bars of chocolate with space between them.

Chocolate in the toast rack on the top shelf of the Callow, cheese on the lower shelf:


I had seen someone mention that they had smoked their chocolate for an hour and let it mellow for a week as it tasted like an ashtray straight after smoking (much as I have experienced with cheese!). I thought this would be a good starting point, so that's what I did, an hour over pellets of a fruit wood blend, after which the chocolate definitely had taken on a good smoky smell. I left it for an hour or so on the side in the kitchen as it had a hint of moisture on the surface. The surface remained slightly tacky but didn't seem to be changing so I decided to vacuum pack it ready for mellowing.

All packed up, now I just need to resist it for a week...:


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This morning I decided to give some of the chocolate a try so I could report back.

I only tested the Dairy Milk and the Bournville, the cheap supermarket own brand chocolate I shall try tonight.

Dairy Milk:
Upon opening the vacuum bag, there was a nice and not overpowering scent of chocolate, removing the chocolate, the slight tacky feeling that was there when packing the chocolate had gone though the chocolate did feel different to usual, as if the stickiness has dried onto the outer of the chocolate, also the surface had picked up the texture of the vacuum bag, if you wanted the appearance of the chocolate to remain pristine, on the top at least, it might be worth ensuring the top of the chocolate is against the smooth surface of the vacuum bag. The texture of the chocolate when breaking off squares felt exactly as usual

Onto the tasting... The pleasant scent of smoke was evident as I lifted the chocolate to my mouth which was rather nice. The initial taste was a fairly gentle smokiness which washed round my mouth before mixing with and almost giving way to the sweet chocolate flavour. I have to say it was really rather pleaseant to eat and a combination of flavours which worked nicely and I can see it would add an extra flavour dimension if the chocolate were added as decoration to dessert etc. i'm not sure quite how much of it you could eat in one session, normal daity milk I could eat until it was all gone (there's a reason I had 6 stone of weight to lose...:D) this however I'm not sure I would want to eat an entire bar in one go but I can't really put a finger on why that is as it was very pleaseant to eat.


As with the Dairy Milk, upon opening there was the gentle scent of smoke, the stickiness was gone and it had taken on a little of the texture of the vaccum bag.

The initial taste of the Bournville was really quite a subtle smokiness which gave way fairly quickly to the flavour of the Bournville. I had expected the slightly less sweet nature of the Bournville would suit the smoke better than the milk chocolate but I actually felt that this was not the case, the contrast between the smoke and the surprisingly sweet taste of the chocolate was quite pronounced, though not unpleasant, I just felt the dairy Milk blended better together. I would be interested to try again with a more bitter dark chocolate and maybe a longer smoking time on the Bournville to see if a bit more smoke might work better as it was quite subtle.

Of the two at present I prefer the Dairy Milk but I can see that they both have potential to add to another dimension of taste to a dish.

I would definitely recommend giving it a try and will be doing some more experimenting and tasting in time for christmas!

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