Sunday, November 24, 2013

My own Bean-to-Bar chocolate making experience

Finally my own  bean-to-bar chocolate experience was such a fulfilling experience. I am so thankful to Ms. Mely for the cacao from Aurora Province.

I have posted here my very first time of  tasting raw cacao last August.

Then my experiment of fermenting with the post below:

As well as growing cacao seedling from the beans being fermented:

Some of the seedlings were brought to Ilocos already, hoping some of them survive, grow and bear fruits, after two - three years.

Well, the fermented and dried beans would be categorized slaty or moldy since it was my first time to experiment fermenting at home. Fotos shown below of cacao beans exposed for drying after a week of fermenting.

But I am happy with the turn out. The aroma when it was baked and roasted was wonderful, my nieces and nephew thought it was coffee, indeed there was a resemblance of  a coffee smell.

Blend/grind brown sugar until it became powdery and then mixed with the roasted cacao nibs until the cocoa butter started to appear. Well the blender was not up to making it more fluid. So with the still granulated mixture we made our chocolate drink. With boiled water, evaporated milk and some more sugar - a chocolate drink that everyone enjoyed!

baked to remove the skin and then toasted

first grinding

2nd-3rd grinding of cacao

with sugar mix, notice cacao butter in the mix

final output

hot choco from the pan, cocoa butter on top

nephew enjoying a cup of his choco drink

nieces enjoying a sip of hot choco drink 

Home made chocolate bar

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chocolate Event at the Dept of Foreign Affairs

The Coming of Age of Philippine Chocolate

13 November 2013 - The Department of Foreign Affairs, through the Office of the Undersecretary for International Economic Relations, will be holding an event to launch Philippine artisan chocolates on November 14.   Chocolates have always been part of Philippine cuisine.  The Philippines also produces cacao, a vital ingredient in the production of chocolate. 

According to “Historia de Filipinas,” by P. Fr. Gaspar de S. Augustin, cacao plants were first brought here in the year 1670 by a pilot named Pedro Brabo, of Laguna Province, who gave them to a priest of the Camarines named Bartolome Brabo. Since then, chocolate has been part of the Philippine culinary tradition.

The Philippines currently produces 10,000 metric tons (MT) of cacao beans per year.   Seventy-five (75%) percent of these come from Southern Mindanao, which has over 13,000 hectares planted with cacao.  The country exports $6 million-worth of raw cacao beans, but it imports $100 million-worth of fermented beans from other cocoa producers. Fermented cacao beans give the real chocolate taste and texture needed to produce chocolate.  
The national government is endorsing a target set by key stakeholders to increase the cacao crop to 100,000 MT per year by 2020 and has included the cacao as part of its National Greening Program, an initiative to reforest the country. According to Euromonitor International, the Philippines chocolate market is forecast to grow 13% by 2017 to $306.3m.
In holding this event, OUIER aims to reintroduce the artistry behind the production of handmade Philippine gourmet chocolates, wherein a huge industry will be positively affected, from the agricultural industry (sugar, mango, peanuts, cashews, and coconut) and the handicraft industries (weaving, buri making) for the packaging.  Our partner in the event, Ralfe Artisan Chocolates is headed by Ms. Raquel Choa, a Tablea Connoisseur. She brings with her a long tradition of preparing tablea, from planting, picking, roasting, to grinding.  While the Philippines was once only an exporter of cacao beans, we are breaking new ground by exporting Philippine gourmet chocolates to foreign markets.  Ralfe has already exported 1 ton of its gourmet chocolates to China.  It has also been providing Tablea to Vancouver’s gourmet stores and are in talks with Singapore and Germany.  The future looks bright.
Tsokolate has always been a part of Philippine life, from tsokolate eh, tsokolate ah and champorado.  In elevating the Philippine chocolate, we know that we can compete with the finest gourmet chocolates and that the connoisseurs will take notice that the Philippine chocolate has come of age. END

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Intercropping coconut with cacao

From the The 2013 State of the Nation Address (SONA) Technical Report

The reliance of the coconut industry on copra for livelihood (170) is one of the reasons cited for the poverty among coconut farmers as gross income from this is only P20,000 per year. To help raise the income and productivity of coconut farmers, the government, through the Philippine Coconut Authority, is currently implementing coconut intercropping as a livelihood intervention under the Kasaganaan sa Niyugan ay Kaunlaran ng Bayan (KAANIB) Program’s Enterprise Development Project (EDP).(171) Coconut intercropping involves the planting of high-value crops in available spaces under coconut trees. (172)

In 2012, 90 KAANIB EDP sites have been established, benefiting 10,000 farmers. Around 5,500 ha of coconut farms were intercropped with cacao,(173) coffee, (174) banana,(175) pineapple, rambutan, durian, and citrus fruits. For 2013, an additional 434 sites benefiting more than 30,000 coconut farmers will be developed, of which 300 sites (15,000 ha) will be intercropped with coffee.

170 About 70 percent (2.45 million ha) of the coconut farms are monocropped. This means that most of the coconut farms have not yet been maximized to augment the income of the farmers.
171 KAANIB Program is a set of interventions (e.g., replanting, introduction of crops and livestock diversification) which aims to increase productivity in small coconut farms.
172 Priority intercrops under the project include coffee, cacao, banana, pineapple and corn. Aside from intercrops, livestock raising (e.g., goat and cattle) under the coconut trees is also considered an option to raise the productivity of the farm.
173 Intercropping coconut with cacao is estimated to yield gross income of P89,000/ha/year.
174 Intercropping coconut with coffee is estimated to yield gross income of P172,400/ha/year.
175 Intercropping coconut with banana is estimated to yield gross income of P102,325/ha/year.

Links -

flag counter

free counters

PinoyChocophile Magazine