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I was checking some sites on how to make chocolate myself. I should start with mixing cocoa butter, cocoa powder and sugar (and milk powder if I would make milk chocolate). Most sites mention "sugar". I'm assuming those are talking about granulated sugar. I've also found a few sites that call for powdered sugar.

Since granulated sugar has larger particles, I guess it takes longer to be completely melted. But I believe it would happen (so the chocolate would not turn out grainy). Powdered sugar has smaller particles, so it should be absorbed rather quickly. However, there is also some starch added. Would this have an effect on the chocolate? Or is the amount too small for that?

(After the mixing it together, I should melt and temper it, with adding some existing chocolate.)

So, does the type of sugar make a difference in the taste or structure of my self-made chocolate?

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    You want to make chocolate from raw cacao? Is that what you're asking? – rfusca Feb 7 '12 at 18:10
  • Yes, starting from cocoa butter, cocoa powder and sugar. – Mien Feb 7 '12 at 18:17
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    Chocolate bars can be made that way, but won't be as good as high-quality chocolate made from chocolate liquor (that's the mass made from pressing cocoa beans) – rumtscho Feb 7 '12 at 18:41
  • Are you wanting to make solid chocolate (for example, bars or small formed candies [Valentines hearts]) from cocoa butter, cocoa powder and sugar? – KatieK Feb 8 '12 at 1:26
  • @KatieK yes. Should I edit my question and put more info in it? – Mien Feb 8 '12 at 8:51
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Speaking from making fudge, I have gotten the most consistent results using superfine / castor sugar.

  • I haven't noticed starch related issues from powdered sugar, but your mileage may vary; the problem I have had with it is due to clumping in spite of the starch (particularly in a frosting recently).
  • I have used granulated sugar to make fudge and it is grainy. I melted most of it, but got sick of stirring it as it got crazy thick. I suppose it's possible to get it to the point of a completely dissolved syrup, but that would take longer than it is worth since you are likely going to run the risk of scorching.

Relative to the taste and structure, you won't get anything special from the caster sugar. However, you will get a more predictable product, and less hassle waiting for it to dissolve. You will also avoid texture problems and reduce the risks brought on by extended time in the pot (i.e. too much heat, likelier to accumulate moisture randomly).

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If you wait long enough, and stir the sugar long enough it will melt and liquify, so it doesn't really matter what kind of sugar you start with so long as you wait till all the sugar is melted to a liquid, and completely mixed with the chocolate. You can't add more sugar than the chocolate/butter mixture will absorb. If you do that sugar will cyrstalize no matter what kind of sugar you started with.

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You mentioned in a comment you're trying to make solid chocolate, like chocolate bars?

Sugar simply doesn't dissolve in fats like cocoa butter, and you have no water or other liquid... and if you did you'd get a softer chocolate confection, more like fudge, rather than hard chocolate like bars. To make solid chocolate at home, the smooth kind, you will need some kind of conching or grinding equipment - something to grind the chocolate and sugar together to make it smooth and so that it stays well mixed together.

I believe that sugar will also settle, so just mixing powdered sugar into a liquid cocoa-powder-and-butter mixture isn't found in homemade chocolate recipes - it won't stay suspended and evenly spread through your chocolate mixture. Larger sugar crystals might actually stay suspended better, not settle as much, that is why mexican-style chocolate (with crunchy sugar crystals) is a thing. I've seen some recipes that use honey or syrup but the resulting chocolate will tend to be softer. One recipe used sugar at one-string consistency (a candymaking syrup), that might be your best bet for something like chocolate bars, if you want to go that far.

You can much more easily make chocolate confections like fudge, that have added water for the sugar to dissolve into, that is what most people end up doing and they can be very good. That's what mfg was doing, from their answer. And some of them might end up fairly close to solid chocolate, if that is what you're looking for, if you're using minimum sweetners and going for a very dark, bittersweet chocolate candy.

If you're interested in making chocolate properly with conching, there are dedicated grinders and also some Indian-style wet grinders can work, if you check the settings. It sounds like a lot of fun, if also a lot of work.

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