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I'm trying to mimic the thick, rich, dark chocolate covered espresso beans made by Trader Joes. These sweet morsels have a thick chocolate coating that easily gives in when bitten. The beans inside shatter into the chocolate when under any pressure, and don't have an imposing taste. In my own tests the espresso beans have had too significant a bitter taste and the chocolate hasn't clung to the bean.

I see a need to reduce the bitterness of the bean and increase the clumpiness of the chocolate.

  • Were your beans totally dry when you coated them in chocolate? – Mien Feb 21 '13 at 17:15
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Some observations that may help:

  • There is no such thing as an espresso bean. There is only coffee, which is available in many different varieties and roasts. You will want to experiment to find one that you like as the center of your candy, based on its flavor.

    For candy, you definitely will want an Arabica, I think, not a Robusta variety. Additionally, you want a single variety of coffee, not a blend, so that you have essentially the same flavor for each piece. If you don't already know a quality roaster, there are many on the Internet who will ship.

  • All properly roasted coffee should be pretty brittle and frangible, and crush when bitten.

  • You can double-dip or even triple-dip your beans to get the thickness of coating that you like. I cannot say why the chocolate may not be "clinging" without more information--but make sure you are using (and probably tempering, which is a entire discusion on its own) real, quality chocolate or coverture.

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According to this source, professional candy makers use a rotating drum like a cement mixer, in a process called panning to coat the coffee bean in chocolate. The objects to be coated are added, followed by a small amount of melted chocolate. Once the items are coated, a blast of cold air hardens the chocolate and the process is repeated. For a small, asymmetric object like a coffee bean, it can take many coatings to get the nice round look that commercial beans would have. A final layer of edible FDA approved shellac (not from your local paint store) in the machine will provide the shiny finish.

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