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We buy a block of callebaut chocolate that is five Kg. We are not commercial. I'm looking for a easier way to break off the amount we need it's a block around 40 cm X 20 cm, thick around 5cm. There are indentations on the chocolate for pieces of 500g. If anyone can give an idea?

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    Tried tapping the indentations with a sharp but sturdy cleaver? – rackandboneman May 8 '18 at 11:33
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One option is to make sure it's well wrapped (preferably loosely), place it on a soft surface, couch or bed, and bring your weight to bear on it - pressing with something like a knee will be easier than using your hands. As the surface yields under your weight, it puts upward pressure increasing towards the edges of the block while your weight places a downward pressure in the center, and the chocolate will tend to snap between the forces.

Using force like this, it usually breaks along the indented lines, not always precisely but pretty close - they are weak points in the chocolate's structure. It works best with the pressure held at the middle of the chocolate piece, and it will also tend to snap in halves, so to further break down the chocolate you may be able to move the pressure to the middle of the new pieces. There will come a point where the pieces are too small, there's not enough space within the wrappings to let it bend, or the pressure is to spread out to keep it snapping - but you can break it down into pretty manageable chunks like this.

I have a pound chocolate bar that's pretty thick, and quite sturdy - more so than I'd like to snap by hand - and this is the method I used to break it down to size pretty quickly. I found it wouldn't easily break smaller than a two-square rectangle, but that's already much easier to work with.

If you want smaller pieces, or more control, you can take a knife (I used a cleaver) and use it to chisel the block apart. An actual chisel would also work here. You would set the blade exactly where you want it to break, and tap the back of the blade with something heavy, using increasing force until it splits. This works with even pretty small pieces and with much more precision than other ways - for example you can use the smooth back of the chocolate block to position the knife, so the indentations won't interfere as much, to make half-squares, or long slivers or wedges, or clip off corners or whatever.

It is much more controllable to use multiple, almost gentle taps (using the weight of the hammer) to weaken it and let it crack apart rather than use force of muscle which can go awry. I used the pestle from my large granite mortar & pestle, but you could use a hammer, a rolling pin, or any other decently sturdy object.

Last option would be to position the chocolate with just about the amount you want overhanging the edge of a hard surface (like a table or counter), and knock it off with a sharp blow. It really works best if the amount you want is enough to hang over the edge by, at least, more than the thickness of the bar. The chocolate will fall from the table or counter as it breaks, so make sure it's wrapped (loosely enough to give it room to break or the wrapper will break with it) or else have something in place to catch it. You can strike with a hammer, rolling pin, or other decently sturdy object. This is less controlled, and it can end up with your chocolate on the floor, but it does work in a pinch.

  • Many of these approaches work better if the chocolate is cold; it's harder but more brittle then. They can be combined: chisel opposite a groove, and if that doesn't work, put it over an edge and snap. – Chris H May 11 '18 at 5:53
  • @Megha the chisel what you write in one of the options is any chisel, or it needs to be specific for food? – Nachmen May 11 '18 at 7:52
  • @Nachmen - according to your tolerances. I'm not aware of anything that would make a food-chisel different from a tool-chisel, though you'd want to be sure it is well cleaned before using on food - tool-gunk is not appetizing. Depending on how often you think you'd use it you might go as far as getting an unused one dedicated to food items for better control, but as far as I know the chisel itself would be the same. – Megha May 11 '18 at 8:13
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    @ChrisH - good point, cooling will indeed help make chocolate brittle. And combining techniques like that is a very good idea when trying to crack tougher blocks, though I haven't had to use it for chocolate... but try cracking (proper) tea bricks, man-o-man those are tough. – Megha May 11 '18 at 8:20
  • Chisels from the hardware store are often oiled with mineral oil so they don't rust before sale. A cheap stainless cleaver (mine is from a local Chinese supermarket) would be better. If you're handy with an axe you can actually chop gently but fairly precisely, avoiding the need for a mallet – Chris H May 11 '18 at 8:47
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If you've got a nice sturdy knife and a (rubber) mallet, you could attempt knocking of a piece like that.

Alternatively you could try heating up the knife in warm/hot water and "melting" a piece off.

The only other thing I can think of for such a big block is using some kind of saw (hacksaw or coping saw depending on the thickness of the block) to just saw a piece off.

If you need grated chocolate or flakes you could also just grate/flake it straight off the block.

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