The endless pursuit of perfection is my life. Some say I have it down but I can assure you I do not. For 4 years I have strived to create really good chocolate from scratch. It has not been easy. I have burned beans, undecooked beans, perfectly roasted beans only to mess them up elsewhere in the chain. I have created what I thought was really really good chocolate only to have it fall flat after it rested. I have also made what I thought was mediocre chocolate only to have it taste fantastic 6 months later when it had time to "off gas".
It is bizarre. Every single batch of chocolate I have ever made has been ever so slightly different than the batch before. I tweak the roast, I shorten or lengthen the crushing cycle. I refine it differently now than when I started. I conch at higher or lower temperatures for varying amounts of time. EVERY SINGLE TIME. Sometimes the differences are minor, someimes they are major.
As I spend yet another full day refining a small batch of "Purple Haze"; double passing it through our new 3 roll mill, I am excited that we are getting closer to the brass ring that is always just out of reach. At least this time I can see the bugger and I am not just grasping in the dark at a mythical prize. The perfect batch of chocolate will proabably never be made. I will never be satisfied with my efforts. You would think after 10 years of this I would be content to allow recipes to sit idle and just be, and I assure you-your hard won favorites like our lavender sea salt caramel do NOT get messed with anymore. But in my mind I can always see room for messing with it.
Is this a character flaw? A bad case of ADHD? A quirk whose side effect is chocolates that just keep getting better? Maybe so...