I had an interesting meeting with a man who used to own a chocolate factory in the town of Maechtersheim where I lived as a child. His name is Mr. Mohr and he and his family once made chocolate in the region including a certain confection called “puffreis schokolade” which simply means chocolate and puffed rice. For some strange reason, this confection is adored by Germans and supposedly, Mr. Mohr made the best around.
I’ve wanted to make it commercially for a while but I didn’t know how to make it without the chocolate hardening too quickly before it got into the molds. I mentioned this to my aunt and she arranged a meeting with Mr. Mohr at her house on the evening that we would have our family gathering. When we arrived a bunch of us (my aunts are as into making food as I am) grilled him on the proper puffreis making technique. What’s the proper ratio of chocolate to rice? How do you put the mixture into the molds? How do you scrape the lumpy chocolate to get it smooth on top? Most importantly, how do you keep the stuff from hardening? The trick, Mr. Mohr explained is to use a water bath with 2 compartments and to have the rice chocolate in one and tempered chocolate in the other. You then add more chocolate as the mixture runs low. This was not groundbreaking information and I probably would have figured it out myself had I made it on a regular basis. I suppose I was hoping there would be some magic piece of machinery that would make the job easier. It’s tedious work, hand making bars of chocolate, but alas, no new miracles were made. Nevertheless, it was nice to get a description of the full process from someone who made it commercially. I did however, discover something upon speaking to Mr. Mohr. The best way to learn how to do something is through trial and error. If I spend too much time researching and don’t spend the time on doing, I won’t make any discoveries. The making is the research.