In the 5th grade I decided to make my own chocolate from beans.
I told my teacher, Mrs. Karpowich that this would be my independent study project. After writing to the big chocolate companies for advice, I was told -
Sorry but this really can't be done at home. It needs a factory with powerful machines that do things like break down the beans into microscopic particles.
They wanted to spare me the disappointment of a gritty, bad-tasting result. But I decided to try it anyway and see if I could prove them wrong.
My motto was: "What people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can." —Henry David Thoreau
I next met Maricel Presilla, the author of my favorite chocolate book. She was a little skeptical but extremely supportive. She gave me some great Venezuelan beans to experiment with. And because she took me so seriously, I knew that I wasn't going to stop trying until I succeeded.
After many months of attempts, I was able to construct machines in my own kitchen that duplicated those in the factory. My biggest breakthrough occurred when I adapted a pasta rolling machine to create smooth particles, just like the big factory roller-refiners.