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Watch Chocolates Take Shape In This Delicious Short Documentary

Nicolas Berger sees making chocolate as the ultimate art form—one which requires creativity, precision, and an incredibly nuanced understanding not only of one’s creations, but one’s materials. Berger, who designs and manufactures chocolate delicacies at Alain Ducasse's Le Chocolat in Paris, grew up in a family that took chocolate extremely seriously. His father, Peter Berger, was a pastry chef and chocolate maker, and Nicolas spent his childhood in his father’s pastry workshop, learning his secrets.

In the short documentary Le Chocolat, director Simon Pénochet shows Berger hard at work inside the magical Alain Ducasse chocolate factory, where craftspeople and machines churn out an array of candy creations. Like a low-key Willy Wonka, Berger oversees operations, tests out his ingredients, and works the old-fashioned machines that transform beans into beautiful chocolate bars.

“Alain Ducasse's new chocolate factory was created with the willingness to get back to the roots of chocolate making: a careful, slow and patient work, craftsmanship and machines being as one,” Pénochet explains. Check it out above.

Banner Image Credit: Simon Pénochet, Vimeo

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Food
Hate Red M&M's? You Need a Candy Color-Sorting Machine
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You don’t have to be a demanding rock star to live a life without brown M&M's or purple Skittles—all you need is some engineering know-how and a little bit of free time.

Mechanical engineering student Willem Pennings created a machine that can take small pieces of candy—like M&M's, Skittles, Reese’s Pieces, etc.—and sort them by color into individual piles. All Pennings needs to do is pour the candy into the top funnel; from there, the machine separates the candy—around two pieces per second—and dispenses all of it into smaller bowls at the bottom designated for each variety.

The color identification is performed with an RGB sensor that takes “optical measurements” of candy pieces of equal dimensions. There are limitations, though, as Pennings revealed in a Reddit Q&A: “I wouldn't be able to use this machine for peanut M&M's, since the sizes vary so much.”

The entire building process lasted from May through December 2016, and included the actual conceptualization, 3D printing (which was outsourced), and construction. The entire project was detailed on Pennings’s website and Reddit's DIY page.

With all of the motors, circuitry, and hardware that went into it, Pennings’s machine is likely too ambitious of a task for the average candy aficionado. So until a machine like this hits the open market, you're probably stuck buying bags of single-colored M&M’s in bulk online or sorting all of the candy out yourself the old fashioned way.

To see Pennings’s machine in action, check out the video below:

[h/t Refinery 29]

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holidays
See How Candy Canes Are Made
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According to legend, a 17th-century German choirmaster bent sugar sticks into shepherd’s crooks and gave them to children acting in his Nativity pageant as a treat for good behavior. Lo and behold, the world’s first candy canes were born.

Over the years, manufacturers have perfected their own methods of making the holiday treat. In the below video from Lofty Pursuits, a Tallahassee, Florida-based purveyor of hard candies, you can watch how the expert team of candy-makers turn seemingly everyday ingredients like sugar, water, and corn syrup into a sticky mixture. Gradually, the pliable concoction is folded, stretched, rolled, cut, and bent into candy canes—a mesmerizing visual process for anyone who’s ever sucked on one of the sugary confections and suspected it came from somewhere other than Santa’s workshop.

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