Chocolate is the most demanding and popular delicacy in the world. According to the World Cocoa Foundation, people worldwide (but mostly in Europe and the United States) consume more than 3 million tons of cocoa beans a year. And, not only does eating chocolate make you feel good, but it can also be good for your heart and mind. But, have you ever wondered how this delicious treat is made? Cocoa beans have a complicated journey from forest trees to the foil-wrapped confection. Here is a step by step process of how chocolate is made from scratch.
Here’s a whole process of how chocolate is made
Chocolate begins with the Theobroma cacao tree. The pods of this tree are harvested only once to make chocolate after fully ripening. The natural sugars in cocoa beans fuel the fermentation process, which is very responsible for the taste of classic cocoa. Once harvested, the cocoa seeds are divided from the pulp and pods and allowed to begin the next process, i.e. fermentation process.
In their natural state, cocoa beans are quite bitter to taste. It is extracted by fermenting legumes to give the chocolate a highly desirable taste. Fermentation with alcohol is achieved by using natural yeast and bacteria that are already present in legumes. The process is fairly straightforward with legumes being allowed to ferment naturally in a hot and moist environment for about seven days. Once the fermentation process is complete, the beans are removed and allowed to dry to prevent mould growth and rot.
After fermentation, the legumes are dried on sunny platforms. Workers rotate them several times a day for three to five days to complete drying. Beans can dry faster in a rotary dryer, but sun-dried beans taste the best. Subsequently, the beans are transported to the chocolate factory, cleaned, and the debris removed. The beans are roasted in a large, rotating oven. The roast draws out the flavor and removes the beans from their hull. The roasted beans go into a winemaking machine, which rips the beans and removes the hull. The left out part of the bean is called the nib. Nibs become chocolate. The nib is placed below ground under a series of rollers. This end process results in a heavy paste called chocolate liquor.
Cracking and Winnowing
Roasted cocoa beans have a thin, crusted shell that must be removed before processing. The beans are opened to form a mixture of broken shells and small pieces of inner bean called “bean”. The mixture is then lightly blown with a fan or hairdryer, which removes the lighter shells and leaves only the nib ready to grind.
“Conching” is a process of kneading, rolling, heating, and aeration. A conch is a large agitator that shakes and smooths the mixture under heat. It is an important step in producing consistent, pure and delicious gourmet chocolate – and it is here that the final aroma and taste are defined. At this point, soy lecithin and cocoa butter can be added for the required fluidity. The chocolate is refined until smooth (and a chocolate long conical will be smooth).
Tempering and Molding
The chocolate is now ready for final processing. To reach a chocolatier, it must first be inserted into a block or drop (also called a “pistoles”). This method requires “tempering” – bringing the chocolate slowly to a certain temperature. Tempering chocolate is something any aspiring baker or chocolate maker can try at home. During the tempering process, cocoa butter reaches its most stable form; It gives well-tempered chocolate a “snap”, shiny surface and smoothness.
The much-awaited Chocolate Day is the third day of Valentine’s Week. But this is no surprise; We all know that it is a day of sweetness and happiness that can be served in small or big bites. It is celebrated on 9 February and marked by sending chocolates to each other. Why not stand out from the crowd and make this Valentine’s week truly memorable? Send your loved one a Happy Chocolate Day Gift and make them feel extra special.