The Chocolate Making Process
Chocolate is a good as it raw ingredients. If you get some of the world class renowed chocolatiers with the same ingredients you will get the same chocolate.
The main basic ingredient to any chocolate is cacao. Then will come sugar, butter and milk. For organic chocolate production no additives, colourings and emulsifiers are used and usually costs more.
Texture – the smoother the more refined a chocolate brand is in appearance.
People have different palate so no two people can taste the same chocolate alike.
Some people cannot tell the difference between these two terms: cacao and cocoa.
What is the difference between cacao and cocoa?
Sometimes “cacao” and “cocoa” are used interchangeably. However, technically, “cocoa” should be used in reference to the powder product, while “cacao” should be used when referring to the bean, which yields the cacao components, that are chocolate liquor, cocoa butter and funnily enough – cocoa powder.
Chocolate is made in a more or less the same method. Some manufacturers may add or decrease some parts of the process according to their desired product.
How Chocolate is Made
Step 1: Selecting the Bean
After the cacao beans have been sourced from different or a specific country, these pass through a bean cleaning machine that removes extraneous materials.
Different bean varieties are then precisely blended to produce a distinct flavour that sets the brand apart from another.
A formula is worked to blend the beans, this is both an art and science of chocolate making. Serious chocolate companies reject some of the beans as these do not meet their flavor standards. This ensures that every chocolate bar and novelty products tastes the same.
Roasting the Bean
After the selection and cleaning process is done, the beans are roasted to develop the desired chocolate flavor. They are roasted in large rotary cylinders.
Depending on the varieties of the beans and the desired end result, the roasting lasts from 30 minutes to two hours at very high temperatures.
During roasting, the bean color changes to a rich brown, and the aroma of chocolate comes through. After roasting, the bean shells are cracked and removed, leaving the essence of pure chocolate called the “nib”. For Dutch-processed cacao, a solution is added to produce nibs that are darker and less acidic in flavor. The more a bean is roasted the most intense is the flavour.
Milling the Liquor
The roasted nibs are milled through a process that liquefies the cocoa butter in the nibs and forms “chocolate liquor.” Chocolate liquor is non-alcoholic and simply refers to the chocolate liquid. The chocolate liquor can either be pressed for cocoa butter and cocoa powders, or molded and solidified to make unsweetened chocolate.
The cocoa press takes a portion of the cocoa butter from the chocolate liquor, leaving “cocoa cakes.” The cocoa butter is used in the manufacture of chocolates; the remaining cakes of cocoa solids are pulverized into cocoa powders.
Ingredients such as chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, and milk powder, in quantities that make up the different types of chocolate, are blended in mixers to a paste with the consistency of a dough. Chocolate is refined by going through a set of rollers which crush the paste into flakes that are significantly reduced in size. This step is critical in determining how smooth chocolate is when eaten.
Different manufactures refine their chocolates to different degrees, mostly commonly is 40 microns. Any higher refining gives the chocolate an extremely smooth texture with no “graininess”.
Conching is a process to develop the flavour of chocolate, during which the chocolate is put under constant agitation. These machines have large paddles that sweep back and forth through the refined chocolate mass. This process can take a few hours to several days.
Conching reduces moisture, drives off any lingering acidic flavors, and coats each particle of chocolate with a layer of cocoa butter. The resulting chocolate has a smoother, mellower flavor.
Tempering and Molding
The chocolate then undergoes a tempering process where it is heated and coooled. This creates small, stable cocoa butter crystals in the fluid chocolate mass. It is deposited into molds of different forms: chips, chunks, wafers and bars. Proper tempering creates a finished product that has a glossy, smooth appearance.
Cooling and Packaging
The molded chocolate enters controlled cooling tunnels to solidify the pieces. Depending on the size of the chocolate pieces, the cooling cycle takes between 20 minutes to two hours. From the cooling tunnels, the chocolate is packaged for delivery to retailers and ultimately into the hands of consumers.
Continue reading more on chocolate and brands here: [http://www.importedchocolate.org]. Dori is an online entrepreneur and one of her passions is chocolate. When she is not writing she spends her time making desserts.