The Making of Chocolate
The production of chocolate starts with the harvesting of the cocoa pod. This has to be done at the correct time of year to ensure they are grown in the right conditions. Once the cocoa pods have been harvested, the next stage is to crush the pods. This allows for the cocoa bean and pulp to be extracted and dried over the course of six days. This process can be done in two ways: naturally or artificially. The most scrumptious chocolate is dried naturally by the sun in open conditions. Once the drying is complete, the cocoa beans are first graded before being roasted. This process can be long, but to create the finest chocolate it is well worth the wait! Next, the beans are crushed to separate the kernels, also known as nibs, from the husks. The kernels are then milled, which results in the product being melted to create cocoa liqour, also known as cocoa mass. This creates the foundation for which chocolate is built.
Once the cocoa mass has been created it is blended with a number of other items, including cocoa butter. The type of chocolate being created determines how much cocoa mass and butter is used. For dark chocolate at least 70% of the cocoa mass will be present. Whereas, milk chocolate uses around 40% and white is 30%. This will be blended not only with the cocoa butter, but other ingredients such as natural vanilla essence to create that delicious chocolate taste.
When the blending of all the chocolate ingredients has occurred, the refining process can start. This involves a heavy roller which helps to mix the ingredients further, whilst also smoothing out the chocolate mixture. Once this process is complete, the mixture is stored in tanks which will heat and cool the chocolate on a cycle. This encourages crystal formation which helps enhance that magnificent chocolate taste.
The end result of this long and exciting process depends purely on the use of the chocolate. It can be used to create tempting chocolate treats, novelty chocolate items such as milk games controllers or simply to create a mouth-watering chocolate bar.
This blog has been adapted from the following website: http://goo.gl/jmDT2L