Posted in Kafevend Blog
Have you ever wondered how a bar of chocolate you have been munching on was made? A pointless question given that I've no way of knowing your reply, but I can at least hope you might have a slight interest in the subject.
Cacao beans are taken from the pods that grow from the Theobroma Cacao tree and first left to ferment in order to remove the pulp and to develop their flavour. Next, they are dried out in the sunshine, sometimes spread out over large wooden trays or simply laid out on a stone floor. At this point, they are put into sacks to be transported to factories for the next steps.
On arrival at the factory, the beans are roasted. This helps to develop the flavour further and makes the outer shell of the bean brittle, making it easier to be removed by a machine known as a winnower, which separates the shell and the nib; the nib is the part of the bean that is used to make the chocolate.
The nibs are ground into a thick paste known as chocolate liquor. The paste is then compressed by a hydraulic machine, separating it into cocoa butter, which is drained away, and a powdered cake, which when broken up, becomes the well known cocoa powder.
Finally, the myriad forms of chocolate are created. Different amounts of ingredients like cocoa powder, cocoa butter, sugar, milk etc are mixed to form the varieties like dark, plain, milk and white chocolate. The mixtures are subjected to a process known as conching, which mixes them at specific speeds and temperatures for a certain length of time in order to influence the taste and texture. Finally, the mixtures are poured into moulds to form bars, packaged and shipped off to be sold.