The Chocolate making process
The first step to the chocolate making process, the Cacao beans arrive at the factory and are sifted for foreign objects rocks other contents left inside the bag etc.
The cacao is then weighed and sorted, the manufacturer sorts the cacao by type, 12 types of cacao used in recipes, but must be careful to measure the flavor ensuring consistency time and time again.
Step 2 of the chocolate making process
The beans are then roasted in large rotating ovens exceeding temperatures of 210-290 f
Roasting the beans can take anything from half an hour to 2 hours, the heat dries and darkens the beans producing more flavor and aroma, after this, they are cooled, the image below shows the beans being cooled down by releasing rotating them while being exposed to a cool flow of air.
Cracking and Winnowing
Next in the chocolate making process
The beans then have their outer shells cracked and blown away, which leaves only the bean which has been crushed and broken leaving you with the Nib
you can eat this product now but it does give off a bitter taste could be used on a salad at this point.
To actually make the chocolate from this state the cacao nibs must now be crushed and ground into a thick paste which is called chocolate Liquor, no alcohol in it though. The next process generally depends on what type of chocolate you are wanting to make.
At this stage, you can separate the liquor into 2 parts one part you can make cocoa this process consists of the liquor being slammed by a hydraulic press. which removes most of the fat and cocoa butter which is primarily used for producing the chocolate and also for certain cosmetics and medicines.
What you have left in the press is a dry liquor which is then ground into cocoa.
To make the chocolate the liquor will still have a very bitter taste, so by adding the likes of sugar cocoa buttermilk and vanilla will give it a creamy texture and sweeten it up.
This is actually edible now, but the texture wouldn’t be associated with the true likeness of a chocolate bar since the cacao and sugar are still very grainy it is fed through a series of steel rollers to refine the texture.
To further refine the texture and taste of the mixture is now run through a Conch which basically swirls mixes, mashes and aerates the mixture.at this point, cocoa butter is added also some soy lecithin. The reason this is done is to promote a more silky smooth texture, the whole coaching process lasts 2 hours for cheaper brand chocolate and up to 6 days for the expensive stuff.
The final step in the chocolate making process
this process consists of the chocolate being heated stirred let to cool down then the process repeated again up to several times, this process gives the chocolate a more glossy look and helps it melt properly.
The final process liquid chocolate poured over candy cookies or ice cream, but to make the bar it is poured into a mold and left to cool end product bean to bar!