In our last article, “How Chocolate Is Made, Part 1, Growing Through Export” we discussed growing the trees, harvesting, preparing and fermentation, drying and exporting. In today’s post, we will cover the importing and processing procedure.
Preparing Cocoa Mass (also known as “Cocoa Liquor”)
As received by a processor, beans might be combined with other estates and origins for desired traits (or be kept separate as a “single-origin chocolate”).
The beans are cleaned and roasted at lower temperatures to develop flavor. Their shells are separated from their nibs (the “meat” of the beans) by a procedure referred to as winnowing.
Nibs will be finely ground into cocoa mass (also known as cocoa liquor) that’s solid at room temperature. Placed beneath high pressure, the paste will yield cocoa butter and cocoa powder.
Cocoa mass can be blended with more cocoa sweetener and butter to create chocolate. The initial steps include mixing, grinding, and kneading the different raw ingredients into a paste.
Ingredients used will be dependent upon the kind of chocolate being made. Darker chocolate only requires sugar, cocoa butter, and cocoa mass. Adding milk powder will make milk chocolates.
White chocolate is created with milk powder, sugar, and cocoa butter (no cocoa mass/liquor). Due to it containing no cocoa mass, some don’t consider white chocolate a true chocolate.
“Conching” is the process of aeration, heating, kneading, and rolling. Conches are large agitators that stir and smooth the mix under heat.
It’s a critical measure within the process of generating pure, delicious, and consistent chocolate. It’s here that the final flavor and aroma are defined.
At this point, cocoa butter and soy lecithin might be added for required fluidity. Then, the chocolate is refined until it’s smooth. The longer chocolate is conched, the smoother it will be.
Tempering and Molding
Now, the chocolate is finished and prepared for final processing. To be delivered to the chocolatier, it must be placed into drops or blocks, also referred to as “pistoles.”
This technique requires “tempering,” in which chocolate is brought gently to a specific temperature. Chocolate tempering is something that all aspiring bakers or chocolate makers can attempt at home.
Within the process of tempering, the cocoa butter will reach its most stable form. It will give well-tempered chocolate its smoothness, its shiny surface, and “snap.”
For more information on how your favorite chocolate is made, contact Kakosi Chocolate at 617-335-6475.