…..And the beans turn into ‘mouth watering smoothness’
Let us understand, how a modest cocoa bean turns into a silken mass of beauty.
In an absolute nutshell,
1.The beans are roasted in a large, rotary cylinder at low heat, for 30 minutes to two hours.
The specific aromas, flavors, and rich brown colors that develop, depend how long and at what temperature they are roasted.
2.The outer shells are removed, and the beans are cracked into small pieces known as nibs.
3.The nibs are heated again and ground into a fine paste. Then when this paste is pressed, it yields cocoa butter and the chocolate liquor. If you add milk solids, sugar and vanilla to this cocoa butter you get white chocolate.
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This of course is not really chocolate because it contains no chocolate liquor.
4.Chocolate liquor at this stage is a paste made of the nonfat solids from the nibs, as well as some of the remaining cocoa butter… maybe 10 to 20%.
5.Chocolate liquor remains solid at normal room temperatures, but liquefies at about 33 degrees celsius. Now think about it; that’s about the same temperature of the human tongue, which is the secret behind chocolate’s cherished melting qualities!
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6.The chocolate liquor must be finely ground in order to give it that “mouth watering smoothness”. Cocoa butter is often added back into the liquor along with sugar and other ingredients, such as milk, vanilla or lecithin.
7.The additions of these and other ingredients determine chocolate flavor and type… the spectrum being, very dark semisweet all the way to milk chocolate. When pure chocolate liquor is poured into molds, cooled and hardened, it becomes what we know as unsweetened chocolate.
If chocolate liquor is pulverized, it becomes unsweetened cocoa powder.
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8.The blended mixtures are agitated in large bowls which helps aerate the chocolate to create a smooth texture and well rounded flavor. This process, called conching, can take as long as six days. Invented more than a century ago, conching helps reduce acid levels, allowing pleasant flavors to develop.
9.Finally, the chocolate is poured into molds and carefully cooled and packaged.
The culmination of this process results in a finished product that is really only the starting point for fine Chocolate Artisans.
200375448-001 Broken dark chocolate
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