The Chocolate Factory
After being fermented, the cocoa beans are taken to the chocolate factory to be made into chocolate. Many people have probably watched the movie 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'. Chocolate factories aren't as amazing as Willy Wonka's, but they sure are interesting. This page is here to teach you about how the cocoa beans are processed and, finally, made into chocolate.
The beans are sun dried for a few more days, and then they are packed into sacks and shipped off to factories. Then at the factory, the beans are sorted and cleaned.
After being sorted out and cleaned, the beans are then roasted at the factory. The beans are placed inside large revolving drums. Inside, they are roasted at 250-350 degrees Fahrenheit. During roasting, the beans give off a wonderful smell. After 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the type of bean, the beans then go to the next step, winnowing.
This is the next step after roasting. Winnowing is when the outer shell of the cocoa bean is removed. The shells are thn sold as animal feed, and are not used to make the chocolate. The inner nib of the bean is crushed and heated to ground the cocoa butter of the bean into a thick paste, which is called chocolate liquor. Don't misunderstand, chocolate liquor does not contain alcohol, it is just the name of the paste.
Turning It Into Chocolate
Finally, the chocolate liquor is made into chocolate. You can make many different types of chocolate with this paste, such as baking chocolate, which is unsweetened. This is the simplest chocolate to make. The chocolate liquor goes straight to be molded and solidified.
Dark chocolate is also made at the chocolate factory. To make it, the chocolate liquor is mixed with sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla.
To make milk chocolate, the factory mixies the chocolate liquor with milk solids or powder, cocoa butter and sugar.
You may have heard that white chocolate 'isn't real chocolate'. Well, that is true in the sense that if 'real chocolate' must contain chocolate liquor. But white chocolate does contain part of the cocoa bean. Cocoa butter is put into white chocolate to give it flavor.
Dipping chocolate can be dark, milk or white. But dipping chocolate contains more cocoa butter than the solid chocolates.
To mix the chocolate, a little bit of lecithin is added to make the mixing process easier.To make chocolate with nuts in it, the nuts are added to the mixture.
Refining, Conching and Tempering
After being mixed the chocolate mix is refined. This means that the chocolate is kneaded between two steel rollers. This process is done to make the mixture smoother. After being refined, the chocolate is conched. This is when the mixtures are constantly mixed, ground and stirred. Usually high quality chocolate is conched for longer than lower quality chocolates. Then the chocolate is tempered.This is the process of lowering and raising the temperature. After this step, the chocolate is ready to be molded into chocolate bars! Baking chocolate skips these three steps because there are no ingredients added to it, therefore it just goes straight to the molding.
The chocolate mixtures are then molded and solidified into the chocolate that we all love!