Cocoa beans, which are the dried, fermented seeds of the cacao tree, are used to make chocolate, a sweet, typically brown delicacy. Along with baking and cooking, it is used in a variety of delicacies, including cakes and candies. The chocolate’s cocoa solids and cocoa butter are abundant in flavonoids, which have been demonstrated to have antioxidant characteristics and may be beneficial to health. However, chocolate should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet because it also contains considerable amounts of sugar and fat.
Different types of process in making chocolate
Fermentation is the process that gives chocolate its fragrances, strong flavors, and deep colors. There are two phases: acetic fermentation and alcohol fermentation. First, the carbohydrates in the cocoa pulp are transformed into alcohol by natural yeast. Then bacteria convert the alcohol to acetic acid.
After harvest, cocoa beans are fermented and eventually dried as part of the preprocessing of cocoa to lower moisture content and water activity. The bitterness, astringency, and acidity of cocoa beans are reduced as a result of drying, which disrupts biochemical events started during fermentation.
To enhance flavor, eliminate bacteria, lessen moisture, and release the outer shell, cocoa beans are roasted. The best aspect of this procedure is that when roasting the raw cocoa beans, you get to experience the most incredible aroma in addition to learning how chocolate is manufactured.
4. Grinding of cocao
The process of grinding turns cocoa nibs into “cocoa liquor,” commonly referred to as unsweetened chocolate or cocoa mass. The considerable amount of fat included in the cocoa nib melts as a result of the heat produced during the grinding process, changing the dry, granular consistency of the nib into a liquid.
How to make chocolate: from cacao bean to chocolate
In silos or warehouses, cocoa beans are stored in their original bags. Strict quality control is applied to imported raw cocoa. The beans must be in good condition, fully fermented and dried, and must not have been harmed during travel. Silos can hold up to 1000 tons or more and range in height from 40 to 120 feet. Strong vacuums pick up the raw cacao and feed it into the silos.
To protect the delicate beans from potentially absorbing strong scents, the storage area needs to be sealed off from the rest of the facility. It’s important to keep a cool temperature, good air circulation, and regular humidity checks. To mix beans for roasting and so regulate the flavor, you must be able to identify the beans according to their specific variety and origin.
Step 1: Cleaning
To remove dried cocoa pulp, parts of pod, and other unwanted stuff, the cocoa beans are first run through a machine before being used to make chocolate. The beans are properly weighed and combined in accordance with instructions. Powerful vacuum tools are then used to remove the final bits of wood, cotton fibers, sand, and even the finest dust. The chemical industry receives the separated cocoa bean husks and uses them to extract important components.
Step 2: Roasting
The beans are roasted in enormous rotary cylinders to emphasize the distinct aroma of chocolate. Roasting takes place at temperatures of 250 degrees Fahrenheit or more and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the type of beans used and the intended outcome. The moisture content of the beans decreases as they are repeatedly turned over, and they take on a rich brown color and start to produce the distinct aroma of chocolate. The secret to superb flavor is proper roasting, even if all the stages are necessary.
Step 3: Shell Removal
The thin, brittle shells of the roasting-induced cocoa beans are removed as they immediately cool. a massive device that cracks rather than crushes the beans as it passes them between sharpened cones. During the process, a number of mechanical sieves separate the broken pieces into large and small grains while fans blow away the thin, light shell from the meat or “nibs.” The nibs are mixed, incorporating up to 8–10 different types. Controlling these kinds of mixtures provides better consistency and improves the flavor of each kind of chocolate.
Steps 4: Nibs are ground
The nibs, which have a cocoa butter content of about 53 percent, are sent through refinery mills where they are processed into cocoa paste using big grinding stones or heavy steel discs. After applying hydraulic pressure to the paste, the cocoa butter that emerges is pure, precious, and has a distinct aroma. After being purified and filtered, it resembles regular butter in appearance.
Step 5: Cocoa is separated from cocoa butter
The process of making cocoa and chocolate up to this point is the same. The primary ingredient in chocolate, comprising around 25% of the weight of most chocolate bars, is cocoa butter, a byproduct of the production of cocoa.
Step 6: To the chocolate liquor, more substances are added
Milk, sugar, cocoa butter, and other components are mixed with bitter chocolate liquor to create milk chocolate. At this phase, various recipes are used to create the chocolate. The final flavor is determined by how the various kinds of cocoa pastes and other components are blended. The ingredients are combined in a mixer with revolving, pounding arms until they form a uniform, paste-like substance that tastes good but leaves a bitter aftertaste.
Step 7: Conching machines knead the chocolate paste
At controlled temperatures, this procedure creates tastes and modifies the texture. The final and most essential refining step is what permits the distinct flavors of the individual ingredients to meld together. Conches are outfitted with heavy rollers that plow back and forth through the chocolate paste for anything between a few hours to several days. The early machines’ paddles resembled conch shells. The chocolate can be ground to a very fine texture using modern technology, which can shorten the conching process. Belgian and Swiss chocolates can be conched for up to 96 hours. Some chocolates are either never or very briefly frozen.
Step 8: Chocolate is tempered by heating, cooling and reheating
This gives the chocolate more thickness and gives it the ideal flow characteristics for filling the molds. To give the finished chocolate product a delicate composition, a homogeneous structure, and a well-rounded flavor, this delicate process is carried out at the tempering plant. This extends the storage life as well.
Step 9: Liquid chocolate is temporary stored
To shape chocolate paste into bars, chocolates, and other items, molding machines must only accept little amounts of chocolate paste at a time, so conches are always filled with the most chocolate for efficiency. Chocolate can be preserved for brief periods of time or is regularly sent to other food producers in a liquid state. It solidifies over a longer period of time, typically in the shape of hundredweight blocks. In order for these blocks to liquefy once more, they must be heated before being processed further.
These are the ways on how to make chocolate from cocoa bean. Now that you know lots of things including its story, you can try making your own chocolate at home by following the steps mentioned.