How's chocolate made?
Here are all the steps involved in transforming the cocoa beans into chocolate.
This is where Venchi works its magic!
December 3, 2020
1. HARVESTING: the fruits are harvested using a machete. This step requires professionalism and dedication.
2. OPENING THE FRUIT AND EXTRACTING THE BEANS: the pods are opened on the spot to extract the beans.
3. FERMENTATION: at this stage, the sugars in the pulp are broken down by enzymes into vinegar and other acidic substances. This step is essential for the chocolate to retain its characteristic flavour. To speed up the fermentation process, the beans are collected and heaped in large containers and covered with banana leaves. This causes fermentation to begin immediately and the temperature to rise to around 50°C.
4. DRYING: The beans are then dried in the sun to stop fermentation and to stabilise them.
5. ROASTING: The beans are heated in large roasting ovens for 15-20 minutes at 110/120 °C, depending on the variety. This step is absolutely essential to ensure that the aromas develop properly.
6. COOLING AND SEPARATING: After cooling, the beans are put into a grinding machine to crush them, separate the cocoa from the skin and create nibs.
7. MILLING: The roasted nibs are ground using a special mill into a paste-like mass known as "cocoa liquor".
8. REFINING: To make the chocolate, various raw materials are mixed together, depending on the type of product you want to create. The following are added to the cocoa liquor (except when making white chocolate): cocoa butter, sugar, powdered milk and hazelnut paste
9. TEMPERING: The liquid chocolate is then tempered. The melted chocolate (40°C) is brought to a temperature that triggers the formation of very fine cocoa butter crystals by a tempering machine, in order to obtain the formed chocolate.
10. CONCHING: Highly efficient mixers known as conches are used to evenly mix the various ingredients in the chocolate. Only after this stage is complete can we start talking about chocolate. Conching times vary from hours to days, as do temperatures.
11. MOULDING: The tempered chocolate is poured into moulds that are then placed onto a continuously vibrating belt to eliminate air bubbles by causing the chocolate to stick to the sides.
12. COOLING AND PACKAGING: The moulds then go through the cooling tunnel, at a temperature of around 6 °C, where the chocolate solidifies, making it easy to extract and package.
Once fully cooled, it's solidified into various striking forms and shapes, including slabs, bars, individual chocolates, pralines and Easter Eggs.