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How a chocolate is made - Bean to bar chocolate making process

Learn how to make bean to bar chocolate making process

Have you ever thought of how a chocolate is made? What is the main ingredient in chocolate? What are the steps involved in a chocolate making.

Let's discuss the Bean to Bar / Farm to Table Chocolate.

Chocolate making steps:

  1. Cocoa beans collection
  2. Fine grading & cleaning the cocoa beans
  3. Roasting cocoa beans
  4. Making cocoa nibs
  5. Chocolate refining
  6. Chocolate tempering
How to do cocoa beans collection

Cocoa beans collection

World's most of the cocoa production comes from African countries Ivory Coast and Ghana. Asian country, Indonesia is also one of the largest contributors in cocoa brans production. Your chocolate taste, texture and life depend upon the sourcing of cocoa beans. With experience you will gain knowledge on what type of cocoa beans you would require for your kind of chocolates. How to measure the good cocoa beans, what is the moisture you need to consider while collecting the cocoa beans. Different origin cocoa beans have different natural flavor, It is very much similar to mangoes. There are many varieties of mangoes available, different mangoes taste different and have different experiences in consuming it. Similarly cocoa beans. If you use single origin or single farm of cocoa beans for your entire batch of chocolate making, then you will ensure a unique chocolate taste and experience which may mark you as a unique chocolate producer.

Fine grading & cleaning the cocoa beans​

Fine grading & cleaning the cocoa beans​

It is obvious that, how best quality cocoa beans you sourced, but still your own grading of the cocoa beans will ensure you get more detail knowledge on the cocoa beans and also a better chocolate. There are many chances that, the collected cocoa beans have multiple tiny stones or mud. With personal cleaning, you may avoid. 

There are many chances that you get flat beans, or not worthy beans, which may not have the bean inside or if it has some bean inside, it is worth of spoiling the taste of your chocolate. So it is better you remove the unwanted beans. Always try to keep a nice bean which is at least a half inchl ength and such thickness, you can easily pick and hold. 
How to roast cocoa beans

Roasting cocoa beans​

There are many ways to roast cocoa beans. Earlier in old days people used to roast on wooden stoves. It was difficult to roast because you can't have control over the constant temperature. The ideal temperature we use is 120 Degrees Celsius to 150 Degrees. You will gain perfection in the roasting of the cocoa beans is decided on the cocoa beans you are sourcing and experience. We recommend to use a good quality oven or coffee beans roasting machine for roasting.
Cocoa beans cracking, winnowing methods

Making of cocoa nibs​

Cracking of the cocoa beans. It is one of the major steps in the chocolate making process. The best cracking methods you use, the best winnowing methods you use is very much important to get better quality and quantity chocolate. There are various machines for cracking the roasted machine. Always trust a good brand because it is a heavy duty machine. Which has to run for hours to prepare the cocoa nibs.

Once you crack the beans you need to separate the husk or shell from it for making the cocoa nibs. For removing husk we have many winnower machines available in the market. If you are making a small batch for your home and kids, then it is best to use a hair dryer to remove or separate the husk from the nibs. Here we need to accept the fact that, separating of 100% husk from the nibs is almost impossible. Maybe if we could remove 90% consider we have achieved the best standard.
How to melt chocolate, chocolate refining

Chocolate refining

This is almost the last step before making a fine product of the chocolate. It has been called grinding the roasted nibs for hours to get the real chocolate from the cocoa nibs. Cocoa beans contain a natural cocoa butter. This cocoa butter comes out in the oil format in the grinder with constant rolling and pressing. This makes a whole new format of the chocolate into a paste. 

Here discussing about the refiners, there are many refiners available in the market. Always trust bigger companies because the machines sometimes have to run for 72hrs non stop where heavy duty is involved. In such cases, only big companies can afford to make the best standard equipment. 

The refiners should run non stop depends upon what type of chocolate you are doing, like milk, dark or white chocolate. Usually to make a smooth milk chocolate running the grinders for a non stop of 12hrs is a must.
Chocolate tempering - Working with temperatures

Chocolate tempering

Chocolate tempering is the last step in the bean to bar chocolate making. What is chocolate tempering? Why it is required? Will it give a different taste experience? What are the chocolate tempering methods?

In chocolate factory, usually they will not do a separate tempering, while in the process of making the chocolate while in the refining process, they increase the chocolate mass temperature to a certain level (depends upon which chocolate you are making, dark, milk or white). Later using different cooling methods they makes down the temperature of the chocolate mass and later increase the chocolate temperature to a different state, again this is also related to which chocolate you are making.

Why chocolate tempering is required, it is to bring a good texture, glossy and attractive and also to increase the shelf life of the chocolate. A well tempered chocolate is an example of a perfect chocolate.<br>Mostly a tempered chocolate gives good experience, but it may not give a different change in the taste. But there is a proverb in English, What looks good is tastes good. So to make a good looking food is important to bring a good taste experience.

There are few proven and practiced chocolate tempering methods. Usually in the industries, they have chocolate tempering machines, which are automatically managed and does the job mostly with accuracy. This method is mostly adopted by large scale chocolate manufacturers. But in small scale people use seeding method and table methods mostly. You may find about these methods mostly on YouTube and other tutorials easily.

Closure

We tried to give a brief knowledge on the bean to bar how the chocolate is made. There are many myths around the chocolate making and many parents are cautious about giving chocolate to their kids. Most of the big companies follow a healthy and hygienic method to make the chocolate. Different companies and individuals use different methods and machines to bring their desired quality of the bean to bar chocolate making.

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