Process of Making Chocolate
Most industrial chocolate makers make chocolate from semi-finished products (pre-grounded cacao liquor, cocoa butter etc.), achieving cost-saving and consistency in product. As a small batch chocolate maker, we do things a little differently. Aiming to bring out the best flavours from every batch of cacao, we make our chocolate the manual and time-consuming way.
We start by sourcing fine cacao from trusted producers all over the world. They take care of the cacao trees, harvest when the pods are ripe, and ferment the seeds and pulp in wooden boxes to allow flavour development. Once properly fermented, the cacao beans are sun-dried or artificially dried before shipping to our factory.
Next, we go through the cocoa beans manually to remove flawed beans and debris which would otherwise impart undesirable flavours to the chocolate.
The sorted cocoa beans are then carefully roasted to develop deep complex flavours. This is a crucial flavour-determining step. We roast every cacao differently to bring out the flavours we think are best for the beans.
Cracking & Winnowing
Roasted cocoa beans are allowed to cool before passing through the a machine to crack and remove the shells from the cocoa nibs. The shells are set aside as mulch for our garden herbs. Nothing goes to waste.
Cocoa nibs are grounded into a paste called cocoa liquor. This 100% cocoa has a very course texture resembling nut butter.
Refining & Conching
The cocoa liqueur is refined and conched with sugar in a melangeur for up to 48 hours. This process serves two purposes. It smoothens the chocolate's texture and further develops flavour by removing undesirable volatile acid. Chocolate is made with cocoa, sugar and time.
Tempering & Moulding
The chocolate is tempered by bringing it through a temperature curve to encourage type V crystal growth. This crucial step gives the finished chocolate its beautiful gloss, clean snap and sharp melting profile.
Tempered chocolate is poured into moulds and vibrated to remove air bubbles trapped in the chocolate. This goes into the fridge to allow the chocolate to set and contract away from the mould.