Making Chocolate from Scratch is not such a complicated process as you might think. It’s the ingredients that have the most influence on the quality of the outcome and not the process itself. However, knowing how did your favourite snack came on your table might just keep you at rest. Let’s get started.
Making Chocolate from Scratch – the factory
Most of the cocoa beans arrive from West Africa, which grows over 70% of the world’s crop. The beans come in large bags, then come through the cleaning system where they are cleaned of debris like twigs and stones.
On the next stop, the beans are heated so their shell would loosen up. After that, they will enter the shell-removing machine, where beans are dragged across screens which pull off large pieces of shell. They will also use a vacuum to suck out the remaining smaller pieces.
The insides of the cocoa beans are called ‘nibs’. Before becoming chocolate, they will be roasted for releasing the flavour. Did you know that 50% of the nib is fat? That fat is what we call cocoa butter and it’s an essential ingredient of chocolate.
To create chocolate, sugar, processed nibs and cocoa butter are mixed together. For milk chocolate, milk powder is added to the mixture. Nibs are first being processed by grinding, where heat and friction create a ‘chocolate liquor which is pure liquid chocolate.
Some of the cocoa butter is extracted to be sold separately which is essential for making chocolate at home. The mixture for chocolate needs to be mixed into the thick cake batter, then passed through sets of rollers which will smooth out the texture.
After that processing, the factory gets the chocolate powder. However, it needs to be reliquified with heat and friction. When turned in liquid, the factory will add more cocoa butter to reduce the viscosity and get the thickness they need.
The thickness depends on what’s being made from it. If they’re making chocolate chips, then they’ll add much less than for example, thin chocolate coating. Then, chocolate is poured into moulds or turned into shapes and cooled down so it can be packed and ready to go.
Making Chocolate at Home
To make chocolate at home, you’ll need sugar (preferably powdered), cocoa butter and cocoa. You’ll also need something to unify the mixture, like coconut oil. Then, you need to heat it up and pour the mixture into the moulds. It can be hard to get the right consistency and you can’t know if you got it right until the chocolate cools down. However, you can reheat it again and add stuff to the mixture.
If you want better quality and really make it from scratch, you can get the cocoa beans and roast them. Watch the video below for detailed instructions.