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How cocoa beans become chocolate

In my last post I talked about the cocoa beans, where they come from and where they go to be processed, today I’m going to explain a little bit about how they are processed….
So, once the beanologist has got the blend is perfect, it's time for roasting - a crucial step in bringing the flavor precursors in the cocoa bean to life. This is done by roasting the whole cocoa beans in the natural shell with hot air - this guarantees mildly and evenly roasted cocoa beans from the outside to the core, then any bacteria left is killed with steam.
The beans are then broken up and put into a wind tunnel to separate the shell from the cocoa nibs, which are then ground into a cocoa liquor over multiple steps until it is extremely fine. the result is a dark, pure, and harsh cocoa liquor. Now we start to see the chocolate that we love and know come to life.
At the Callebaut factory they add the best sugars and flaky milk powders from local Belgium suppliers - making it - Belgium chocolate. All the ingredients are then pressed and refined until each particle is smaller than the distance between the taste buds, creating that sensational, round and silky mouthfeel when the chocolate melts in your mouth, releasing its whole flavor to the palate, submerging you in the taste of chocolate.
Before its ready in needs to go through the conching process. Conching is the art of creating harmonious taste. The chocolate is kneaded for hours to ripen the taste and have unwanted acidic flavors evaporate. It takes precisely the right time to obtain the perfect balance: long enough to create roundness in taste and short enough to preserve the desired aromatic top notes, such as fruitiness or refreshing acids.
Callebaut then packages their chocolate and leave it up to chocolatiers or chefs to make their mark on it, that’s where we come in, but before we can use it for our molded chocolates we need to temper it!


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