What can I say we have just driven through some of the prettiest countryside the past few days. We have travelled from Shoalhaven Heads in NSW to Phillip Island in VIC, along the Princes Highway. I loved travelling along the road and seeing all the different wild flowers out in bloom, they were so lovely.
So back on task we are now in Phillip Island and enjoying some of the sights, but the one place that really took my fancy was the Chocolate factory. Who doesn’t love chocolate, but if you are like me and can’t tolerate the dairy that they put into a lot of chocolate you will like this place, for there dark chocolate does not contain dairy. (guess who was now in chocolate heaven)
Processes to get chocolate
The process starts right back at the cocoa tree, where the cocoa pods are harvested. Harvest takes place every 6 months and the pods need to sound hollow and have a pale yellow through to deep red colour about them. Now that the pods are harvested they are cut open ever so carefully as not to damage the beans inside. The beans are then removed from the pod and left to ferment for around five to seven days. After this time the beans are spread out and left to dry in the sun for about six more days. Now we are starting to get down to the tasty part of this process, the roasting. The dried beans are then roasted; this brings out their flavour and also removes the remaining water content that they have. Roasting temperatures and times affect the taste of the cocoa. This is the point at which some people will recognise cocoa. After being roasted they are then put through a crusher to remove the shell and reveal the nibs that are inside. The nibs are what chocolate is made from. Nibs are also very nice to eat just the way they are. Grinding the nibs together produces a paste like consistency called cocoa liquor. The reason the roasted nuts turn to a paste is due to their high oil content which is then pressed out of the liquor, forming 2 parts to the original nib. Cocoa butter (oil) and cocoa cake (ground into cocoa powder). Not long now till we have sweet sweet Chocolate. Cocoa butter is then mixed with some cocoa liquor, sugar, lecithin and other ingredients to form chocolate.
So there you have it in short that is how chocolate is made.