Chocolate is one of the most popular confectionery products in the world. It is also a favorite ingredient in many delicious treats such as candy bars, cakes and cookies. It is so popular that, on average, each American eats 14 pounds (6 kilograms) of chocolate per year! Let’s take a closer look at how this tasty food is made.
How is chocolate made?
The unique flavor of chocolate comes from the seeds of the cacao tree. However, these are quite bitter and must be fermented to improve the flavor. After this has occurred the seeds are dried, cleaned and roasted. Finally, the shell is removed. What is left is ground to produce cocoa mass, which is liquefied into chocolate liquor. This may be further processed into cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
The actual chocolate making process begins with the blending of the ingredients. This varies between the different types of chocolate, but for a standard milk chocolate the recipe may include; cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, sugar, milk or milk powder, soy lecithin, and vanilla. In the next process, called conching, the chocolate is mixed and agitated to evenly distribute the ingredients throughout the chocolate. It also gives the chocolate its much loved smooth texture. This process may take up to 72 hours. The final process is tempering which is done to produce the best type of cocoa butter crystals. Doing this ensures the chocolate remains firm and doesn’t melt too easily.
Watch the following video showing how chocolate is mass produced in a factory: