How Is Chocolate Made?

I am declaring next week on the blog Chocolate week.  Every day next week I will share a recipe that contains chocolate as one of the ingredients.  There will be easy child friendly recipes that the kids can literally make on their own and also some just for us adults recipes.

Just like a lot of things in life too much can be bad for you.  Chocolate is high in calories which is probably why it tastes so good.

Milk Chocolate has 535 kcal per 100g

White Chocolate has 539 kcal per 100g

Dark Chocolate has 546 kcal per 100g

This is because the cocoa bean is 54% fat (Cocoa Butter).  The bean is also made up of 31% carbohydrates, 11% protein, 3% polyphenols (Type of antioxidant) and 1% minerals.

To make chocolate from the beans they are first roasted to bring out the flavour for up to 2 hours dependantant upon the variety of cocoa beans.  The beans are then cracked and the hard outer shells removed.  The inside of the bean is called a  cacao nibs and has a very strong but bitter chocolate taste.  The nibs are then crushed and ground in to a thick paste.  The paste is then squeezed under a press resulting in a powder and a liquid.  The powder is then used to make ‘cocoa powder’ and the liquid is used to make bars of chocolate.

To the liquid is added sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla, and milk.  The differing amounts of these ingredients will give you either milk or dark chocolate.  If more milk and cocoa butter added then you will have milk chocolate and when minimal amounts are added you will get a higher proportion of cocoa solids and have dark chocolate.  The ‘chocolate’ is then passed through rollers to ensure it has a smooth texture.  The chocolate is then heated and cooled over a period of a few hours for cheaper chocolate to up to 6 days for the more luxurious brands.

The warm chocolate is then poured in to various molds and hey presto you have a chocolate bunny, chocolate egg or a regular bar of chocolate.

Although high in fat chocolate, in moderation, does have some health benefits.  However, the chocolate needs to be of the dark variety preferably 70% Cocoa solids.  This is achieved by adding a minimal amount of cocoa butter and milk in to the cocoa paste.

White chocolate does not contain the chocolate paste.  Instead it is made from cocoa butter with larger quantities of sugar added to balance the fat content.

What is it you like about chocolate and which is your favourite type?

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