Wikijunior:How Things Are Made/Food/Chocolate

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Products[edit | edit source]

Chocolate can be found in many forms such as cocoa, candy bars, cakes and cookies). Chocolate comes from cocoa beans and cocoa trees first grew in South America's river valleys. By the seventh century A.D., the Mayan Indians had brought them north into Mexico. Many other Central American Indians, including the Aztecs and the Toltecs, seem to have grown cocoa trees, and the words "chocolate" and "cocoa" come from the Aztec language. When Spanish explorers arrived in Central America in the fifteenth century, they noted that cocoa beans were used as a type of money and that the upper class of the native populations drank cacahuatl, a frothy drink made of roasted cocoa beans mixed with red pepper, vanilla, and water.

What do we need to make this thing?[edit | edit source]

Cocoa beans are the main part of chocolate. Other ingredients are added, including sugar or other sweeteners, flavoring , and cocoa butters.

What is the step by step process?[edit | edit source]

  • Step 1: Cocoa beans are roasted, first on screens and then in revolving cylinders through which heated air is blown. Over a period of 30 minutes to 2 hours, the water in the beans is reduced from about 7% to about 1%. The roasting process triggers a browning reaction, in which more than 300 different chemicals present in the cocoa beans interact. The beans now begin to develop the rich flavor we associate with chocolate.
  • Step 2: Roasting also causes the shells to open and break away from the nibs (the meat of the bean). This separation process can be completed by blowing air across the beans as they go through a giant winnowing machine called a cracker and fanner, which loosens the hulls from the beans without crushing them. The hulls, now separated from the nibs, are usually sold as either mulch or fertilizer. They are also sometimes used as a commercial boiler fuel.
  • Step 3: Next, the roasted nibs undergo broyage, a process of crushing that takes place in a grinder made of revolving granite blocks.The design of the grinder may vary, but most resemble old-fashioned flour mills. The final product of this grinding process, made up of small particles of the nib suspended in oil, is a thick syrup known as chocolate liquor.
  • Step 4: The next step is refining, during which the liquor is further ground between sets of revolving metal drums. Each successive rolling is faster than the preceding one because the liquor is becoming smoother and flows easier. The ultimate goal is to reduce the size of the particles in the liquor to about 0.03 cm.
  • Step 5: The liquor is remixed with cocoa butter. The restored cocoa butter is necessary for texture and consistency, and different types of chocolate require different amounts of cocoa butter.
  • Step 6: The mixture now undergoes a process known as conching, in which it is continuously turned and ground in a huge open vat. The process's name derives from older vats, which resembled large conch shells. The conching process can last about three hours This is the most important step in making chocolate. The speed and temperature of the mixing are critical in determining the quality of the final product.

The ingredients added during conching determined what type of chocolate is produced: sweet chocolate consists of chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sugar, and vanilla; milk chocolate contains sweet chocolate with powdered whole milk or whole liquid milk.

  • Step 7: The chocolate is poured into molds, cooled, cut, and packaged