Elaboration of the chocolate
Toasting, roasting and shelling
The first step is the washing and toasting of the cacao beans, to increase the aroma and to clear the skin of the seeds.
The following step is the roasting of the already toasted cacao beans, in huge revolving spheres, in which they are roasted during few minutes between 110°C and 120 °C, to eliminate the humidity and the acidity, and to boost the development of the aromas.
Once they are cold, the beans are placed in a machine of shelling and sifting that opens toasted grains and separates the skins of the part to be eaten.
Mixed of different types of cacao and crushed: cacao paste
The following step is the mixture. The final flavour of the chocolate depends on the selection and mixtures of diverse cacao grain types.
Next, the cacao beans are milled once already mixed. The crushed beans happen through a battery of mills and they are heated under a constant temperature of 60-80º; the duration of this treatment can go from 18 until 72 hours. The duration influences in the texture of the chocolate: the greater time, the major fineness in the texture.
As a result of the crushing, the cocoa butter liberation process takes place and after is liquefied. The result is a fluid paste but dense: the cacao paste.
Extraction of cocoa butter
This paste is homogenised and is warmed at 100º, after it is introduced in a hydraulic presses, extracting therefore cocoa butter. The original cacao paste reduces its fat content between 8 and 22%. On the other hand cocoa butter is obtained.
The elaboration of the chocolate happens through its last phase with the mixture of cocoa butter with sugar, and the refinement of the resulting composition with crushing machine-refiners in a very fine and thin paste.
Conching and tempering
The conching is an additional kneading in troughs. The paste is beaten and stretched with some rollers, during a period of time and to a temperature that vary according to the product and refinement that is wanted to obtain.
The last step is the tempering, that consists of melting the chocolate at 50°C, so that the crystalline structures of cocoa butter are broken, to cool it at 30ºC, and finally increasing its temperature until the crystals are grouped again.
Normally, the chocolate has added vanilla like perfuming, and soya lecithin like stabilizer and emulsifier to improve the texture. Altogether, both products do not surpass 1% of the chocolate.