The 7 Step Process
Roasting is a critical first step in making great
chocolate, which is why Grace Chocolates prefers to purchase and then roast raw cocoa beans. Roasting creates several chemical reactions which affects the taste of the chocolate. Roasting also virtually sterilizes the cocoa bean. Good chocolate always starts with proper roasting.
After roasting the goal is to crack the cocoa beans into pieces and then separate the husk from the nib. To make chocolate, the husk needs to be fully removed. The better the husks are removed the better the chocolate will taste. The roasted cocoa beans are run through a course mill to crack the cocoa beans into large pieces (called nibs) and the husks are separated from the beans and blown away (winnowing).
The next step in chocolate making is to grind the nib into a cocoa liqueur. This step turns the nibs into a liquid chocolate (liqueur) and removes any remaining husk.
Conching is the process used to give quality chocolate a
characteristic taste, smell and texture without the use of
Melanging is the process of reducing the particle sizes of both cocoa solids and sugar crystals in finished chocolate. This is also the step when additional cocoa butter, sugar and powdered milk are added to the chocolate liqueur.
Grace Chocolates are conched and melanged for a minimum of 24 hours.
Once the chocolate is tempered it can be rendered into molds. Since the chocolate is liquid it will flow into a mold and take the shape of that mold.
Grace Chocolate uses professional grade break-away bar molds that will hold 1.8 oz. per bar.
Tempering chocolate is what gives the chocolate bars that finished glossy, shiny appearance and that nice snap when you eat it. It also stabilizes the fat crystals in the chocolate, which adds to the shelf life of a chocolate bar.
Once the chocolate has hardened it is removed from the molds and is ready for final packaging. Grace Chocolate uses a high quality foil wrapper with a food grade liner. This helps to protect the chocolate and also gives the consumer the choice to break-away part of the candy bar and still be able to re-wrap the remaining portion for a later time.