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How is chocolate made?

Chocolate is basically made from Cocoa bean. Cocoa bean is the seed of a cocoa fruits. The beans are first roasted, cracked and de-shelled. The resulting piece is what is known as cocoa nibs.

Cocoa nibs are grinded into creamy paste known Chocolate liquor. Chocolate Liquor is roughly 50% cocoa solids and 50% cocoa butter. Some of chocolate liquor at this point of time will then be further processed to separate the cocoa solid from cocoa butter.

Before continuing further, it would be good to elaborate more on what is cocoa solids and cocoa butter.

What is cocoa butter, cocoa solid?

Cocoa solid is what gives chocolate the reddish brown colour and “chocolatey taste”. It can be grounded into cocoa powder.

In contrast, cocoa butter is the fatty part of the cocoa bean. It is yellowish in colour and contains hardly any “chocolatey taste”. Cocoa butter instead presents a creamy texture to chocolate. For those who are oblivious, white chocolate is in reality make purely from cocoa butter without any cocoa solid. I don’t really fancy white chocolate because it is technically not chocolate.

To manufacture chocolate, sugar and cocoa butter that has been separated have to be added into the chocolate liquor. Pure chocolate liquor is usually too bitter to be made into chocolate.   This is then known as bittersweet or semisweet chocolate.

What does 80% cocoa content means?

The next time you chanced upon a chocolate bar that says 80% cocoa content, it refers to both cocoa solid and cocoa butter. It can be 60% cocoa butter, 20% cocoa solid or any other possible combination. Therefore if you are looking for real dark chocolate and those which really taste utterly chocolaty, always go for cocoa solid content rather than relying on the just the cocoa content.

Super premium chocolate

If you are craving for some really exquisite chocolate which naturally comes with a rather insane price tag, you can try the Amedei Porcelana. It is created from these translucent, white cocoa beans of a variety called “Porcelana” due to its porcelain-like color. This type of cocoa bean is extremely rare. Amedei produces only 20,000 of Amedei Porcelana chocolate bar (50g) per year with each bar individually numbered.

I once chanced upon the Amedei Porcelana retailing at this small gelato shop at the Icon Village. (near Tanjong MRT)  If my memory serves me well, a 50g bar costs in excess of SGD50. Yup, now you know why some refer chocolate as the black gold.

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