According to where cocoa beans grow, they have different flavours.
Historically there are three different species of cocoa tree. The trees that we see in the plantations today are usually cultivated or coincidental hybrids, each with their own particular characteristics:
• FORASTERO :
is a stonger type of tree that is easier to cultivate and produces larger yields. The cocoa pods have a very pale color and a coarser , stronger aroma. Cocoa from the "Forastero" beans is often called bulk cocoa because it gives Chocolate a typical recognizable basic aroma. This cocoa therefore forms the basic ingredient in most Chocolates and can often account for 80% of the cocoa mixture.
• CRIOLLO :
also known as the prince among the cocoa trees, produces pods with a very thin peel. The cocoa itself has a very pale color and a unique refined aroma. This variety produces a small harvest and is also very fragile.
• TRINITARIO :
is a cross of both types of trees and has characteristics of both of these; it has a strong but relatively refined aroma and moreover is very easy to cultivate.
Endulgence for many among us is born from cocoa seeds.
The cocoa is extracted from the cocoa tree. It is the basic ingredient of Chocolate.
A cocoa tree reaches maturity after about 12 years. Every year a good cocoa tree produces fruit, about 25 of them, that are called "cabosses." The cocoa tree grows in a hot and very humid climate.
WHAT'S A « CABOSSE » ?
It’s the fruit of the cocoa tree that is shaped like a little rugby ball. Its hard skin protects the cocoa beans. As it matures it changes its colour and goes from green to yellow and then to an orange brownish-red.
It takes 5 to 7 months for a "cabosse" to mature properly. It contains 30 to 50 beans arrange dina white jelly-like substance.
The harvest takes place twice a year. The "cabosses" are collected and opened to extract the beans. These beans will ferment for 1 to 7 days to lose a little of their bitterness and develop their aroma.
THE BEANS ?
These are beans that are inside the "cabosses" of the cocoa tree and that take on the distinctive type of cocoa beans once they have fermented and been dried.
Then they will be dried, going from 60 to 6 % humidity. They are
roasted and then ground (concassage). The roasting develops the aroma, that is, it allows the aroma to come out of the beans, removing the envelope that surrounds them.
WHAT DOES « CONCASSAGE » MEAN ?
To reduce to small pieces. The beans then go into mills. Under the pressure and heat they turn into a smooth and creamy substance, cocoa paste. This cocoa paste has two uses :
Part of this paste is placed into presses in order to extract the cocoa butter : the cocoa powder.
The other part undergoes changes and refining ans ends up as chocolate. The cocoa butter is added in greater or lesser quantities.
WHAT DOES « CONCHAGE » MEAN ?
It is the refining of the paste. The "conches" are the basins in which the paste is heated, stirred and beaten continually for several days.
Thanks to this procedure, the chocolate loses its bitter taste and its gritty consistency, acquiring a homogenous, velvety aspect.
"Conching" gives Chocolate its smooth, creamy texture, realising its finest aromas.
THE CHOCOLATE MAKING.
DARK CHOCOLATE :
It is made with variable proportions of cocoa paste, cocoa butter to give a more creamy, rich aspect, and sugar. The weight of the cocoa paste and the cocoa butter compared to the total weight will determine the percentage % in cocoa.
WATCH OUT ! This is not synonymous with quality, all depends on the quality of the beans and of the "conchage" !
MILK CHOCOLATE :
It is made from cocoa, sugar and powdered milk and sometimes with emulsifiers and soya lecithin in industrially made chocolates.
WHITE CHOCOLATE DOES NOT EXIST !
It is made up of cocoa butter, milk and sugar.
It is simply a victim of a misunderstanding, it’s confectionery. Besides, there is the fact that it is too sweet, too fatty, too heavy on the tongue, lacking bitterness and balance.
AN IMPORTANT FACTOR :
According to the colour that one would like to get, some manufacturers put into the "conchage" machine cocoa paste, sugar and even milk powder, vanilla, soya lecithin and unfortunately other vegetable fats…The "conchage" can last for up to two days according to the quality of the chocolate. The industrial manufacturers do the "conchage" for 8 to 9 hours. The artisans a lot more. The industrial manufacturers (the multinationals buy up entire regions, then everything is mixed up (variety). Hence the harvest method and the random fermentation. Quality against quantity.
THE LAST STAGE : THE TEMPERING
Periods of alternating cold and hot controlled temperatures to bring it to a stable crystallisation giving to the product a brilliant smoothness with a certain hardness that melts in the mouth.
MISE AU POINT
Le beurre de cacao ne favorise pas la formation de mauvais cholestérol, contrairement aux autres graisses végétales autorisées.
QU'EST-CE-QUE LE BEURRE DE CACAO ?
Constituant naturel des fèves de cacao.Composant de la phase grasse du
Chocolat. Partie vivante du Chocolat : Il assure la qualité physique du
chocolat et en partie sa qualité organoleptique.
QU'EST-CE-QUE LA COUVERTURE ?
Variété de Chocolat plus riche en pâte et beurre de cacao. Il est
réservé aux artisans chocolatiers, confiseurs, patissiers pour la
confection de leurs produits (glacer, décorer, mouler) et l'enrobage.
QU'EST-CE-QUE LE FOURRAGE ?
Intérieur du bonbon au chocolat.
QU'EST-CE-QU'UN " CRU" ?
C'est un produit développé dans une région et qui lui est propre. En
fonction de leurs lieux de récolte, ils ont une saveur différente.
Petit carré de chocolat enveloppé et servi avec le café.
Fèves de cacao séchées , torréfiées et concassées.
HOW TO STORE IT AWAY FROM HARM ?
To preserve its full flavour, we recommend the storing of the Chocolate in a cool dry place at 60°F-65°F.
It’s a product that does not cope well with changes in temperature, for they cause it to melt or to whiten (due to the accumulation of sugar or cocoa butter on its surface). It also has to be kept well away from odours because of its high fat content.
WHAT’S A "CRU" ?
It is a product developped in a definite area and which belongs to that area.
According to where cocoa beans grow, they have different flavours.
A mixture of grated Chocolate, fresh cream and butter. It may be taken on its own or flavoured with coffee, tea, spices, spirits or stewed fruits.
is still obtained in the traditionnal way. Large cauldrons made out of copper are heated straight on fire. Entire almonds and hazelnuts are roasted with sugar cane turned into caramel.
Almonds roasted in caramelised sugar.
Crushed mix of Chocolate and roasted hazelnuts.
Almond paste :
Blanched almonds crushed with sugar.
Sugar syrup with the chosen alcohol, heated then left to rest so that the sugar crystallises naturally around the alcohol.