If you ever wondered how is chocolate made or where does chocolate
come from, then this page will help you discover the answers plus
share a few chocolate facts and easy chocolate recipes.
Planned Kids Cooking Curriculum
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How Chocolate is Made
Where does chocolate come from?
To learn how is chocolate made first, you'll never believe what the
chocolate that we enjoy today looks like from the beginning.
It all begins south of the equator in large pods that grow on the
From the halls of Montezuma Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations used
to give the cacao tree an important place in society. The Mayans and
the Aztecs used to use cocoa beans as currency. Crushed cocoa beans
were used to make a bitter liquid called xocoatl. Only royalty and
the best military warriors could gain access to the drink. It wasnt
until European settlers came to South America and Africa that the
cocoa bean made its way to the modern world.
Even though that has a few hundred years ago, the process of
prepping the cocoa bean for chocolate manufacturing remains pretty
much the same. Cacao trees produce large fruit pods on the
trunk of the tree. The pods are harvested with machetes. When you
crack them open, youll find about fifty or more seeds within a
sweet pulp. Young cocoa bean plantHow is chocolate made starts with these cocoa
beans inside a cocoa fruit.
How is chocolate made from cocoa beans?
The pulp and the cocoa beans are removed and placed in buckets for
fermentation. Depending on the type of cacao tree and the
manufacturer, the process can take a week or longer.
Fermentation gives the beans some semblance of the chocolate taste
we like. Once the fermentation process is complete, the cocoa beans
are spread out so that they can dry naturally in the sun.
It is the dried beans that are shipped to chocolate manufacturers
all over the world. Once there, the beans are roasted, much like
coffee beans. Roasting intensifies the final taste of the chocolate.
When the beans are ready, the shells are then removed. What you are
left with is the essence of the bean cocoa butter and other
chocolate solids. Now, how is chocolate made from this, read on.
A machine grounds the shelled beans into a paste that is referred to
as chocolate liquor even though it is not a liquid or contains
alcohol. From here, it is a magical process, if you will, that
varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Even though some of the ingredients are trade secrets, the process
is quite similar. The chocolate paste goes through a machine that
removes the cocoa butter. This leaves you with a powdery cocoa.
Substances like cocoa butter (re-added), sugar, milk, oil and the
like are added to reconstitute the powder into chocolate. The last
step in chocolate making is conching.
The chocolate is mixed in a large machine until it is the
consistency the manufacturer likes. After, the chocolate is poured
into molds, allowed to cool, wrapped up and then packaged for
Unsweetened dark chocolate
bars Unsweetened chocolate is used for recipes
that call for other sweet ingredients like sugar or honey to
offset the bitter taste. Many unsweetened dark chocolate bars
dont contain anything but cocoa solids so they are safe for
those with food allergies.
Dark chocolate or milk chocolate bars
With or without the nuts or fruit pieces, these are great for
eating. Milk chocolate is creamy but the added milk also adds
calories and fat. Depending on the chocolate manufacturer, you
may get a different taste with each brand you try.
This is where the chocolate begins as a presscake once the cocoa
butter is removed. The presscake can then be packaged as cocoa
powder for hot chocolate and also for baking. Unsweetened baking
cocoa is best for recipes. Hot chocolate has other dried
ingredients added like sugar and dehydrated marshmallows. It is
just for drinking.
Make teaching easier with our activities and recipes compiled in one easy to read format. ***Also available in paperback.
Easy Chocolate Recipes
Now that we've answered the question, how is chocolate made, create
some easy chocolate recipes.
2 Cups flour
4 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 stick + 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, cold and cut into small
1 Cup of semisweet chocolate chips
1 large egg yolk
1/2 Cup of half and half, chilled
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a baking sheet and
Add the flour into a mixing bowl. Add 4 T of sugar, the baking
powder and the salt and whisk until blended well. Add butter pieces
over the flour mixture and blend together until mixture is crumbly.
Mix in the chocolate chips. Place the egg yolk into a small mixing
bowl. Whisk in the half and half until well blended. Pour the egg
mixture over the flour mixture and stir with a fork until a soft
moist dough forms. Sprinkle a little flour over a flat surface such
as a cutting board. Place the dough on the prepared surface and
knead with your hands 6 times.
Pat the dough out to form an even circle or press into a small
cookie sheet. Cut the disk into 6 pieces with a sharp knife. Place
the scones on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the remaining 1 t
of sugar evenly over all the scones.
Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown on bottom and just starting to
brown on top. Cool the scones on a wire rack. Makes about 6 scones,
Chocolate Rice Crispy Balls
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 -10 oz bag of mini marshmallows or 7 oz. marshmallow fluff
6 Cups of rice crispy cereal
1/4-1/2 Cup semisweet chocolate chips
Cover 2 baking sheets with wax paper, set aside. Place the butter
into a large saucepan. Place the pan over medium high heat and allow
the butter to begin to melt. Stir in the cocoa powder until blended
in well. Add the marshmallows and stirring often, heat for 5 minutes
or until the marshmallows has completely melted.
Take off the heat and stir in the cereal until well coated. Stir in
half of the chocolate chips. Lightly oil your hands with liquid oil.
Form the mixture into balls about the size of golf balls. Place the
balls on the prepared baking sheets. Let the balls stand at room
temperature until cooled.