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
Kids Cooking Activities Teaching Materials
Make teaching easier with our activities and recipes compiled in theme sets and books with an easy to read format
Perfect for teaching!
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How Chocolate is Made
Where Does it Come From?
Let's learn how chocolate is 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 cacao tree.
From the halls of Montezuma Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations use
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 was a few thousand 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, you'll find about fifty or more seeds within a
Young cocoa bean plant
How is chocolate made starts with these cocoa beans inside a cocoa
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.
Roasted Cocoa Beans
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
Semisweet morsels -These
are perfect for chocolate chip cookies or any type of add ins in
Semisweet bricks -This
is baking chocolate. It can be cut up and melted for chocolate
candy, chocolate cakes and icings.
Unsweetened dark 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
Dark or milk 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.
Cocoa powder - 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
Make teaching easier with our activities and recipes compiled in one easy to read format.
Now that we've answered the question, how chocolate is made, try
creating some easy recipes.
1 stick + 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, cold and cut into
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.
Chocolate Edible Bowl
Make an edible bowl out of chocolate! Ingredients and Materials Needed:
2 Cups Chocolate Chips
1 Cup measuring
1. First, lay out all materials and items listed above on the table
or your work area.
2. Lay wax paper on your baking sheet.
3. Clean, dry and blow up your balloons.
4. Blow up your balloons so the bottom is the shape you want your
bowl to be.
5. In a saucepan, add 2 cups of chocolate chips.
6. Stir until completely melted.
7. Place a small amount of melted chocolate on the wax paper. This
is the base of your bowl.
8. One at a time dip your balloons in the chocolate.
9. If desired, dip into sprinkles, crushed cookies, etc.
10. Place dipped balloons on your wax paper.
12. Once you have done all your balloons, let it sit overnight or
put it in the fridge for 10 minutes.
13. Cut the top of the balloon.
14. Carefully peel the balloon off once deflated. Fill your bowl as
**If the melted chocolate turns hard while you are dipping, heat it
on the stove again.
2½ C. heavy cream, divided
8 oz. high-quality semi-sweet chocolate chips or baking
1. Heat 1 cup of heavy cream with chocolate chips over medium-low
heat, stirring constantly, until chips have melted. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and sugar with a hand-held mixer at
medium speed for 3-minutes.
3. While mixing on the same setting as above, slowly add the melted
chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. Stir in the orange zest, if
using. Once combined, pour back into the pan used to melt the
chocolate. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until
4. Remove from heat and cool slightly before transferring to the
refrigerator to chill for 2 hours.
5. Once chilled, whip the remaining heavy cream until stiff peaks
form. Gently fold the chilled chocolate into the whipped cream until
thoroughly combined. The mixture should have a fluffy consistency. .
6. To serve, spoon chocolate mousse into a piping bag and pipe into
small dessert dishes. Top with whipped cream and maraschino cherries
or mandarin oranges, if desired. Enjoy!