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The charms of Chocolate

CDLP | Updated: 2020-04-12 12:49
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When did you first become so passionate about the cacao bean?

As the son and grandson of winegrowers, I became interested in processing cacao beans. There's a very strong relationship between the preparation of wine and that of cacao, both of which are the result of alcoholic fermentation. This process leads to acetic fermentation via malolactic fermentation. Unlike wine, processed chocolate doesn't improve with time-quite the opposite.

So how exactly are the beans transformed into chocolate?

After fermentation and drying of the beans, the preparation consists of very light roasting-the Maillard reaction-then shelling and removing the germ. The beans are left to be ground and transformed into a paste with a texture of less than 12 microns. It's left to be sweetened, more or less to balance the acidity. Large cacao beans are always slightly more acidic than "merchant" cacao beans.

Like wine, chocolate is a pure product. Just as one prepares a kir or sangria, it's possible to add things like dry milk to it, or even something else. The so-called "white chocolate" is made of the fat (called "cocoa butter") obtained by pressure, to which dry milk and sugar are added.

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