What if I told you that all you need to make your own chocolate is some cacao beans and sugar? Yes, it is as simple as that! If you read part 1 you are already familiar with the whole process of picking the cacao pods, fermenting the beans and drying them. Now, let’s move to the fun and messy part – making the chocolate itself!
We started with the dried cocoa beans.
The only tool required for the making of chocolate is this traditional corn mill, purchased online (link at the bottom of post).
Before grinding them, the cacao beans need to be roasted. We opted for the traditional method – roasting them in a wok on the stove. The beans need to be stirred constantly, and the dryer they are the less time it takes to roast them.
How do you know when they are done? They smell like chocolate and have a beautiful brown color. Our beans took about 25 min to roast.
Next, the outer shell needs to be peeled off. If the beans are roasted properly, it comes off very easily – you just need to rub the bean with your fingers.
A little time consuming process, but quite exciting at the same time. While taking the shells off, any beans that have bugs/are flat can be discarded. We must have done a good job with out cacao, since we hardly had any bad ones.
We roasted a little over 2 cups of beans, and this what we got after roasting and removing the outer shell.
This is what the outer shells looked like. I tried to make tea with them, because they smelled so good, but it did not work out…
We decided to go for pretty dark chocolate, so we added less than 1/2 cup of raw sugar to the beans.
Ready, set, go! With the mill assembled, now it was a matter of pure muscle (turning the handle), repetition (milling the cacao a couple of times for finer chocolate), and speed (doing the process at fast pace, to prevent the chocolate from hardening).
Unbelievable, but true – even after the very first grind, the cacao was liquefying!
The process was quite messy, but so exciting! The best thing is that it’s hands on and you can lick your fingers at any time 😉
We ground the beans a total of three times and were satisfied with the result. The chocolate was still a little grainy, but tasted incredible! So much more flavorful and pure!
We scraped as much as we could from the mill and spread the chocolate on a piece of aluminum foil. Pretty nice size chocolate bar 😉
This is chocolate from bean to bar! Chill it in the fridge and enjoy! It lasted us about a week or so… Doing the whole process was so fascinating and gratifying! Next time we are going to attempt peanut/mac nut clusters, and possibly chocolate bananas… all the possibilities!
Hopefully this post inspires you to make some chocolate, too! 🙂
Very useful video that guided us through the process.
The corn mill we used.