Once they arrive at the chocolate factory, the cacao beans find their way to the roaster. Roasting is a key process which not only dislodges the kernel from the shell but also develops the cacao’s characteristic flavour.
By crushing and grinding the roasted cacao kernels, the cacao fat is liquified and extracted from the remaining mass. The result is what is called cacao butter, one of the most important ingredients in chocolate production. Another essential ingredient is the ground, light-brown cacao mass, which forms the basis for every dark or whole milk chocolate.
This is where the real chocolate artistry begins. The so-called ‚melangeur‘ mixes and kneads the various ingredients, according to the desired type and quality of chocolate. Steel rollers mill the grainy cacao mass until it acquires a liquid consistency.
The heart of any chocolate factory is the conching room. Here you find the conches, in which the cacao mass is constantly stirred and evenly heated, according to the desired quality of the chocolate. For high quality chocolate the process may require several days more. Conching determines the smoothness of the chocolate and develops its final flavour. Next follows a sophisticated tempering process in which particular fat components must be balanced. Now the chocolate is ready to be moulded.