Alison is a lover of chocolate. A proper, full-on, don’t-you-dare-touch-my-Dairy-Milk chocaholic. At a job interview with Shell, she was asked what was man’s greatest invention. “Chocolate” was her immediate reply (she didn’t get the job). Rumour has it that the Police only found the left earlobe of an erstwhile boyfriend who dared eat the last Rolo (OK, maybe I made that bit up, but the job interview story is 100% true).
She’s also a bit of a masochist (she did pick me, after all). I can find no other explanation why, at the very same time as her supply of Dairy Milk (brought from England by Granny) has dwindled to it’s last enticing bar, she would set Matt and Ben a homework project entitled ‘How Chocolate is Made’. She had to endure repeated YouTube videos on the process of chocolate making. (Luckily the only videos we could find were how Hershey’s is made, so in her eyes not chocolate at all, or she might have eaten the computer). She had to answer endless questions from Matthew about cacao beans, sugar and milk and how they are made into the silky-brown ambrosia that she so badly craves. She had to help Ben translate the same into Spanish.
And to ensure her agony endures (at least until the next
Mercy Flight delivery of Cadbury’s is possible), here are the results of the boy’s projects. Once again, Ben has written his in Spanish. Once again, Matthew goes into precise mathematical (and also anatomical) detail. We hope you love their accounts (and Al, don’t criticise my Roast Potatoes again or next time I’ll set your screensaver to a high-res photo of a Dairy Milk bar…..):
How They Make Chocolate – by Matt
The raw ingredients are: milk, sugar and cacao beans.
The milk used in chocolate is usually cows milk. Cows eat grass which is hard to digest so they have four stomachs. Like all mammals they make milk to feed their babies (calves) but cows make so much that there is lots left over to make things like cheese, yoghurt, ice-cream and chocolate.
Sugar cane grows in warm tropical climates like here in the Dominican Republic. We see it growing in fields by the side of the road all over the island. Sugar cane stalks grow to between 2 and 6 metres tall. These stalks contain sugar which is used to make sweets and chocolate. The children here eat it all the time and it looks like they are chewing on a stick but they are very sweet and nice.
The cacao tree is a small tree, 4 to 6 metres tall, originally from South America. It grows in tropical climates where there is lots of sunshine and lots of rain like the Dominican Republic. Chocolate is made from the beans of the cacao tree. The beans come from big purple pod that hangs down from the tree. We can see them by the side of the road to Cabarete.
The cacao beans are sorted for different flavours and countries of origin and different flavoured beans are mixed together to get different types of and different tastes of chocolate.
The cacao beans are roasted in a rotating cylinder using currents of warm air. Then the beans go through a process called “winnowing” where the mixed beans are blown against a metal wall which separates the cacao nut that will be used to make chocolate from the hard shell. The cacao beans are milled and the heat of the milling process melts the milled cacao beans into chocolate liquor. The chocolate liquor is then mixed in with precise amounts of milk and sugar. They then add back precise amounts of cocoa butter to make different tastes of chocolate. The chocolate is then dried into “krum”. The “krum” is then fed into a mixer where more cocoa butter is added. The chocolate is then poured into moulds and left to cool.
Como se hacen chocolate – de Ben
Azucar: azucar se hace de canas de azucar. Las canas se molinan para separar el jugo y la pulpa. Se cristaliza el jugo para hacer azucar y tambien separan las habichuelas segun su pais de origin.
Leche: necesitas vacas para tener la leche.
Habichuelas de cacao: En Africa y en America del Sur se cataron las habichuelas de cacao del arbol. Entonces se romperon el conche de las nueces.
La primera cosa a hacer – tostan las habichuelas de cacao. Despues, ellos molinan las habichuelas de cacao. Mezlcan las habichuelas con azucar y leche hasta esta una pasta de chocolate. La mantequilla de cacao es anadido en cantidades exactos para obtenir sabores different. Ellos forman las chocolates y despues tienen que secar.