Belgium’s flagship product, recognized beyond its borders, chocolate is a delicacy that is enjoyed almost daily. In a spread, in cocoa, or in a stick, accompanied by hazelnut fragments or filled with praline, the possibilities are numerous as long as you can lick your fingers afterwards. But chocolate is brown, right? So what is white chocolate?
Does chocolate grow on trees?
The chocolate comes from the cocoa bean. The beans are housed in a pod, a large nut that grows on the cocoa tree. But do not taste these beans, they are inedible!
During the harvest, which is a delicate stage, the beans are dried in large baskets and then dried for a few weeks on racks or tarpaulins, in full sun.
In industries, we even use thermal ovens to go faster.
When they are dry, they are heated for 30 minutes at temperatures between 212 and 284 °F so that they can develop their aroma. We are talking about roasting.
From the chocolate bean, what's going on?
The roasted beans are then ground to remove the shell pieces.
The cocoa bean contains several important things: cocoa butter (more than half). The rest are protein, water, starch, and other slow sugars. But we are far from good chocolate. Before arriving at your plate, all this mixture is passed through large crushers to collect a thick and liquid paste. That’s when you add the ingredients like sugar and milk.
For dark chocolate, only sugar is added to the cocoa mass.
In milk chocolate, milk and sugar are added to the cocoa mass. The whole is then mixed to obtain a good creamy chocolate and then cooled gently so that the cocoa butter crystallizes. It is thanks to this procedure that the chocolate is crunchy.
Cocoa bean before roasting
Is white chocolate a real chocolate?
White chocolate does not contain cocoa powder. Hence its color. On the other hand, it is made up of cocoa butter, milk, sugar, and flavorings. To be called white chocolate in Europe, it is imperative that it contains 20% cocoa butter in its recipe. Strictly speaking, white chocolate is not real chocolate because it does not contain solid cocoa in its preparation. But is it so bad?
Did you know?
Chocolate is brown owing to the roasting, otherwise it would be red like the beans!
Did you know?
Chocolate is also a love potion!
Is this witch magic? No, it’s biochemistry. In chocolate, there are two important molecules called phenylethylamine and tryptophan. The first is capable of producing a feeling of well-being in our brain. However, after digesting chocolate, this molecule does not survive its passage through our stomach. The second molecule, on the other hand, causes our brain to produce a wellness hormone called serotonin. If you are sad, eat a piece of dark chocolate, and everything will be fine!
It is the act of exposing the seeds to a fire or suitable heat. This is used to give an aroma. We roast cocoa beans but also coffee or hops.