Chocolate begins life as a plant. It is made from the beans of a small tree called the cacao (pronounced kah-kow). The cacao tree grows in tropical rainforest where it gets just the right amount of rain, shade, humidity, wind and nutrients.
When the cacao plant pods are ripe, the farmers cut each pod off using a machete. Then, cut open the pods and scoop out the cocoa beans. The beans are piled under banana leaves and left to ferment.
A week later the beans are a rich dark brown and taste like bitter chocolate. The beans are laid out on rooftops, tables or large mats and left to dry in the sun. The dried beans are then put into big bags and shipped to factories all over the world. Here they are cleaned, sorted and the shells are removed. The broken bean bits that are left are called cocoa nibs.
The cocoa nibs are made up of roughly equal amounts of cocoa butter and pure cocoa. The nibs are ground to a paste called chocolate liquor, which is used to make chocolate. The remaining dry paste is then made into powder called cocoa powder, which is used in cooking.
The unpressed chocolate liquor is mixed with sugar and more cocoa butter to make plain chocolate. By adding milk to these ingredients you get milk chocolate. The ingredients are churned, then poured into chocolate moulds.
Dark chocolate can contain different amounts of chocolate liquor - the more there is, the less sweet the taste.
Milk chocolate contains milk and more sugar, giving it a sweeter, creamier taste when compared to dark chocolate.
Good-quality white chocolate is made with just the cocoa butter, which is then mixed with milk, sugar and vanilla extract.
Valrhona Grand Cru dark chocolate made with 70% cocoa solids. Notable for its exceptionally long finish, this Grand Cru South American chocolate (named after the carribean island Guanaja, where Christopher Columbus first landed in 1501) has a subtle floral flavour owed to the combination of criollo and trinitario beans.
Valrhona Grand Cru Milk chocolate made with malt and brown sugar - delicious clean after taste. A creamy chestnut colour and can be recognised by its silky delicate, smooth palate and its original tast at the same time mild and chocolatey, not excessively sweet, long in the mouth, with aromatic overtones of caramel and vanilla. 40% cocoa solids from South America.
This white chocolate is only very lightly sweetened and has the delicate flavours of milk and vanilla, and a fine, melting texture, and provides perfect balance for all recipes. 35% cocoa solids.
"When a maitre chocolatier succeeds in making people smile by eating chocolate, he or she has reached the goal. Tasting means being carried away by sensations".
A concentrate and taste of sweetness with perfumes of vanilla: when it melts in the mouth it leaves behind a creamy sweet fascinating, sensation.
Amedei’s milk chocolate is a true pearl that stimulates memories with a rich whipped cream scent and milk, with a butter and vanilla taste almost sapid, and honey, but never excessively sweet, with a crackling so sharp it may be envied by the fondant – a chocolate of classic foundation that boasts intelligence and the creative joy of a praline.
Toscano Dark 70%
The Blend 70% expresses the cacao in power and elegance, and plays as a soloist giving feelings of tobacco and chocolate.
Toscano Black 66%
In the Blend 66%, the force leaves space to a harmonic grace with a taste that is increased in herbaceous sensations of underbrush.