The process of making chocolate begins with the cocoa bean, which is the product of the cocoa tree. This tree is strictly a tropical plant thriving only in hot, rainy climates.
After the harvest the cocoa pods are opened to reach the precious cocoa beans they contain. Anywhere from 20 to 50 cream coloured beans are scooped from a typical pod.
Fermentation is the crucial metabolic process that transforms the cocoa bean to develop the typical chocolate flavour and a rich brown colour.
At Monggo we receive fermented cocoa beans from the farmers we work with. Before processing, our quality control will evaluate the beans by taking samples to check whether the bean's size and most important its quality meets our standards.
The beans are continuously being moved while heated inside the roaster. The roasting duration varies from fast roasting to slow roasting, depending on the type and size of the cocoa bean.
The cracking and winnowing machine helps us to get rid of the inedible shell. A mechanical wheel will grind and break the beans into smaller bits. Inside the machine, the cracked pieces of pure cocoa and hard shells will be separated by a fan, which blows off the husk, while collecting the pieces of pure cocoa, also known as “Cocoa Nibs”.
The Pre-Grinder will grind the Cocoa Nibs to form a rough, coherent mass also known as Cocoa Mass, or “chocolate liquor”, which is one of the main ingredients of chocolate.
We put the cocoa mass (created in the previous step) together with cocoa butter and sugar into the stone-grinder, where two massive granite stone wheels will turn, crunch and mix the components together. The result of this process can already be called chocolate.
The so called "Conching Machine", will then use a rotating tool to smash the chocolate in a constant motion, while hot air circulates through the mix. This process will further enhance the characteristic smell and mouthfeel of our chocolate.
Tempering is an important process to make real chocolate. It ensures that the cocoa butter in the chocolate mix retains its shape. So called “tempered” chocolate will melt at a temperature of approximately 34°C. Therefore, when consumed, chocolate will melt gently in the mouth.
To make a pure chocolate bar the tempered chocolate is poured into the mould.
The moulds can take any desired form and size, from the popular tablet to more extravagant shapes. Anything is possible with chocolate.
After cooling, a well tempered chocolate comes easily out of the mould.
In a special chamber, which has to be strictly cool, the chocolate gets wrapped into aluminum foil, to protect it from any contamination.
Each product gets another protective cover as it is wrapped into an original paper packaging. And there you go, this is where we got the final product.
As we know chocolate has been consumed since 4.000 years ago, by the ancient people of South America. Using chili, water, and ground cocoa beans, the ancient tribes prepared a strong and bitter chocolate drink.
Cocoa eventually found its way to Europe in the 18th century, brought by the Spanish conquistadors and soon chocolate beverages became an exclusive and luxurious treat for the royal families.
It did not take long until the secret spread and cocoa was well-known all over Europe. With the industrial revolution and mechanical ways to proceed the beans, chocolate was soon available for the middle class. This led to the foundation of many chocolate producers in the 19th century and chocolate's worldwide popularity.
Chocolate Monggo’s dedication for pralines can be experienced best at our new store PRALIN, where Monggo’s full range of authentic Belgian chocolate Pralines can be experienced.
The Belgian praline was invented in 1912 by Jean Neuhaus, Belgian chocolatier: A chocolate layer covering a soft fondant centre.
The praline can come in countless different shapes and with many types of fillings but most commonly it is filled with a paste of nuts, the so-called praliné and many other fillings.
Pralines are chic and elegant. Appropriate packaging was therefore needed to protect them from being broken. In 1920, Neuhaus came up with a solution to this problem, designing a suitable packaging for his pralines: the famous rectangular box, also known as the ballotin.
Real chocolate is actually healthy. A fine, dark chocolate might not be as sweet, but comes with many health benefits. Especially if it is made from 100% pure cocoa butter (without vegetable oil) and with a high content of cocoa, the positive effects will be felt more strongly.
Chocolate contains theobromine, caffeine, and other substances, which improve physical and mental functions of the body.
Eating a chocolate bar when you’re feeling low can noticeably lift your spirits because it stimulates serotonin and endorphin levels. Those are the brain’s natural chemical messengers to spread a feeling of pleasure while at the same time serving as an anti-depressant.
A small bar every day can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. This is due to a large number of antioxidants that cocoa contains (nearly 8 times the number of antioxidants strawberries contain).
The healthiest chocolate is the one that has the highest amount of cocoa mass, which is usually dark chocolate. That's why milk and white chocolate have fewer nutrients than dark chocolate.