THE LITTLE COCOA BEAN AND WHAT WE CAN MAKE WITH IT…

The cocoa bean is the main ingredient in chocolate and is the seed found in the fruit pod of a tropical tree that had been cultivated in South America for over 3000 years.

The tree can only be found within ten degrees latitude of the Equator and it grows only above 250 feet above sea level, and it needs plenty of moisture, rich soil and shade. They produce the pods when they are three to five years old.

The tree was christened ‘Theobroma cacao’ by the great Swedish botanist Linnaeus. This comes from Greek and translates as ‘the food of the gods.’

They say chocolate arouses our passions and tempts our senses. Chocolates are loved by most and they come in various forms ranging from dark chocolates to milk chocolates and they leave memories of happy moments.

Chocolate is tasty and delicious but making your own chocolate at home can easily be done if you know where to buy your ingredients. Before making your own you need to check that you have the right equipment to make your chocolate in.

Some essential tools include digital thermometers, various sizes and shapes of moulds, a dipping fork and other utensils. Buying the right products to make your chocolate is also something that you need to investigate. Principally start your chocolate making by buying cocoa beans from a reliable source.

If you get the right ingredients and utensils, making edible gifts really doesn’t get much easier than making craft chocolate bars. Just like we have seen Craft Beer and Craft Coffee the next big thing will be Craft Chocolate. Get your juices working on handmade gift ideas you could make with your own chocolate. You could start a new trend and even put kits together for people to create their own chocolate. After making the chocolate, the next challenge is where to store it as they advise you not to store it in a refrigerator full of other foods. They suggest you store the chocolate in a tightly closed container away from direct sunlight. This will help your chocolate to last longer.

A brilliant book on the subject is Chocolate Making Adventures: Create Your Own Chocolate by  Rosen Trevithick  (Author), Claire Wilson (Photographer). From cocoa bean to mouth-watering treats… Make your own chocolate at home. Most recipes for homemade chocolate involve buying it from the shop then melting it. But what if it’s actual chocolate itself that you want to make? Thanks to the recent widespread availability of cocoa beans and cocoa butter, chocolate-making has never been easier. You can create it on an ordinary kitchen stove. Learn to make different kinds of chocolate, then mould it into bars, sweets and even build with chocolate bricks, as you follow Rosen’s quest to become a home chocolatier. 100 pages packed with recipes and tips by chocolate enthusiast Rosen Trevithick and featuring beautiful photographs by Claire Wilson of Live, Life, Explore.

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