…from bean to bar.
COCOA BEAN SELECTION
The flavour of the cocoa bean is a result of several factors such as the soil and latitude where the cocoa is grown, the botanical variety, and the grower’s methods of harvesting and fermentation. We carefully select only the cocoas which have been grown according to high quality standards.
HARVEST AND FERMENTATION
The fermentation triggers the formation of the aroma and taste. It can last more or less days depending on the result desired on the chocolate bar. Cocoa beans, along with their pulp, are deposited in wooden boxes, often covered with banana tree leaves, which will create the ideal conditions for pulp enzymes to interact with their sugars, and start the fermentation process.
The fermented cocoa is dried naturally under the sun. As it dries, cocoa drastically lowers its humidity level, from 60% to 7%.
COCOA RECEPTION AND QUALITY CONTROL
When cocoa arrives at our factory, we analyze the quality of the fermentation of each cocoa batch. A well fermented bean must have a brown colour inside. A violet or black color can be a sign of a faulty fermentation. The grooves across the surface are a sign of a good fermentation.
During the roasting process cocoa develops its secondary aromas, which we traditionally associate with the taste of chocolate. Roasting duration and temperature can be different depending on the cocoa variety, moisture of the bean and its size. Roasting temperature can range between 100 °C and 120 °C, and it can last as much as 20 – 30 minutes.
Once cocoa is roasted, we whisk the bean up with the winnower, and this movement separates the husk from the cocoa nibs. The cocoa nibs clean from the husk are what we use for the chocolate production.
The nibs are crushed through a stone mill, which transformes them into cocoa liquor, The cocoa liquor does not contain alcohol, despite its name. The cocoa liquor has a shiny brown colour, and is dense and silky, with quite a bitter taste.
MIXING AND REFINING
Depending on each formulation, the cocoa liquor or cocoa paste is mixed with other ingredients, such as sugar, milk, spices or nuts. Refining consists of passing rollers over the mixture of ingredients, breaking down their particles to less than 22 microns, at which they are no longer perceptible to the palate.
Conching is the process for which the chocolate is agitated and ventilated, promoting flavour development through frictional heat, release of non desired volatile acids, and oxidation.
It also helps bringing a consistent, creamy texture to the chocolate. Conching can last hours and even days, depending mostly on the cocoa’s original aromatic profile.
TEMPERING, MOULDING AND WRAPPING
The uniform sheen and crisp bite of properly processed chocolate are the result of consistently small cocoa butter crystals produced by the tempering process.
The fats in cocoa butter can crystallize in six different forms. The primary purpose of tempering is to assure that only the best form is present.
Once the chocolate is tempered, it is poured inside a mould, and cooled until it is completely solid. Then it can be finished with a suitable wrapper.
We are a certified company
Simón Coll’s vocation has always been innovation and quality. Our factories are a combination of traditional know-how and the latest manufacturing technologies, both acting together to achieve increasingly more elaborate, more diverse and innovative products
Our factory registered in the Nadal y Saroti S.L. society has the IFS FOOD certificate, and the one registered in Chocolates Simón Coll S.A., has the FSSC 22000 certificate.