From Cacao Trees to Hot Chocolate!
Nothing beats a hot chocolate drink during rainy Sundays. Or during Christmas season, that’s a thrice a week morning must have for us. Christmas mornings or rainy days seems so incomplete without it. My husband was curious about this family tradition as well as how make our own chocolate from cacao fruit.
My father has lots of cacao trees in our backyard in Bicol. Here’s a photo of one variety..See the fruits? I was happy to see the trees have recovered from recent typhoons and have a lot of fruits already which means we could have our home-made hot chocolate during rainy December days.
Curious about cacao and how to make cocoa and chocolate? Cocoa is the term usually used for the seeds of the tropical tree THEOBROMA CACAO. From these seeds we get sinfully delicious chocolate candies and drinks. Most people just buy chocolate drinks or powder to make their hot chocolate or ready made chocolates from supermarkets.
Here’s to give you an idea on how cacao seeds become the chocolate we crave for. Making chocolate is a bit of a lengthy process. From childhood, I’ve seen my father make dark chocolate from scratch and I’ve actually have the process memorized :).
- Harvesting and choosing the beans/seeds.
- Roasting – my favorite part because I feel so heady with the fragrant aroma. It could really make you go so hungry. Cacao beans needs to be roasted just like coffee beans.
- Cracking open the cacao shells. – once roasting is done you need to crack open the shell to get the chocolate inside.
- Grinding the chocolate. – grind the chocolate as finely as possible and add the necessary flavorings like sugar. Adding a bit of sugar is recommended since ground chocolate is oily and would be hard to mold.
- Mold it and store it. You’re now ready to make hot chocolate whenever you’re craving for one.