From Cacao Trees to Hot Chocolate!

Philippines / Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

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.

Cacao Tree

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.

9 Replies to “From Cacao Trees to Hot Chocolate!”

  1. tyler, you’re right I remember hiding whenever its time to take off husk. It takes long and requires some practice to get it done right and its messy 🙂

    thanks for the drop..

  2. monaco, wish we could keep coming back to those memories.. it does give me a warm feeling and hehe hot chocolate is just too delicious to forget.

    thanks for the visit..:)

  3. Great blog! Most blogs on this topic are not even close in detail as yours is. If you keep posting I’ll definatly be comming back.

  4. I love the sweet taste of the seeds of ripe fruits that our grandparents give to us after harvesting and cutting open the pods.
    We put them in our mouth and suck out the sweetness. Then return the seeds to the tray where my grandmother arranges them in a single layer to dry under the sun for two days.
    Then she roasts them and we help her remove the skin of the seeds.
    The fragrant seeds are then placed in a wooden basin where using a smooth shell they are crushed and while moist with their oil are formed into “tableya”.
    Dropped into a glass of boiling water, cane sugar is added to taste.
    We have the wonderful chocolate drink.
    For variety coconut toddy and raw egg is added to the glass. This is beaten and we have the refreshing “koter” that strengthens the body and gives power to the soul.

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