Theobroma cacao is a fruit tree native to a growing region approx. 20 degrees north & south of the equator. Inside the fruit that grow on this tree are seeds… aka cacao beans (cocoa beans).
When the cacao beans are harvested from the fruit, they have a white/wet/sugary pulp that surrounds them. The beans, along with the pulp, are placed into wooden boxes where the sugary pulp ferments around the cacao beans. It is at this step the cacao beans develop their flavor profile while at the same time the fermentation kills the germination of the seeds. Fermentation can take up to 7 days.
After fermentation, the cacao beans are removed from the wooden boxes and spread out to dry in sun. Drying can take up to 7 days.
Once the cacao beans are dried, they are placed into burlap sacks and ready for shipment.
We source organic, sustainable, cacao beans … and after we receive the beans, we hand sort in preparation for roasting.
Our roast is intended to help pull forward the wonderful taste profile of the bean. We roast in small batches, which allows us to focus our testing at each step within the roast.
Once the beans are roasted, we remove the ‘husk’ (shell) and crack the beans into ‘pieces’ (nibs).
Now that we have cacao nibs …
… we evenly add the nibs into into a stone melangeur where over a short period of time begin to liquefy.
Liquefying takes place due to the natural amount of cocoa butter (+50%) held within the cacao nibs.
The friction and heat from the stone melangeur allows the nibs to liquefy creating what is called ‘cocoa liquor’.
The cocoa liquor grinds for at least one day before sugar is added. Once sugar is added, what we now have in the melangeur is called … chocolate!
We grind / refine our chocolate for up to three days in the melangeur in order to achieve a smooth chocolate while also harmonizing all the wonderful flavors of the cacao and sugar.
Now that we have a smooth and tasty chocolate …
… we have to create harmony with the crystal structures found within the chocolate. Tempering (changing the temperature in a very structured way & time) aids in strengthening one specific crystal structure within the chocolate.
Without proper temper, chocolate will have a chalky appearance (white/gray bloom), and when broken may crumble
With proper temper, chocolate will have a clean ‘snap’ when broken, and properly coat your mouth when enjoyed.
At Wild Blue Chocolate, our chocolate does not contain emulsifiers or added cocoa butter as we strive to harness the unique flavors of the cacao we source.
Our 70% chocolate is only 2 ingredients … Cacao & 100% Grade A Maple Sugar.
We hope you enjoy our products & we would LOVE to hear from you!