Hand Made Chocolate and
Where Does Chocolate Come From?

Did you know hand made chocolates can be made in your own kitchen with cacao beans or chocolate nibs? 

Also, where does chocolate come from? 

The cacao tree is where you'll find this delicious food!

However, did you know that chocolate is actually an ancient food and it has been called "Food of the Gods"

Learn some basic techniques to make hand made chocolates at home and maybe start your own chocolate business.  You'll also learn how to improve the quality of your hand made chocolates and learn about the more ancient ways to consume chocolate.

Where Does Chocolate Come From?

Chocolate comes from an evergreen tree that can grow up to 30 feet tall.  And this tree may have been grown a very long time ago.

It's found in tropical regions around the globe located on the "Chocolate Belt" which is close to the equator.

Cacao trees are found in warm places like Hawaii, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.  Although, Africa grows most of the cacao in the world right now.

The cacao tree needs a warm and humid climate in order to produce fruit year round.  Cacao pods will grow on branches and on the trunks of the cacao tree.

The fruit of the cacao tree is a huge pod that can grow up to 12 inches.  These football shaped pods can be found in many colors like yellow, orange, red, and purple.

It takes about 3 to 5 years for a cacao tree to actually bear any fruit.  One cacao tree is capable of producing about 30 cacao pods per year. 

Cacao pods will take 4 to 5 months to grow and several weeks to ripen before being cut from the tree.

The cacao pod will contain approximately 20 to 60 seeds or cacao beans inside.  And these beans will be encased in a sweet white pulp.

These cacao seeds (or beans) is what makes chocolate.  They will be full of antioxidants and important minerals like magnesium.

After the removal of the seeds or beans from the cacao pods.  The cacao beans are usually fermented, dried, and then roasted to develop their flavor.

When you crack open the shell of cacao beans that's where you'll find the chocolate or the Chocolate Nibs.

How to Make Chocolates

How to make chocolates teaches you the basic steps that a cacao bean will have to go through before it's turned into a chocolate bar.

These steps are important to learn in order to make great tasting handmade chocolates, but you will also learn a few chocolate shortcuts.

Healthy handmade chocolates can have a higher amount of antioxidants and are great for antioxidant rich decadent desserts.

You'll even learn how to temper chocolate which re-establishes the cacao butter crystals that gives chocolate more shine and structure.

Chocolate Dessert Recipes

You'll learn how to make a small batch of hand made bean-to-bar dark chocolates that are quick and easy to make with a frying pan. 

You'll learn how to make 60 to 70% dark chocolates and learn how to include other ingredients into your hand made chocolate recipes.

Making bean-to-bar hand made chocolates can be a lot of fun and healthier for you because you get to eliminate unhealthy ingredients that you no longer want to consume.

You'll also learn how to make a gluten free flour-less chocolate cake and a lower carb version of Reese's chocolate candy.

What are The
Different Types of Chocolates?

Milk chocolates made in the United States must contain at least 10% chocolate liquor and 12% milk solids.  Milk chocolate also includes cacao butter and a good amount of sugar. 

Milk chocolate arrived fairly late on the scene in the history of chocolate and is one of the most popular types of chocolate in the United States.

Milk chocolate is relatively sweet and will be lighter in color.

I have to admit that I actually prefer milk chocolate over a very dark chocolate because milk chocolate will contain less oxalates.

White chocolates contain cacao butter, but will not contain any percentage of chocolate liquor or any other cacao product. 

In general, white chocolate must contain 20% cacao butter, at least 3.5% milk fat, 14% milk solids, and a max of 55% sugar.

White chocolate does not qualify as a "true chocolate" and will not contain the same health benefits of chocolate.

What is Dark Chocolate?

Dark chocolates contain cacao butter and must contain at least 35% chocolate liquor.  And bittersweet dark chocolates may contain up to 80% chocolate liquor.

Dark chocolate does not usually contain any milk products, but technically it can as long as it's less than 12% milk solids.

One of the reasons that dark chocolate has become so popular with the low carb movement is that it's lower in sugar than milk chocolate. 

And the higher the percentage of chocolate liquor, the less sweet your dark chocolate bar will be.

What is Raw Chocolate?

To tell you the truth, I don't think I understood what raw chocolate was or if it was possible to make a raw hand made chocolate until I wrote this page.

The consumption of raw chocolate is something that has confused if not mislead so many people over the years.

And it took years of confusion over this subject matter before I could get a grasp on if raw chocolate was even safe to eat!

Find out what usually qualifies as a "raw" chocolate.  And you'll also learn about what may be a healthier and better way to consume raw chocolate.

Interesting Facts About Chocolate

Learn some interesting facts about chocolate to help you understand just where chocolate originates from and it may not be where most people think.

Where does chocolate come from is probably a lot more "esoteric" than what we have all been taught. 

One of the interesting facts about chocolate is that chocolate was consumed in drink form for most of its history and not in a chocolate bar.

The word chocolate comes from the Aztec word Xocoatl?  Xocoatl was the bitter and spicy drink the Aztecs made from cacao beans.

Chocolate Health Benefits

Chocolate health benefits Include having the highest antioxidant and magnesium content of any fruit or nut. 

Chocolate health benefits also include having "Heart Healthy" fats like you find in olive oil and "Brain Happy" Nutrients.

Chocolate has some of the best brain chemicals which gives you that feeling of bliss or "being in love feeling"

You can get a lot of chocolate health benefits from making your own hand made chocolates or learning how to improve the health benefits of chocolate.

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