Sourcing unique cacao and working directly with growers is the first step in the process of creating our artisan chocolate. Each location where cacao is grown imparts its own flavours and nuances into the beans. Sourcing unique cacao directly allows us to improve the flavour of the beans through improved fermenting and drying processes.
Roasting is a critical stage in the flavour development process. We gently roast small batches of beans in our vintage Barth Sirocco ball roaster by slowly increasing the heat to reach the desired temperature. Each bean requires a unique roasting profile and each batch expertly roasted with great attention by our roaster.
The nibs are then pressed between giant granite rollers in our vintage Lehmann melangeur – broyeur (aka “Molly”). After a few hours the nibs begin to form a thick paste and starts to resemble liquid chocolate. By using the melangeur to slowly grind the nibs, volatile compounds are released into the air but the floral and fruit notes present in the bean are retained.
Refining and Conching
The liquor is then transferred to our refiner conche where organic sugar crystals and additional organic cocoa butter are added and refined together. This step reduces the particle size of the chocolate which is critical to ensure the desired soft, velvety, smooth texture of the finished bar. The refined mass is then conched, where the chocolate is heated and stirred.
Tempering and Moulding
The chocolate is then tempered, an all important step to ensure the bar looks and tastes its best. A heating and cooling process by which the desired cocoa butter fat crystals are achieved. Well tempered chocolate has a beautiful glossy sheen, a crisp snap and will melt evenly in the mouth as you enjoy it. The tempered chocolate is then poured into moulds.
Each bar is carefully wrapped and packaged ready to be savoured. Each Zokoko chocolate bar is unique and holds rich layers of flavour due to our careful steps taken in turning beautiful beans into amazing chocolate reflective of its origin.