Willie’s chocolate – raising the bar

He’s back and this time he is taking on the chocolate bar industry and, of course, he has a camera crew with him. Before he was creating 100% cacao blocks for cooking; now he is producing his own chocolate bar.
He is again sourcing his cacao from his farm and others in Venezuela and bringing it to his factory in Devon. In the factory he is roasting the beans and then passing them to a winnower, where they are smashed, and the cacao kernels – or nibs as they are called – are dropped on to a vibrating table that grades them by size. The nibs are milled between granite stones to produce a coarse liquid that is then refined between rollers. This cocoa mass is then “conched”, meaning that it is warmed and sloshed around a tank by more granite rollers for 8 to 12 hours. This helps to remove the bitterness and produce a more refined chocolate, but if it is overdone it will remove the different characteristics of different beans. Finally the chocolate is tempered to give it shine and snap.

Don’t worry, we will be trialing it once we can get hold of a base to see if its suitable for the shop.

See Willie in Raising the Bar: Willie’s Chocolate Revolution, April 7-9, Channel 4, 8pm

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