Today, we were visited by a lady called Kate Burton and she works for a company called The Cocoa Den. In the session she told us about the different types of chocolate and how cocoa pods (beans) are grown.
In her company, they make chocolate sculptures and she told us about how she started to make chocolate. We used cutters to cut shapes in the chocolate then we covered them in ether white or milk chocolate and decorated them. We even decorated marshmallows! I made one that looked like a bear and also drizzled chocolate over the top of some.
Her company has a website and you can buy some of the chocolate. The process of making cocoa beans into chocolate is the following. It starts as a cocoa pod that grows on trees but they can only grow in hot countries such as Africa. The cocoa beans only ripen 2 times a year. Then, when they are ripe they are cut open and the cocoa beans are removed but they are covered in a kind of mesh. The cocoa beans are dried for 7 days and the mesh is removed (you can eat the mesh!) then the cocoa beans are dried for another 7 days. Once dried then can be sold to be made into cocoa powered or chocolate. Although the cocoa beans can be eaten on their own. When the cocoa beans are turned to power it is melted into chocolate liquor. The liquor can be separated into cocoa butter or cocoa powered. You contact Kate at www.thecocoaden.co.uk or @thecocoaden at Twitter.