How We Make Chocolate
Marou is involved in every stage of its chocolate making process. Here’s a rough play-by-play of how cacao goes from bean to bar in Vietnam.
AT THE FARM
Cacao pods spring from tiny flowers that grow on the trunks and branches of theobroma cacao trees.
After about six months on the branch, farmers harvest cacao pods and scoop out the raw beans covered in a sweet white pulp.
The beans are then placed in a wooden box lined with banana leaves where fermentation raises their internal temperature and subtly transforms their aromas. After 5 days of fermentation the beans are dried in the sun for another 10 days
Marou selects cacao at the farm: we test every bag to ensure it meets our exacting standards before being brought into the Marou Chocolate factory.
AT THE FACTORY
Roasting is the first step of the transformation: by heating up beans in a controlled manner, the roaster gives the beans a distinct flavor profile. At Marou we tend to roasts beans gently for about half an hour to preserve and develop their delicate flavors.
Marou uses machines to crack the roasted beans and “winnow” the small cocoa fragments known as “nibs” away from their skins.
GRINDING REFINING AND CONCHING
The cacao nibs, which contain a high percentage of cacao butter, are ground into a paste known as “cacao mass”. During this grinding process we add sugar and let the more volatile aromas evaporate from the mass; over the course of 48 hours the cacao slowly becomes chocolate.
“Over the course of 48 hours the cacao slowly becomes chocolate”
Finally, Marou adds extra cocoa butter pressed from separate batches of our own cacao to bring smooth texture and body to the bar.
TEMPERING, MOULDING & WRAPPING
The last step is called tempering: in order to create a glossy, stable chocolate bar with a perfect snap, the liquid chocolate must be brought to the perfect temperature before cooling down in our custom moulds.
Finally Marou finished each bar using delicate gold paper, a custom seal, a hand-printed wrap and 22 folds.