Chocolate Making

Spanish monks were assigned the task of processing the cocoa beans. It may have been these monks who let out the secret by discussing cocoa with their French counterparts. Then, in 1580, the first cocoa processing plant was established in Spain. It did not take long before chocolate was acclaimed throughout Europe as a delicious, health-giving drink. For a while it reigned as the chosen beverage at the fashionable Court of France. Chocolate drinking spread across the English Channel to Great Britain, and in 1657 the first of many famous English Chocolate Houses appeared.

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The melting point of cocoa butter is just below the human body temperature (98.6 degrees) which is why it literally melts in your mouth.

The largest chocolate bar ever manufactured weighed 5,026 lbs. and was exhibited by Elah-Dufour United Food Companies at Eurochocolate in Turin, Italy in March 2000.

The Northwest Fudge Factory in Ontario, Canada, created a slab of fudge that weighed 2,002 lbs, making it the record-holding largest slab of fudge. The chocolate-and-vanilla-swirl fudge measured 166 ft. long, 9 in. wide and 3 in. high. The fudge took a total of 86 hours to prepare and 13 individuals to pour it into shape.

A word of caution - whenever you are melting chocolate ensure that all utensils being used for the chocolate are moisture free, and it is best not to use wooden spoons as they may have retained water when washed. Even a small amount of liquid, will seize the chocolate and ruin it.

To increase the shelf life of chocolate, hide it from your spouse.


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