Yesterday I went to the beach chocolate factory, which is a chocolate factory tour owned by a guy named Henrik. The experience was great, really fun, really informational and I even got some history of dark chocolate as well. A few friends and myself were able to see chocolate tree’s in their early inception stages, along with a 300-400 year old tree (pictured below) as well as to learn about how to make a chocolate bar from scratch with cacao and sugar, or whatever ingredients you want your bar to include.
If you aren’t familiar with the health benefits of cacao, they are enormous. Cacao is one of nature’s most beneficial superfoods. Take a look at the minerals and daily value in cacao alone below.
As you can see above the amount of minerals in cacao, the base of chocolate are extraordinary. When you make chocolate on your own the chocolate will also contain fiber, theobromine amongst other antioxidants and plant compounds that are beneficial for your health. Cacao is great for energy, your brain chemistry, and your cardiovascular system. Below you can hear directly from Henrik how they make chocolate at the Beach Chocolate Factory in La Potrero Costa Rica.
As you can see the experience and environment is quite amazing. I learned about the history of chocolate. How to open a cacao pod without a machete, how to dehusk cacao beans and much more! So the steps that you can take to make your own chocolate bar are actually quite simple.
1. Organic Cacao Beans or nibs: Get them here.
2. Manual Tinned Grinder: Get one here.
3. Organic Brown Sugar (Optional, this sweetens it up a bit)
4. Vanilla Extract. (Optional, this makes the flavor sweeter and a tad less bitter)
What you are going to do is take the cacao beans, dehusk them as shown in the video linked up above. After dehusking them you will grind them in the grinding machine to make a cacao paste. After that you simply take that paste and mix it with sugar, 70% dark chocolate and 30% sugar. Or you can use a smaller amount of brown sugar. You could also just do 100% dark chocolate without sugar. This would obviously be much healthier but more bitter. You can also take the cacao paste and mix with vanilla extract. Most dark chocolate bars in the united states use soy lecithin which is a soy by-product used as an additive and emulsifier.
It’s very simple to create your own chocolate bar, I did it myself yesterday, well, it ended up more like a chocolate ball, but either way it was some delicious mineral, antioxidant and fiber rich dark chocolate that I got to enjoy! If you want to learn more about Dark chocolate and how to make it yourself in Costa Rica get in touch with Henrik at BeachChocolateFactory.com.
Hope you have an amazing day! Live Healthy Wild And Free!
– David Benjamin
P.S. You can see some additional pictures from the experience below.