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VIDEO: How to Make Chocolate from Bean to Bar

Executive Chef Robert Gerstenecker of Park 75

Executive Chef Robert Gerstenecker of Park 75

Small-batch chocolate making has been popping up in recent years, as people are starting to realize that the traditional Hershey’s bar is more an indulgence of milk and sugar than true cacao.

Executive Chef Robert Gerstenecker of Park 75 at the Four Seasons works with his culinary team and Pastry Chef Charles Barrett to make fair trade chocolate bars in-house.

In this video, he takes us through the three day process of making the small-batch chocolate bars that Park 75 sells in their retail section.

A few things to know about the origins of cocoa

  • Cacao grows on trees in large, oval-shaped pods. The pods are broken apart, each yielding around 30-50 cacao beans.
  • When the pods are ripe, they are harvested and left to ferment for several days, which causes the beans to lose bitterness.
  • From there, they are dried in the sun before they arrive at Park 75.
  • There are three types of cocoa beans with varying flavors: criollo, forastero and trinitario.  Today we used Criollo beans from Venezuela.

-By Alexa Lampasona for the Food & More blog

2 comments Add your comment

Katie

February 24th, 2014
5:28 pm

Nursemom

February 24th, 2014
8:22 pm

Very interesting! Nice video and explanation of the process! Well done!