A few weeks back I was lucky enough to snag a space in a chocolate making class at Kuaiwi Farms in Captain Cook. That’s right, chocolate made right here in Kona.
We learned how chocolate is made from bean to bar. Kuaiwi Farms is known for their excellent organic Kona coffee, but they also grow cacao (for the chocolate), mac nuts, and a variety of tropical fruits and vegetables.
|Cacao trees and pods|
In fact, I think the farm tour was my favorite part of the class. It was inspirational to see how owners Leon and Una used all organic methods to farm their land. They were so passionate about their crops, it shone through quite brightly in the way they run their farm, their products, and their smiling faces.
And making chocolate is no small feat. After the beans are harvested, they go through a fermentation process which must be carefully monitored for spoilage.
The beans are then dried and roasted.
The nibs must then be separated from their shells mechanically, then ground into a “meal.” Whip this in around in a choc-o-matic machine made especially for this purpose for a day or so along with a little cocoa butter and sugar and you, almost, have the finished product.
Vague, you say? Yes, well that’s the point. As I said, making chocolate is a long and delicate process and I don’t blame these guys for wanting to keep some of their processes a mystery. Class attendees were provided more details and video, however if you want the same info you’ll have to take the class, too. My lips are sealed.
Once the chocolate reaches the proper consistency it must be tempered, or brought slowly down to a certain temperature.
This is accomplished by smearing it all over a marble slab and sliding it back and forth with some spatulas.
Once the chocolate reaches the right temperature, it gets poured into molds and left to harden into candies and bars.
We were then invited to indulge in some of the still warm and melty chocolate. That little bowl of goodness nearly made me cry. It was that good.
Live in Hawaii and want to take a chocolate making class? Contact these folks for their next available classes:
Kuaiwi Farms (they also offer farm tours by reservation, HIGHLY recommended if you can’t attend a chocolate class)
*I was not paid or compensated for the content of this post. I just really like these guys:)