How Chocolate is Made | Où se trouve: Avanaa Chocolate


Hi, my name is Catherine. I’m the Owner of Avanaa. I’m also a chocolate-maker. What we’re going to do today is basically make chocolate from the bean to the bar. So for a lot of people – we don’t know where chocolate comes from. This is a cocoa pod. It is a dried one. Inside, you get grains that you can hear. The grains are actually the cocoa beans. Usually when they harvest it, what they do is ferment the beans because they have a white pulp, which is really sweet. They use that for fermentation. After that, they dry it in the sun and from there it’s going to be transported to Montreal, for example. From there, we can start making chocolate. So now, we’re going to take some beans from the bag. So basically, what we’re going to do is look for the bad beans and remove them from the table. What we do is sort by hand, so you really need to focus. You know, we remove all the cracked beans, the beans that are really weird shapes. We remove them, it’s a sign of bad fermenting. Also, when they’re really, really tiny like this, there’s no cocoa inside of it. Sometimes, we also get beans all together. It takes some time, but it’s worth it. We roast them slightly, about 15-20 minutes, depending on the origin. What we do is we want to enhance the flavour, but not kill it. So, you don’t want to burn the beans, you just want to remove a little bit of the bitterness, the humidity, and give a little kick to the flavour. So, we’re getting the sorted beans and we’re going to lay them on the tray. So now, we’re ready to roast. So I started making chocolate after a contract in Peru. I was a Geologist at the time, and I got the chance to taste some craft, local chocolate. The taste was really, really powerful, and really good! So, I decided when I came back home to try and find the same craft chocolate, but I couldn’t. I started learning how to make chocolate and made it at home. I visited Mexico a few years after, where I saw small shops where they could make really good chocolate too. so I realized – oh my god, this is cool! I am making chocolate at home, but I could have a small workshop too! When we have our roast beans, what we need to do is to crack them. So, as you can see… The bean has a little shell around it that you want to remove from the inside. The inside – it’s called the nibs, the cocoa nibs. So what you want in your chocolate, is you want to make it only with the nibs but not the shells. You need to vacuum the shells away from the nibs. Sometimes, you’re going to have a little bit of shell, so you’re going to remove it by hand to make sure, like this, it’s not in your chocolate. The chocolate is going to be grainy, and it’s going to change the taste into something more bitter, so you don’t want the shells to be in your chocolate at all. From there, we’re going to take those nibs and put them in the melangeur. The melangeur is a machine with rolls and a bottom of granite stone. Everything is in stone. So it’s going to grind your cocoa really, really tiny your cocoa into a paste, and then into a chocolate liqueur, which is liquid, and from then you’re going to add your sugar, and then you’re going to end up with your chocolate. We actually went on a huge trip of 6 months travelling through coco plantation co-ops to see what kind of genetics there were, which were best for us. And also, what kind of people we want to work with. We have Ecuador, Kallari, which is in the Amazon basin. We have Zorzal also which is in the Dominican Republic. It’s a natural reserve for the Zorzal bird. Also we have Tumaco, which is Colombia. It’s a small community who decided to fight to keep their own cacao trees. They didn’t what to plant coca leaves, or anything like that. This is why we were really happy to work with the Tumaco beans. You need people who know about fermentation, drying, and to make sure the quality is there – so you can get really good beans and make great chocolate. So here we have a chocolate batch which is ready. It’s been running for about two or three days. We’re going to pour out the dark chocolate from the machine. What we did, was we poured the chocolate into the tempering machine. The tempering machine is for crystalizing the chocolate in a good way, so we need to follow a temperature curve to make sure the chocolate will be snappy, shiny and really good to eat. So let’s do this! There we go… So now what we’re going to do is put the chocolate onto the vibrating table. What is important, is to remove all the little bubbles in the chocolate because it’s kind of sticky. It’s so it will be a nice solid bar without small holes in it or anything. So now we remove the chocolate bars from the mould, and pack it into aluminum foil. At the end we put a little sticker so it stays closed. The idea is to keep all the flavour inside the chocolate bar so it’s good for a long time, more than a year. So today we made the Kallari bar. It was 80% cacao, and 20% sugar. Let’s say you have one kilo of chocolate – 800 grams is cacao beans and the rest is 200 grams of sugar. So it’s pretty simple, just two ingredients. So these are all the flavours we have at the moment. We have our simgle origin line, but we also have flavoured chocolate. One of my two favourite options right now – they’re both vegan – is the coconut milk which is 60% cacao. It’s really creamy and smooth. Also, the chai tea with almond – it’s really powerful with spices but you can still taste the chocolate, which I love. Thanks to Stereokroma for filming this video for us, it’s really appreciated. We are based in Villeray, Montreal, next to the Jean-Talon market. So if you’re ever around, come and visit! Our workshop is open to the public. We’re always there to make you taste chocolate, or to answer and questions. If you’re not in Montreal, no problem. We have a website you can visit, avanaa.ca. You can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram, so please join us in our chocolate world, and our chocolate revolution!

69 thoughts on “How Chocolate is Made | Où se trouve: Avanaa Chocolate

  1. My favorite job I’ve ever had was working at an artisan chocolate shop. I miss it a lot, even though I wasn’t there very long. Working with chocolate is just so much more fulfilling than you’d ever expect.

  2. Ok, d'habitude j'adore vos vidéos mais là… Je reste un peu sur ma faim ! 😀
    Déjà, c'est filmé à Montréal et la madame est clairement francophone : faîtes donc la vidéo en français, avec sous-titres.
    Pis, autant je trouve la démarche pour aller chercher le cacao de meilleure qualité et aussi équitable possible admirable, autant je trouve le processus de fabrication un peu… stérile (lire "non manuel").
    Enfin, bravo le coup de pub, mais d'habitude, c'est discret. Là, on se demande si ils n'ont pas payé pour que vous veniez les filmer !

  3. Your work is an example of how, in this Buzzfeed era of YouTube, it's still possible to produce quality content instead of a thousand empty and poorly shot videos.

  4. The people running Strereokroma don't make videos often, but when they do, I'm always excited! Please, do more woodworking videos. I loved the guitar video!

  5. she is cute in a real nerdy way. dont be afraid to pronouce the "H" letter 😀 . aint nuthin better in the world than chocolate except sex i think.

  6. I'm trying to imagine back in times like late 18th century in France when the aristocrats were enjoying chocolate in the salon … It looks complex to make a chocolate bar now. What was it like in those days, I wonder?

  7. Congratulations, Catherine, on a wonderful video! This is something I can use to share with people who want to learn how makers transform beans into delicious chocolate bars. Thank you!

  8. When I see chocolate spinning in a huge bowl like this, I wanna dip my fingers in and lick the bowl clean. lol This woman has such a sweet intelligent disposition to her, I envy her adventures. I also want to taste her chocolate bars.

  9. I love you bean girl. xD
    Nice name, in Argentina there is a company named Havanna that sells any kind of chocolate and other sweets too.

  10. Okay, I was fine looking at the chocolate before without wanting to eat it, BUT WHEN SHE MENTIONED IT WAS DARK CHOCOLATE I NEEDED IT RIGHT AWAY!

  11. Mais elle parle d’être chocolatiere mais elle ne tempaire même pas son chocolat à la main c’est une honte au métier

  12. Her eyes are beautiful. I can't stop letting myself from being drawn into it! 🙂

    Also I love the passion she have that's why I love gastronomy!

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