Confectionery history has a record of at least 4,000 years, when Egyptians captured their treats on papyrus. Sugary confections were being sold in their marketplaces as far back as 1566 B.C., sweetened with date sugar or honey. Yet chocolate didn’t appear on the scene until the ancient Aztec and Maya cultures discovered the value of the cacao plant. It is reputed to have originated in the Amazon or Orinoco basin.
Biscuits Production Plant
The list of biscuit products is long and varied. And it continues evolving since new recipes and techniques are tested every day.
There exist a whole range of recipes and cooking techniques. It is impossible to describe them all here so let’s take the example of a simple biscuit:
First of all the different ingredients are mixed together and worked into dough. Once the dough has the consistency and softness required, it is moulded or cut before it is cooked. After cooling, the biscuits are either ready or they can be coated (with chocolate), sprinkled (with almonds or spices or cheese in the case of salty biscuits) or filled and covered. Finally the biscuits are wrapped and packed.
The cocoa paste resulting from the crunching and grinding of fermented and dried cocoa beans is mixed with sugar and cocoa butter to make it more liquid. Depending on the recipe powdered milk and vanilla can also be added. The paste is then refined so as to obtain ultra fine chocolate.
This crucial and subtle stage of the process gives the smoothness and the taste of the chocolate. In practice, the paste is heated and receives more cocoa butter, soya lecithin and potentially vanilla extract.
The temperature of the paste must gradually reduce and maintained before it is reheated. The paste is then crystallized in a cold tunnel so as to give the finished product its crunchiness and shine.
Moulding and coating varies depending on the type of chocolate that is made. For solid bars for instance, the chocolate is poured into moulds which cross vibrating tables to ensure the chocolate is evenly spread. It is then cooled to make it easy to remove the mould. For filled bars, the first stage is identical except that after the vibrations it is turned over to empty the moulds and keep only a thin layer of chocolate. Once it has hardened, the shells are filled and closed with a layer of liquid chocolate. And it is hardened again before the mould is removed.