Hi, my name is Sarah and I work in the Harrogate Chocolate Factory. I don’t really know what I want to do as a job yet, but working in the chocolate factory has let me make new friends, taught me how to focus on work, and gain more confidence.
I am now going to tell you how I make chocolate from bean to bar.
First things first, I tie my hair back, put on an apron and wash my hands. We roast some beans and once they are cooled down, we crush them in the cocoa break and separate the shell from the nib in the winnower.
Next we have to weigh out the nibs and chop up some vanilla to sweeten them up. We measure out cocoa butter and melt it down over a pan ready to put into our batch.
We then add the nibs, vanilla and cocoa butter into the machine. We have to do this slowly so the nibs don’t get stuck in the machine and make it stop.
After all the cocoa butter and nibs are added to the drum, I measure out some coconut palm sugar and add this to the recipe.
It takes around three days for the chocolate to fully grind down and become smooth enough to start moulding.
To mould, I have to add the melted chocolate into the ‘tempering machine’ and wait until it gets to the correct temperature before I start scooping the chocolate into our chocolate moulds. We put the moulds into the fridge to cool and harden into chocolate bars.
Finally, we wrap the product in foil and the outer packaging, add a use-by date and put them into boxes.
My favourite job in the chocolate factory is using the machine that grinds down the nibs, milk, cocoa butter and sugar. We call this machine the stone melangers, because two stone wheels’ spin around and crush all the ingredients together.