1. First, harvest ripe cocoa pods from Chocolate From Tree to Bar at Rabot Estate, St. Lucia (Slideshow)

Chocolate From Tree to Bar at Rabot Estate, St. Lucia (Slideshow)

Staff Writer
St. Lucia might be known for white beaches and lush rainforest trails, but it's also an island with a rich cocoa culture

1. First, harvest ripe cocoa pods

Camille Bromley

Cocoa pods are cut from the tree when they’re bright yellow, after growing for a period of four to five months. The pod on the left is ripe; the pod on the right, unripe.

2. Extract the cocoa seeds from the cocoa pulp

Camille Bromley

Cocoa pulp, the juicy white membrane surrounding each seed, is edible. Hotel Chocolat’s St. Lucia location restaurant Boucan makes a fizzy sweet-tart cacao Bellini cocktail using the meringue-like pulp.

3. Ferment, dry, and roast the cocoa beans

Camille Bromley

After being removed from the pod, cocoa beans are fermented for up to a week and sun-dried for up to two weeks. To make chocolate, they are then roasted and winnowed, which removes the shell. The resulting pieces are called cocoa nibs.

4. Grind the beans with a mortar and pestle

Camille Bromley

In the first step of forming the chocolate bar, cocoa nibs are ground by hand with a mortar and pestle.


5. Achieve a finely ground cocoa paste

Camille Bromley

Once finely ground, the cocoa nibs are ready to become "chocolate liquor."


6. Add cocoa butter

Camille Bromley

Cocoa butter, the fatty solids obtained from whole cocoa beans, is added.

7. Mix the nibs with the butter until smooth

Camille Bromley

With the addition of cocoa butter, the "chocolate liquor" achieves a silky, smooth texture.

8. Add confectioners' sugar

Camille Bromley

Confectioners' sugar is added to sweeten the still bitter mixture and smooth the texture further.

9. Pipe the chocolate into a mold

Camille Bromley

Lastly, the sweetened chocolate liquor is poured into a pastry bag and piped into a mold.

10. Finished chocolate bar

Facebook/Hotel Chocolat

After chilling in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, the finished bar is ready to eat.