Art & Process

Before the Industrial Revolution, chocolate was a gritty, rather oily paste usually dissolved in water or milk and made into a beverage. However, the invention of new machines made it possible to create smoother, creamier chocolate in the form of an edible candy bar.

In the early 1700's, a Frenchman named Doret invented a hydraulic machine to grind cacao seeds into a paste. Not long afterward, another Frenchman by the name of Dubuisson, created the steam-driven chocolate mill. These mechanical mills relieved people from the labor-intensive process of grinding cacao. It became possible to grind huge amounts of cacao and mass-produce chocolate inexpensively and quickly.

Then in 1828 Dutch chemist Coenraad Van Houten invented the cocoa press. It squeezed out cocoa butter (leaving the powder we call cocoa) and made cocoa both more consistent and cheaper to produce. In 1815, Van Houten added alkaline salts to powdered chocolate, which helped it to mix better with water and gave it a darker color and milder flavor, and in 1875 Daniel Peter and Henri Nestlé teamed up to introduce condensed milk to chocolate. Their smooth, creamy "milk chocolate" rapidly became a popular favorite. Chocolate began to appear not only in its candy bar form, but it also became much more popular as an ingredient in other confectionery sweets, such as cakes, pastries, and sorbets - opening opportunities for culinary experimentation and making chocolate more and more accessible to the masses.

To truly experience the art of making chocolate, sign up and attend the Voila Chocolate School! Learn the process intimately by making your own wonderful creations under the supervision of qualified choco-masters.