Cocoa mass is the prevalent ingredient in chocolate and therefore it destines the whole choclate quality and character. In order for cocoa beans to become chocolate, they must first be made into cocoa mass. The beans are dried and roasted – with the skin (unlike coffee) – then crushed and the skin is removed by filtration.
If the mass and subsequently the chocolate are produced according to the Raw process, the roasting step is skipped and the mass is processed unroasted. It is possible, but roasting releases aromatic substances that add just that chocolate taste and aroma. Therefore, raw chocolate does not surpass the classic one in taste and aroma.
Thus, the crushed beans are further ground, so thoroughly that cocoa butter begins to loosen and a mush begins to form. It is formed into small rough shapes so that it can be worked with – broken pieces or stones. After cooling, it hardens again as the cocoa butter solidifies at room temperature.
Quality cocoa mass is made from cocoa beans without any other additives. If the beans are certified as Organic, no genetic modification has been used in their cultivation. If labeled as Natural, the cocoa does not contain any other additives (eg. alkalizants). It is a completely natural product, full of antioxidants, theobromine and hundreds of other beneficial substances, for which cocoa beans and products from them are called superfoods. Such a cocoa mass is to be seen at the above photo.
The cocoa mass contains exactly what the cocoa beans do in their raw state – about 50% of the cocoa solids, which contain all the mentioned valuables, and 50% of cocoa butter, a first-class fat that is valued, among other things, for its beneficial effects on the skin and absence of cholesterol.
So is it 100% chocolate? No – you can hardly bite the cocoa mass, it is hard as a stone. An additional amount of cocoa butter is always added to cacao mass to increase softness and to add extra flavor and the necessary chocolate structure, so that the chocolate can be poured into tables and bit without fear of teeth. However, this requires chocolate production technology, so chocolate will always be more expensive than simple cocoa mass.