MAKING OUR CHOCOLATES
Haigh's Chocolates is Australia's oldest family owned chocolate maker, operated by the Haigh family since 1915. We pride ourselves on being chocolate specialists committed to the art of premium chocolate making.
From Bean to Bar
A quality product can only be created using the best ingredients – that’s why we source the very best cocoa beans from around the world. Then, at our factory, we put them through a number of processes to turn them from cocoa beans into delicious liquid chocolate.
FROM BEAN TO BAR
A quality product can only be created using the best ingredients – that’s why we source the very best cocoa beans from around the world. Then, at our factory, we put them through a number of processes to turn them from cocoa beans into delicious liquid chocolate used to make over 250 varieties of different chocolates to choose from in our company owned retail stores.
We start with the bean
Like wine grapes, cocoa beans have different flavour characteristics depending on variety, area of origin and processing. We start by sourcing premium quality cocoa beans from cocoa growing regions around the world. In 2014 we were the first Australian owned chocolate manufacturer to achieve international Rainforest Alliance for the use of ethically and sustainably farmed cocoa beans. Rainforest certification puts Haigh's at the forefront of sustainable production with a program that spans cocoa-growing countries from Ghana in West Africa to Peru in South America. Currently we source 80% of our cocoa from Rainforest Alliance certified farms and expect to source 100% Rainforest Alliance certified beans within the next two years.
Cleaning & Roasting
The first step is cleaning the cocoa beans. The beans run through a classifier which uses sieves, magnets and aspiration to remove any unwanted foreign materials.
Then its on to roasting. The beans are carefully roasted at 120 degrees celcius for 30 to 90 minutes. The heat enhances the colour and flavour and removes moisture.
Crushing (Winnowing) & Grinding
Using the Winnower, the outer husk of the bean is cracked and then blown away to release the internal cocoa nib bursting with that full chocolate flavour and aroma. The nib is the only part of the massive bean pod that is used to create chocolate.
The cocoa nibs are ground up under heat and pressure in the nib grinder to form a brown mixture called liquid cocoa liquor - warm, dark and still very bitter, it is blended further and pumped into holding tanks before being pumped into the mixer.
Mixing & Refining
Now it’s time for mixing. The cocoa liquor is pressed and blended with cocoa butter, vanilla and sugar, as well as milk powder if we’re making milk chocolate. We now have chocolate paste. This is put through a series of large stainless steel rollers in the refiner, reducing the particle size and turning the paste into an extremely fine powder. This critical stage helps to give our chocolate that wonderful smoothness on the palate.
The Final Conching
The conching machine is a large deep heated mixing vessel in which the chocolate undergoes hours of airation and mixing. More cocoa butter is added and the chocolate paste turns back into liquid and is beaten for many hours in what is the final stage. It’s the right combination of aeration, mixing and time that allows the complex flavours and silky texture to develop to perfection. Now that we have our smooth liquid chocolate, the real fun begins as we use it to make our many delicious products.
The chocolate mixture is allowed to cool slowly while still being mixed, then its brought back up to temperature again to make it tempered; this preserves the chocolate's appearance and keeps it shiny.
Moulding & Dipping
The tempered chocolate is moulded into various shapes such as our delicious chocolate frogs, speckles or used by our artisan chocolatiers to hand-dip and mark a variety of chocolates such as truffles.
Keeping it fresh
We’re committed to keeping our traditional manufacturing methods and maintaining product quality, and one way we do this is by using batch method cooking. We make up to 20 batches of different products each day, so we can make sure we always have the freshest chocolates available. Many of our chocolates are hand finished and carefully packed into gift boxes or bags. Every year our team of confectioners create a number of new recipes, and perhaps fine-tune some old favourites. Why? Because we want to make sure that we continue to offer our customers a diverse selection of the most delicious chocolates. And with over 250 Haigh's varieties to choose from, we think we've created something to tempt everyone’s taste buds.
EIGHT SPECIAL BLENDS
It's because we start chocolate making from the cocoa bean that we can continue to develop our own unique blends of premium chocolate. Our eight special blends each have their own distinctive aroma and flavour, assuring our customers of the very best in quality, freshness and taste. And making our chocolate in Australia ensures that we retain and further develop the artisan skills needed to make award-winning chocolate.