How are Godiva Chocolates Made?
Godiva chocolates are known worldwide for being irresistibly delicious and a treat for all the senses, but how are these decadent chocolates and pralines made? How is it possible to produce so many thrilling tastes, textures and sensations in each and every bite?
The answer is two-fold. Firstly, our creative Chef Chocolatiers who uphold the Godiva values and, secondly, the finest GMO-free ingredients that are used in every single aspect of Godiva chocolate making to create the highest quality end result – the most sumptuous chocolates imaginable.
The Godiva Ingredients
The enrobing chocolate, whether white, milk or dark, is a key element of the Godiva experience and only the very best quality will suffice. To ensure this, Godiva creates its own chocolate from a special recipe – with everything, from the choice of the cocoa beans to the degree of roasting to the fineness of the grinding, being carefully thought out to give the most exquisite results. Godiva ensures the purity and homogeneity of the chocolate paste, before refining it using a traditional method called conching. Despite the relaxation of EU rules, Godiva refuses to cut corners when it comes to chocolate. Only chocolate made from 100 percent cocoa butter is used in the creation of Godiva masterpieces, for that unique richness and depth of flavour that Godiva is celebrated for.
The fillings, from the softest creams and delicate marzipans to fruit and nuts, are all hand-prepared in mixers in the Godiva kitchens, which is the where the behind the scenes Godiva magic really happens. Fresh butter and real cream are delivered several times a week, to be used in our decadent chocolate collections, and chocolates that call for a splash of alcohol, notably the fresh cream pralines, will benefit from the warming flavours of top brand liqueurs and finest Cognac. All Godiva fillings are created using quality ingredients, which guarantees the most flavoursome, luxurious and indulgent chocolate creations possible.
The praline (hazelnut cream) is a Godiva classic which goes right back to the beginning of the Godiva chocolate story. As the very first creation of Godiva’s founder, Godiva chocolate pralines have a long history of delighting chocolate lovers worldwide. To create the perfect praline, Godiva craftsmen mix hazelnuts with an equal quantity of sugar, before heating to caramelise the nuts. They are then passed between cylinders which grind them ultra-finely to a minute measurement of just 20 microns. This hazelnut powder and the resulting oil from the grinding process are finally combined to create a soft, delicious praline paste. Always made in-house and to Godiva’s exacting recipe, this smooth, sweet praline is a popular filling in Godiva’s chocolate collections.
The nougatine is also made the traditional way at Godiva, for the most authentic results. The finest nuts are roasted and crushed, before being mixed with sugar caramel without adding water. This sweet, molten mixture is then spread over a marble table to cool before being broken into small squares by a caramel roller. This nougatine is often used to create a texture and taste contrast between crispness and creaminess in some Godiva fillings, and the resulting sensation confirms to us that doing things the old-fashioned way is still the right way.
The Preparation of Pralines and Chocolates
Expert chocolatiers use five different techniques in order to produce the variety of shapes and subtle layers of taste in Godiva chocolates. These include moulding, extrusion, enrobing by hand or under a curtain of liquid chocolate, dipping and hand-piped decoration. Using the right combination of chocolate production methods and techniques means that each Godiva piece is distinct as a perfect, individual work of art.
Moulding is what gives each Godiva chocolate a unique and distinctive shape, and Godiva moulds are carefully designed to bring out the best in each chocolate. The moulded pralines are a Godiva classic and are carefully produced to ensure that they give as much pleasure as possible. Each individual praline is made with the finest Godiva chocolate in white, milk or dark, which has been tempered to bring it to its most stable, crystal clear form, with that instantly recognisable rich glossy shine and satisfying snap if broken.
This molten chocolate is poured into shaped moulds and laid on a vibrating table to gently bring out any air bubbles and ensure the homogeneity of the chocolate. The moulds are then turned to allow any excess chocolate to run off, leaving a hollow shell into which the cream or filling is poured. On cooling, the base of the filled chocolate shell is protected by a layer of chocolate, however Godiva pralines aren’t flat-bottomed – they’re double-sided to give double the chocolate pleasure, as anyone who’s enjoyed the melting curves of a heart-shaped praline Coeur will agree. Our sumptuous, double-sided pralines are created using symmetrical moulds that are filled separately and then brought together, allowing for the marriage of several flavours and producing an indulgent praline for chocolate lovers to sink into.
Extrusion is a method used to create some of Godiva’s creamy chocolate centres, which consists of passing filling through a plate with a predetermined hole in it to produce a roll. This long roll of filling is then cooled before being cut into pieces to form individual chocolate centres – usually going on to the enrobing process to be swathed in finest white, milk or dark chocolate.
One Godiva chocolate prepared this way that doesn’t go on to be enrobed however is the Gianduja. The meltingly soft creation consists of finest Godiva praline (hazelnuts and caramelised sugar) combined with chocolate and cocoa butter, which is cut and wrapped in aluminium paper to preserve its freshness. It’s a perfect example of the extrusion method being used to form quality Godiva ingredients into beautifully presented chocolate treats.
Enrobing is a traditional way of creating a filled chocolate, which involves passing the cooled, ready cut interior under a glossy curtain of liquid chocolate. These enrobed chocolates are then cooled before being decorated in a variety of different ways, whether that’s with a fine jet of chocolate, a sprinkling of topping, a single nut or a film of coloured cocoa butter. It’s a classic method used to blanket a variety of fillings in smooth, creamy chocolate, creating many of the delicious filled pieces in the Godiva collection.
Dipping by hand is a method used in the creation of some of the chocolates in the Godiva range, including those famed pralines, which go way back to the beginning of the Godiva story as the chocolate that started it all. Nowadays there are numerous types of praline chocolates carefully created by Godiva chocolatiers. Take the Manon as an example. A Godiva chocolate artist will create sixty kilos of Manons every day, using only a two-pronged fork and her expert dexterity as tools. Each individual dome of fresh cream, garnished with a nut kernel, is plunged into a bath of melted sugar heated precisely to 60 degrees. With a simple flick of the wrist she creates the characteristic drape that can be seen uniformly across all Godiva manons, with no compromises made of neither ingredients nor presentation.
Hand-piped decoration is the perfect way for Godiva artists to add the final finishing flourish to carefully created chocolates, and all of the intricate chocolate calligraphy is done with little paper piping bags and a steady hand. An iconic example of this is the leaf which decorates the Godiva Signature chocolate. This leaf design actually has an interesting story behind it, being designed to celebrate the release of ‘Gone with the Wind’ in Brussels in 1949, as a stylised version of the feather worn in Scarlett O’Hara’s hat. It’s now a classic hand-piped Godiva icon inspired by a classic of the silver screen.
Questions on Chocolate:
Chocolate is one of life’s most delicious mysteries and discovering its secrets is Godiva’s true passion. An intriguing contradiction, chocolate can both give you energy and relax you. It can sharpen the mind and it can give that same heady sensation as falling in love. But how can you ensure the very best chocolate experience? How should your fine Godiva chocolates be stored to best preserve their exquisite flavours and how should they be eaten to encompass all the senses? Read on and we’ll share the secrets of chocolate with you:
Is chocolate good for you?
While many worry about chocolate being a ‘bad food’, the truth is that, when enjoyed as a treat, chocolate is good for both body and mind, with numerous benefits to physical and emotional well-being. It provides lots of energy in a very small volume thanks to its principal nutrients of carbohydrates (sugars) and fatty acids or lipids. The sugars give a quick boost of energy while the fatty acids in the cocoa butter release energy more slowly, for a lasting pick me up. Dark chocolate is also a powerful source of antioxidants, as well as flavanols which can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.
As well as the emotional benefits, including the ability to lift your mood and work as an anti-depressant, chocolate is actually literally good for the mind. Dark chocolate contains nutritional elements that provide re-generative food for the brain, as well as containing theobromine which encourages concentration and improves brain function.
When eaten in moderation, chocolate actually has many positive benefits, which stands to reason – afterall how can something that tastes so good possibly be bad?
Is chocolate an aphrodisiac?
Chocolate has a long reputation as an aphrodisiac, with fascinating figures through history insisting upon its aphrodisiacal qualities – from Aztec emperor Montezuma to chief mistress to King Louis XV Madame de Pompadour. The Maquis de Sade certainly abused the notion to wicked ends!
Nowadays however it’s thought that any aphrodisiacal effects of chocolate are down to a combination of the flavanols which increase blood flow, phenylethylamine which provokes a response in the body similar to falling in love, and the romantic nature of a fine chocolate experience. It’s undeniable that, when combined, these elements provoke a pleasurable reaction, which explains why Godiva chocolates are such a popular gift on St Valentine’s Day!
Does chocolate cause increased cholesterol?
Eating fine chocolate made from 100% cocoa butter can actually have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels. This is due to the fact that cocoa produces 72% unsaturated fatty acids, which can reduce cholesterol levels and clean the arteries. This outweighs the 20% saturated fatty acids which can have the opposite effect. Overall, the highest quality chocolate, as used by Godiva across the chocolate collection, contains negligible amounts of cholesterol, and can have positive health benefits.
Does chocolate cause indigestion?
Indigestion can be caused by the consumption of too many fatty foods, so it’s unlikely that the enjoyment of fine Godiva chocolates in moderation would be a cause. Overeating in general is more likely to cause indigestion, which explains why many suffer on special occasions which revolve around food, such as Christmas and Easter. This makes it easy to blame the chocolates but, unless you’ve eaten the entire box, there’s probably another culprit to blame for your discomfort.
Is chocolate rich in magnesium?
Chocolate is rich in magnesium which is important for neuro-muscular function. As one of the highest ranking foods for magnesium content, a few squares of dark chocolate could boost your levels of this vital mineral considerably.
How to eat chocolate for maximum pleasure?
Godiva chocolates are designed to invoke maximum pleasure, with the finest quality ingredients and most mouthwatering flavour combinations. However, there is a tried and tested method to ensure that you’re making the most of every single bite. Using all the senses will provide you with the most powerful chocolate experience, so remember to take in the beautiful Godiva packaging, to linger over the rich, heady scent when you lift the lid of your chocolate box and enjoy the careful decoration of each individual chocolate. Notice how the smoothness of the chocolate contrasts with other textures, and savour the snap of that first bite or the smoothness as you sink into a creamy soft centre. Once your other senses are satisfied you’re ready to let the chocolate melt slowly on your tongue, to press it against the roof of your mouth to appreciate its length and to taste the subtle flavours of the finest cocoa beans, softest creams, freshest fruits and sweetest caramels. Each and every Godiva chocolate has been crafted with your indulgence in mind, so savour every facet to experience the ultimate chocolate pleasure.
How should chocolate be stored?
The golden rule at Godiva is never ever keep chocolate in the refrigerator. Chocolate keeps best at a temperature of between 15 to 18 degrees Celsius – so neither too warm, not too cold. A dry cellar or unheated room are ideal places for chocolate storage. If you store your chocolates in a kitchen cupboard or larder, be sure to keep them away from any foods with strong odours. It’s best to keep your chocolates in their original packaging, or in a hermetically sealed or metallic box. Don’t forget that any chocolates with fresh cream fillings need to be eaten swiftly – as if you needed an excuse!
How long will Godiva chocolates stay fresh?
There’s no need to refrigerate Godiva chocolates as they should stay fresh tasting at room temperature for up to 2-3 weeks – and who can resist such tempting chocolates for longer than that? Keep your chocolates in a dry place and out of direct sunlight. If you’re looking for specifics then the temperature shouldn’t go higher that 21 degrees Celsius and the relative humidity should stay below 60% to guarantee that your Godiva chocolates remain at their very best.
Why do some chocolates have a whitish look?
There are two different types of whiteness that you may see on chocolate - fatty whiteness and sugar whiteness. Fatty whiteness forms on the exterior layer of chocolate, like a film which disappears when touched. Sugar whiteness is grainy and rough to the touch. While neither occurrence should affect the flavour of a chocolate, they can be unsightly and ruin the glossy sheen and silky smoothness that the perfect chocolate should display. Thanks to exacting methods of chocolate creation and storage, neither of these issues should be found on Godiva chocolates.
What causes fatty whiteness?
Fatty whiteness is a migration of fats to the exterior of the chocolate, or a re-crystallisation of these fats. Causes can include poor tempering of the chocolate, pouring the chocolate in too thin a layer, issues during the filling of a chocolate or storing at too high a temperature.
The expert chocolatiers at Godiva take every possible measure to avoid fatty whiteness which, while harmless, can be unsightly and mar the chocolate experience. Tempering is a method used to bring cocoa butter to its most stable crystalline form, and correct tempering results in chocolate with a beautiful shine, good retraction, perfect bite and a pleasant mouth feel. At Godiva great attention is paid to this vital stage in the chocolate-making process. Godiva also carefully calculates and controls the ideal thickness of its chocolate – too thick and the taste quality can be reduced, too thin and the dreaded whitening can occur. Godiva also ensures the stability of all cream and paste fillings, to prevent the fats from provoking whiteness in the surrounding chocolate. Finally, Godiva stores all chocolates carefully and correctly, in perfect conditions and within the ideal temperature range of 15-18 degrees Celsius.
What causes sugar whitening?
Sugar whitening is caused by the re-crystallisation of the sugar in the chocolate. It’s caused by condensation on the chocolate brought about by significant thermal shock or when the humidity level in the air is too high. All Godiva chocolates are stored in perfect temperature and humidity conditions, to avoid this unsightly occurrence and maintain an incredibly smooth and silky chocolate texture. Kitchens aren’t a good place to store your Godiva chocolates due to fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels when cooking, so consider stashing your treats elsewhere to keep them as flawless as they should be.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed discovering the secrets of chocolate, and that this sweet life lesson leads to chocolate experiences that are even more pleasurable. Either that or you can impress your friends over a classic Godiva box or ballotin – that’s if you can bring yourself to share!