The transformation of cocoa nibs into chocolate begins with grinding the small roasted pieces of cocoa beans into a coarse paste. For a 100% dark chocolate, no other ingredient is needed. For, for example, a 70% chocolate, the sugar is usually also ground in this step. This initial grinding reduces the particle size of the cocoa nibs and initiates the release of cocoa butter. The ground mass is now ready to be finely ground.
We finely grind the cocoa mass in a machine filled with 40,000 steel balls that break the particles even further. The cocoa butter in the beans is released by the friction and soon the initially rough paste is a liquid mass.
At this stage, the viscosity and flow properties of chocolate are a function of many interconnected variables, one of which is particle size. Sugar has a coarse and hard crystalline structure in contrast to the soft and fibrous nib. The cocoa paste is loaded into a mill and refined with the friction of 40,000 heat-hardened steel balls.