“Chocolat Fondant” - The Melting Chocolate Was Born
The substance which Rodolphe Lindt obtained was vastly different from conventional chocolate paste. This new chocolate mass was dark, velvety, with a matte gleam. It was easy to mould, and melted slowly on the tongue. As a result of the conching process, this new melting chocolate was able to develop all its enticing flavor; without a doubt, it was unique. Lindt called it chocolat fondant - literally “melting chocolate”. With this invention, Rodolphe Lindt was the first chocolatier ever to taste and then produce chocolate as we know it today - chocolate with a smooth, velvety, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth feel.
Lengthy processing in a special kind of churning and stirring device which became to be known as a conche, the addition of cocoa butter while the paste was warmed by internal friction, and use of a variety of different cacao beans in a particular ratio were the essential elements of Lindt’s discovery. While the chocolate paste was being stirred, a thin film of cocoa butter formed around minuscule particles of sugar and cocoa, and air bubbles were produced, thereby allowing the flavor to develop to its fullest. At the same time, bitter and acidic agents had a chance to escape. And so, the world’s first melt-in-the-mouth chocolate was produced in 1879.
The Secret of Melting Chocolate Is Revealed
Chocolate manufacturers throughout Europe analyzed the chocolate produced in Berne, but none of them were able to discover the basics of Lindt’s production methods.
In 1899, Lindt sold his factory, his secret and his almost legendary brand name for one and one and a half million gold francs (which corresponds to approximately 100 million Swiss francs today) to Chocolat Sprüngli AG of Zurich.
Lindt's secret was unveiled two years later when the conching process as used to produce chocolat fondants was described in detail in the second edition of a book entitled "The Manufacture of Chocolate".