Melting Chocolate (Chocolat Fondant)
How did Lindt invent the melting chocolate (aka. chocolat fondant) recipe? One possibility is that, following the advise given by his brother August, he let the conche stir the chocolate mass uninterruptedly for a long time period. Or according to legend, on a Friday evening Lindt was frustrated with his lack of progress in producing higher quality chocolate. He left his factory and forgot to turn of his conching machines. When he arrived back in the factory on Monday morning, he found a smooth, velvety, shiny chocolate mass waiting for him in his conches. The longer stirring time had resulted not only in a smoother consistency, but also in a vast improvement regarding the taste of chocolate, as the bitterness had been able to work itself out of the chocolate mass.
What Actually Happens in the Conche?
Conching is a key factor in determining the quality of the chocolate. It is one of the most important steps in the chocolate manufacturing process as it is possible to influence the texture, melting properties, and taste characteristics of the end product. Here too, the aim is to create the best possible taste and aroma profile. Although the previous grinding stage in the rolling mills ensures the particles are evenly distributed in the chocolate, these tiny particles can still form clumps. Intense shear forces in the conche help to break down these clumps again. At the same time, the chocolate mass heats up, allowing the unwanted volatiles and bitter acids to escape.