This is possibly my favourite of chocolate machine, because it looks like something Wallace & Gromit might find on the moon tottering about on its twiggy little legs. Or a futuristic machine from a 1970s Doctor Who.
In fact this is a peanut roaster, used by our friends at Grenada Chocolate to roast their cocoa beans.
This is what the beans look like when they come out of the roaster; a bit like gravel. The complex chocolate flavours that have been developing during the fermentation and drying processes are brought out during roasting, so the beans will start to taste chocolatey after this stage.
Different kinds of beans react well to different temperatures and lengths of roast, much like coffee, and chocolate-makers are often secretive about the precise methods they use.
If they tell you, they’ll have to kill you.