There is always room for learning something new. This chocolate journey is very humbling because as soon as I get the hang of something, it's time to add a new mould or a new flavor. The creative process, whether it involves chocolate or not is a never ending journey of humility and grace...
Last year, I decided that I really wanted to learn more about tasting chocolate. Not just, "Oh, that's nice," you know, and also not a snob... "I ONLY eat this percentage or above, blah, blah, blah..." but really understanding more about where it comes from, how it's cultivated, what is my impact. So, I signed up for a Mastering Chocolate Flavor course and started a new journey. At first, chocolate tasted like chocolate. I couldn't find the different flavors, aromas, etc., and then... then, I tried my first Bean-to-Bar/Craft chocolate from Dandelion Chocolate and I was amazed. I mean, mind blown. It was their Ambanja, Madagascar 70%, it was fruity, bright, like a party in my mouth and a new love for chocolate flavor began.
THE AMAZING, LIFE ALTERING BAR! Photo from Dandelion Chocolate
FIRST CHOCOLATE TASTING WITH FRIENDS, I SHARED MY DANDELION CHOCOLATE
If you are local, you have probably tried some of B Cocoa's single origin bars. They are mainly sourced from the well-know French fine chocolate company Valrhona. I do not make the chocolate, I source it, temper it, mould it and wrap it in pretty little papers made by women artisans in Nepal. And it's good. I've enjoyed seeing your reactions when you try a single origin from Madagascar, just like I did a few months ago!
OUR HAND-TEMPERED HAND WRAPPED BARS WITH ARTISAN MADE PAPER
And now, my friends, it's time to grow again. Because, this is how I see it... I am a CHOCOLATIER and that is only one side of the chocolate industry. My job is to find yummmy, fine chocolate/couverture and create recipes that enhance the flavor of the couverture I use.
What is couverture? Couverture, which is French for "to cover" is chocolate with added cocoa butter (the most expensive part of the chocolate due to high demand from cosmetic companies and other industries), which allows for a smoother mouthfeel, an easier cover over the truffle, and a beautiful shiny, crisp finish. I do not make the chocolate, but I strive offer a sustainable, fair trade, industry building product that helps the other side of chocolate that we never see. The artisan or craft side of B Cocoa comes from our centers and our processes. Every ganache recipe is small batch made, all natural and hand-crafted and with local ingredients when available. Our truffles, bonbons, bars are hand painted, hand tempered, hand moulded, one-by-one. It is small, it is intimate and it is a labor of love.
HAND PAINTING OUR MOULDS... TAKES FOR- EV- ER!
And so, this got me thinking... I LOVE craft chocolate. I am SO intrigued by the craft, bean-to-bar process and it is not something I do but I want to support the craft bean-to-bar industry. Since uncovering this amazing side of chocolate I have tasted chocolate like I have never tasted before and it's too good to keep a secret. So... I'm going to share it with you. VERY SOON. I have my first bars from a fellow Momprenuer tucked away in a safe place. She is sweet, she is supportive and she is a ROCK STAR in the chocolate industry and I am beyond excited to introduce you to her AND offer you her amazing chocolate, so stay tuned.
WOMAN OWNED SMALL BATCH, VEGAN, CRAFT, BEAN-TO-BAR CHOCOLATE
Now, here is where I need your help. I'm toying with the idea of a monthly or ever-other month B COCOA CHOCOLATE CLUB. That would mean, a new bar or chocolate to taste every month from a different chocolate maker, and access to purchasing their yummy bars and taste chocolate together. Do you have a craft maker that you would love to try, let me know and we can try it? This will be a fun adventure.
My question is ... Who is in???