We are one of the very few laboratories which use craft cacao beans to produce organic chocolate. Throughout the process, we take special steps to ensure that our premium cocoa bean delivers our signature intense, smooth-melting chocolate taste. We craft chocolate in small batches to preserve the nuances of the flavor and personality of each bean.
Typically, large manufactures roast the beans at a very high temperature eradicating its individual qualities. The superb quality of the beans is our distinguishing factor.
A ‘chocolatier’ is someone who makes those dipped, nutty or cream-filled confections that we all know and love. A ‘chocolate maker’ goes through the full process from the very beginning of buying and roasting of cacao beans and then grinding them down into chocolate.
There are lots of chocolatiers out there, but there are very few chocolate makers, as the process is difficult and costly, requiring very specialized equipment and knowledge. Most small-scale chocolate shops buy their couverture (pre-made chocolate with extra cocoa butter),melt it down, and then use it for dipping their chocolates.
Cacao trees need rich soils, lots of rainfall, and warm temperatures to thrive. They naturally grow within areas that have a 20 C temperature in countries such as Ecuador, Madagascar, India, Philippines, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Tanzania, and Mexico. We are constantly forging healthy relationships with farmers in various corners of the world to find the very best premium organic quality beans.
There are many factors in acquiring the best cacao beans around. Firstly, the variety of cacao tree is very important, as well as the country and region of origin. Secondly, cacao farmers have their own methods to ensure exceptional cacao tree growth. They ensure that the cacao pods (the fruit of the cacao tree) are harvested only at the right stage of ripeness and then are properly peeled to expose the beans (the seeds of the fruit) and the pulp. The beans and pulp are then specially fermented for up to a week to optimize their flavours and then dried to lock in the flavours. At that point the farmers are ready to ship only the highest quality “flavour beans,”(which are only about 5% of overall cacao production approximately). Identifying farmers who are as passionate as we are about maintaining high standards in the harvesting and fermentation process of cacao beans is critical in order to produce our superior quality chocolate.
Our dark chocolate consists of only three organic ingredients – cacao nibs, unrefined coconut palm sugar and cacao butter. When you read the cocoa percentage on our premium dark single Estate chocolate bars, the remaining amount is simply organic coconut palm sugar. Almost all other manufacturers use other additives when making dark chocolate. 70 % cacao dark chocolate or above is widely recognised as being a healthy food.
We try our best to use the least amount of sugar possible to avoid masking the variety of flavours within the chocolate. The reason we use organic coconut palm sugar is because it is produced from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm, which grow in the same regions and climates as the cacao trees. It also provides a unique flavour that provides a complementary pairing to the chocolate
This is a low sugar product suitable for those with high blood sugar levels.
There are some simple rules to follow to assess the quality and the taste of our chocolate.
Use all of your senses to see, feel and smell the chocolate as well as your taste buds
1. The snap
When breaking a chocolate bar, look for a clean crisp snap. This means that the chocolate has been tempered and stored appropriately.
2. The fragrance
Take a piece of chocolate and smell it. A good quality chocolate will give out a deep chocolaty aroma. You can begin to identify various flavours.
3. The melt
Place a piece of our premium single estate chocolate bar in your mouth and let it melt, without biting it! Concentrate on how it melts, it will feel smooth and clean. Our fine chocolate develops flavours gradually and can last pleasantly on the palette for a while. You will soon discover a variety of distinguishable notes beginning with cocoa content followed by a combination of sweet and bitter fruits.
4. Whilst enjoying the chocolate on your tongue, hold your breath for a short moment and exhale in phases through your nose. This will enhance the aromas and allow you to experience the subtle nuances of chocolate. You may experience sweet scents such as caramel and vanilla, or the intensity of macadamia nuts or the strength of espresso or delicate orange blossom or fruits such as fresh berries or plums. Over 600 different natural aromas can be found hidden in a piece of chocolate! There are infinite possibilities.
Using high-quality ingredients is essential to us as exceptional beans craft exceptional chocolate. Patisserie-Conseil goes straight to the source and trades directly with farmers to ensure fair working practices and greater behind-the-scenes transparency. Patisserie-Conseil lists all of the farms and regions that we source our cacao beans from on our packaging.
Our standards for cacao beans are far superior to that of commodity beans. By going organic it allows us to have greater control over how our beans are harvested, fermented, and dried which will ensure we only receive the highest quality of bean.
Not all of our cacao beans are certified organic, because certifications can be a costly expensive for our farmers, but all are produced to the same standards that organic certifiers adhere to. Patisserie-Conseil supports ecologically responsible endeavours.
We also believe traceability is important, we know precisely where our beans are grown, how they are imported, and who we purchased them from.
Occasionally the beans do not mean our high standards have to be rejected, but they never go to waste as these beans can be sold to other producers or become commodity beans.
We work closely with our importers to ensure that we control the bean storage during shipping so that there is no possible contamination or flavour transfer from outside sources.