Bean-to-Bar Chocolate is shorthand for the long process of micro-batch chocolate making. The chocolate maker gets the chocolate directly from the farm directly - buying small quantities, cleaning, roasting, cracking and winnowing before grinding the beans.
Unlike mass-produced chocolate bars - artisanal chocolate is made from a hands-on process with a fair and traceable chain of cocoa so you are always sure what you are eating.
Cocoa Beans are the proud postcards of where it is grown - the terroir. A batch of cocoa beans flavour profiles depends on which farm has it grown on, how it is fermented and what else is grown on the farm. Since most farms in India grow cacao as an additional crop - we taste notes of everything from orange to coffee in a well-fermented batch.
Connecting with a farmer to talk about their terroir and methods of fermenting the cocoa beans helps us highlight the single-origin flavour profiles in each of our bars. A good lot of cocoa then reaches us here in Udaipur.
Roasting without losing off the bean’s flavour profile is a task for many craft chocolate makers. We do not over-roast the beans and highlight terroir flavours in beans The right temperature and the right time are important to highlight the flavours, get rid of bacteria, reduce the moisture and loosen the shell.
The Beans are further cracked to separate the nib from its shell. The nib is what eventually turns into chocolate and the shell (aka cocoa husks) can be used to brew teas.
• Refining and Conching:
The nibs are then ground, refined and conched for the next 3-4 days to reach the desired consistency and develop their taste. Depending on the variant, sugar and other ingredients are added over the course of time.
Chocolate bar achieves it brittle - a snap when you break the chocolate - and its shine. When the chocolate is set at a certain temperature. Tempering is heating and cooling the chocolate before it sets and that process stabilises the crystals present in cocoa butter.
The chocolate is then set into moulds and put into the chocolate cellar. What we then have is a shiny bar of chocolate.