With more failures than successes in the kitchen, it’s no wonder I’m not the best at baking. Something about measuring ingredients just doesn’t sit well with me. However, when your birthday falls on the same day as World Chocolate Day, it’s almost a sign from the universe to indulge. And being the chocolate-loving connoisseur that I am, over the years I’ve made it a tradition to cook up a chocolate day myself to mark another year of learning and celebrating one of the world’s most versatile ingredients. , chocolate. From desserts to savory dishes, while chocolate is first and foremost considered a delicacy, it is much more complex than that. When I started baking as a way to de-stress, I realized there was a whole other world beyond the trusted compound chocolate from the neighborhood department store. Enter, artisan chocolates. The bark bean idea has become a new trend, with more chocolatiers embracing the idea of being involved in the chocolate creation process from the very beginning until the bars are encased in their beautiful packaging.
Artisan chocolates are a class apart from mass-produced chocolates, and this World Chocolate, we’ve rounded up those that have piqued our interest lately. Looked.
My first encounter with Naviluna was during lockdown as I was fervently searching for local chocolate brands to add spice to my annual baking project. What sets Naviluna apart are the ingredients they incorporated into their chocolates. The standout bar is the Naviluna 72% Tres Bale chocolate bar, which features three varieties of candied bananas grown prominently on the Deccan Plateau. Grown from cocoa beans of Indian origin, they sweeten the bars with unrefined cane sugar unlike most chocolates.
La Folie’s artisanal chocolate bars need no introduction. Founded in 2014 by chef Sanjana Patel, La Folie has established itself as the premier destination for desserts and, of course, its expertly crafted chocolate bars. While their cocoa beans are sourced from Guatemala and Ecuador, they are also known to sell single-origin chocolate bars for which they source cocoa from Malabar in Kerala. I especially like the unique ingredients they use to enhance the taste of the chocolate bars.
Sustainability is at the heart of Soklet’s chocolate production. With plantations located in the foothills of Anamalai, Soklet cocoa is grown in combination with pepper, nutmeg, coconut and banana, which provide an interesting flavor to the final product. They pride themselves on being influenced by terroir, which means you can taste the region in every bite of their chocolate.
The beautiful illustrations on the packaging are the first things that catch your eye when you pick up a Toska bar. When you unwrap it and taste what’s inside, you realize how seriously they take their chocolate. Made with fresh fruits and nuts, Toska is proudly made in India and is a testament to India’s thriving artisanal chocolate scene.
In 2014, Devansh Ashar spotted a gap in the bean-to-bar chocolate market; then, due to simple curiosity and a quick Google search, Pascati was born. Since its inception, Pascati has become India’s first chocolate brand that meets USDA Organic and Fairtrade standards and prides itself on being entirely local. Their center-filled original chocolate bars are a real treat.
6. Bark bean
Started by sibling duo, Devansh Parasrampuria and Upasana Parasrampuria Kagzi, Bean-To-Bark is an initiative to introduce people to healthier snacking while indulging in good ol’ chocolate! From sourcing their beans locally to grinding and creating small batches of chocolate buttons and chocolate covered berries, they do it all and more!