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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make good chocolate and what makes it good?
You need a good quality chocolate base to begin with. It is generally accepted that any dark chocolate should have a high cocoa content. The chocolate should also look good and have a glossy “look” to it due to proper tempering which is an art and a science in it’s self. When you place it on your tongue there should be a noticeable smoothness to it (but true connnoisseurs are more concerned with the percentage of cocoa solids – many will consider nothing less than 70%).

In the case of truffles the real essence comes from the gnache and the recipe behind which must include fresh ingredients as a start. There is controversy in how truffles are made –some will argue that the gnache must be rolled in dark chocolate while others contend that a good truffle should include a good outer chocolate cover to protect the ganche. Of course the fresher a chocolate or truffle is, the better it will taste.

Ah yes, taste.. now there’s something! We all have different pallets and some people prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate. Others find white chocolate to their preference. Whatever your preference, like wine, what you enjoy is what you should stay with…. but we suggest you try some of our dark chocolate anyway just to make sure!

Is white chocolate really chocolate?
Good question! Dark chocolate and milk chocolate are made with both cocoa and cocoa butter. In white chocolate there is no cocoa, only cocoa butter, so it isn’t really chocolate at all. White chocolate should be correctly referred to as “white confectionery coating.”. So much for colored chocolates!

What do you make chocolate from?
The chocolate bean – cocoa beans come from pods on a chocolate tree (Theobroma Cacao). Each pod carries about 30-40 beans. It is a difficult tree to grow and rarely bares fruit outside a latitude band of 20 degrees north and south of the equator. The highest quality bean is the Criollo, followed by the Forastero and a hybrid strain, the Trinitario.

I have heard that chocolate is good for you – is this true?
Dark chocolate is definitely considered good for you. In fact recommendations now abound that suggest that a small amount of dark chocolate per day as part of a diet may help prevent heart attacks. These studies are new as is the fact that heart attacks symptoms in women are very different to those of men. Dark chocolate contains levels of polyphenols (as do red wine skins….hence a glass a day). In his book, Les vertus therapeutiques du Chocolat(1990), Herve Robert finds that the theobromine, serotonin, caffeine, phenyl-ethylamine contained in chocolate makes it a tonic, an anti-depressive and anti-stress agent, enhancing pleasurable activities including making love! Well, what more can I say…..buy NOW!!

Womens health……and chocolate?
We’ll try to obtain snippets of information on your health especially as it relates to heart disease and it’s symptoms and how to better look after yourself. We’re not claiming to be an authority on this but we will endeavor to find useful stuff and it will be from a trusted source which we will name. As a start I highly recommend Debora Yost’s “Heal your heart with Wine and Chocolate and 99 other ways women can protect their heart” (ISBN:1-58479-437-2).