What is the best way to store the chocolate?
The most ideal way to store the chocolate would be to keep them in a wine fridge configured to the “red wine” setting (14-18°C). If kept in a refrigerator (0-4°C), make sure that the packaging is properly secured.
In order to experience the best texture and flavour, take out from the refrigerator the chocolate in its sealed packaging at least 10 minutes before serving. This allows the chocolates to warm to 18 to 20°C while keeping condensation to a minimum on the chocolates.
There are white speckles on the chocolate! What are they?
This is a condition known as sugar bloom. It affects only the aesthetics of the chocolate and will not affect the taste. The chocolate adopts a dull, tannish-white colour and feels gritty when touched. It is caused by the condensation of water vapour in the air on the chocolate surface when the chocolate is exposed to a sharp increase in ambient temperature. The water droplets dissolve the sugar in the chocolate, and when evaporated, leave behind tiny sugar crystals on the chocolate.
My chocolate has turned a dull brown colour! What happened?
You've just witnessed fat bloom. It is usually caused by improper storage conditions such as storing in our warm climate of 28-30°C for extended period of time. The type V fat crystals rapidly change into the more stable type VI crystals, causing discolouration. Melting point of type VI crystals is higher, hence the chocolate's melting profile will be affected. When this happens, you can make yourself a cup of hot chocolate by melting the chocolate in warm water or milk. It's still delicious!
My gianduia spread has a layer of whitish stuff at the top.
Your gianduia spread is still safe and delicious to eat. Gianduia is a finicky product. When kept in a cool environment, it starts to set (turn solid) which you can rectify by warming up in the microwave without the lid, or immersing in a warm water bath. When kept in a warmer environment, cocoa butter and hazelnut oil in their liquid form will eventually start to separate away from the solids, floating to the top. Cocoa butter will then take on its most stable type VI crystal form, turning solid and showing up as either a layer of whitish wax at the top or as small globules within the spread. All these can be rectified by simply warming the jar in the microwave without the lid or immersing in a warm water bath to melt the cocoa butter. Then stir to mix the oil back in.
Are your cacao nibs and chocolate raw?
All our chocolate are made from roasted cacao beans for flavour as well as for food safety. We take great pride in our roasting and strive to bring out the best flavours guided by our senses and experience.
Cacao is an agricultural product and naturally harbours a wide flora of bacteria, most of them harmless but some potentially deadly (e.g. semolina, E. Coli). Roasting is an essential process to make cacao safe for consumption. We feel that the risk far outweighs all other health benefits that "raw" cacao is said to bring.