Ingredients & Product
+ What is bean to bar craft chocolate?
Bean to bar chocolate makers are those who make chocolate from raw cacao beans, going through the process of roasting, cracking & winnowing, refining and conching. This is as opposed to most other big-scale chocolate manufacturers who make chocolate using semi-finished ingredients such as cocoa mass. Chocolate makers also usually differentiate ourselves from chocolatiers who melt store-bought couvertures to mold into various shapes and to make ganache.
+ Why are your chocolates more expensive than the other common chocolate brands?
If you notice the ingredient labels of common chocolate brands, you will find many additives and cocoa substitutes content. One of the main reasons for the higher value of our chocolate bars is that we use only the best quality real ingredients without any processed cocoa substitutes, lecithin or other additives.
Furthermore, we pay a premium for top grade cacao that are well farmed and fermented; we say no to commodity grade beans that lack flavour complexity and are often overly bitter and astringent.
We also place value on ethical sourcing and sustainable farming practices - in order to adequately pay farmers a reasonable living wage, as well as the craftspeople that make the chocolate, the finished bar price must reflect the true cost of production.
+ What are the ingredients used in the dark chocolate?
We only use two ingredients in our dark chocolates - cacao beans and sugar. For example, the Alto Beni 85% bar contains 85% cacao beans and 15% sugar. In all our flavoured/ inclusion bars, we list out all ingredients used, providing providence whenever we can.
+ What type of cacao do you use?
We gravitate towards cacao that are unique in flavours and have the potential to make delicious chocolate. This includes Cocoa of Excellence award winning cacaos as well as special nano lots from progressive farmers. We use only cacao that are tracable to its source and provide full transparency, giving credit to farmers where it is due.
+ Are the chocolates organic?
We are not certified organic. Some of our dark chocolates are produced with certified organic cacao but several of the smaller farmer whom we also work with do not have the resources to attain such certifications. Nonetheless, we make every effort to procure organic ingredients where possible, including the cane sugar that we use.
+ 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.
+ Are your products halal?
We are not halal-certified but we do not use any pork related ingredients. Should there be any alcohol in the products, we'll be sure to specify explicitly.
+ Are there any allergens in your chocolates?
You can refer to this chart for details. Feel free to contact us if you need further information.
Product Condition & Storage
+ 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 to prevent condensation on the surface of the chocolate when taken out to room temperature.
Bear in mind that chocolate tends to absorb surrounding odour so it is important to store chocolate away from strong odour.
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.
+ I've signed up for the monthly subscription box. When will I get my first delivery?
For the first month, delivery will be made within one week after order is made. For subsequent months, delivery will be made on the first week of every month.
+ Can I find your chocolates outside Singapore?
We work with local reps in the US and Hong Kong. We are also able to ship internationally to most countries via DHL. Contact us for more detail.