Cococlectic: A Craft Bean-to-Bar Club

delicious & delectable varieties
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Carol Morse of Acalli Chocolate

Posted by Coleen L on March 15, 2017. 0 Comments

Carol Morse, owner and chocolate maker of Acalli Chocolate, began making chocolate after a 2013 visit to Guatemala, where her archaeologist husband works during the summers. While there, she met cacao growers in nearby Belize, and local chocolate makers. The experience inspired her to buy small-scale equipment to make chocolate at home. She has no formal culinary training but she learned and mastered her chocolate-making process with the help of Chocolate Alchemy and Chocolate Life.

 

With a background in anthropology and economic development, Carol was especially drawn to the people side of chocolate making, and a 2014 visit to the Norandino Cooperative in Peru was a chance to talk with cacao growers about their cultivation and fermentation techniques, and develop a cacao sourcing relationship. Visiting cacao growers in person and sourcing the sugar in her smaller bars locally have been opportunities to deepen ties...

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Ranger Chocolate

Posted by Coleen L on February 09, 2017. 0 Comments



Four friends – Rhonda, Patrick, George and David – set out in 2014 to embrace their love of food and find a craft they could share together. The result was Ranger Chocolate. After many explorations and experiments, they became fascinated with cacao and quickly realized that most people have no idea what one of the world's most beloved foods really tastes like.
 
During their trip to Peru, they traveled through the jungle, over mountains and across water to find beans to create their first chocolate bars. First and foremost, their goal was to make a connection with the farmers and they thought if they liked the bean in its raw state, it would make a good chocolate bar. As foodies living in the foodie city of Portland, Oregon, they were also insistent on using organic beans. After trying hundreds of beans, they chose...
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Hans Westerink of Violet Sky Chocolate

Posted by Coleen L on January 23, 2017. 0 Comments

 

About the Chocolate Maker:
We asked Hans of Violet Sky Chocolate to tell us about himself and this is what he had to say:

"I am Hans Westerink, I make chocolate in South Bend, IN. I started making chocolate three years ago because I love real flavors, and I wanted to show people what real chocolate can taste like. It took a year of learning at home, with help from Chocolate Alchemy, to get started. Opening people's eyes to the uniqueness of flavor as well as building connections in local and global communities are the favorite parts of my job.

Chocolate should not be a commodity and it does not all taste the same. Chocolate is very common, but most of what exists is boring and over processed. Our entire food culture has become a disconnected thing. No...

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Katy Oursler and Stephen Beaumier of Mutari Chocolate

Posted by Coleen L on November 07, 2016. 0 Comments

 

Katy Oursler and Stephen Beaumier of Mutari Chocolate are folks who love food, and came to love and appreciate cacao as a singular ingredient. Hailing from the hospitality industry, they found cacao to be the most challenging ingredient they have ever used. They have been grinding it out in some of the country's and world’s best kitchens, and helping to form food movements that have transformed and shaped the way they look at how food is grown and produced in this country.

 

Stephen, the chocolate maker, has no formal training; just an unending quest for unattainable perfection through repetition and dedication to his craft. He taught himself, through trial and error, how to make chocolate. He would constantly reach out to his culinary community for feedback. Stephen and Katy are determined to treat the cacao farmers with respect and integrity while helping them become sustainable...

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Sarah and Colin Hartman of Harper Macaw Chocolate

Posted by Coleen L on October 11, 2016. 0 Comments

Sarah and Colin Hartman came from very different paths. Sarah grew up in Brazil, one of the world’s largest cacao producing nations, and after joining the culinary industry, spent time at both Valrhona and Dandelion Chocolate. Colin served as U.S. Marine officer before jumping into the start-up world and ultimately, getting an MBA. It was in grad school where their vision for Harper Macaw was born. The couple founded Harper Macaw on an ambitious, yet, tangible objective – to turn chocolate into a force for tropical reforestation. They discovered a strong link between the quality of cacao and local rainforest health as well as the potential for cacao agroforestry and private reserves to facilitate large-scale tropical reforestation. Their brand name represents the Harpy Eagle and Hyacinth Macaw, two symbolic endangered species of Brazil’s Atlantic and Amazon rainforests.

 

Harper Macaw currently sources their cacao directly from select...

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William Marx of Wm Chocolate

Posted by Coleen L on September 12, 2016. 1 Comment

 

We interviewed William Marx of Wm Chocolate and this was his story to us:

 

Wm. Chocolate began in early 2015 in my home kitchen, where my passion for making nutritious, ethically sourced, delicious food from scratch spilled over into chocolate. Simply put, I couldn’t find a chocolate on the market that met my standards, so I decided to make it myself – all the way from raw cacao bean to the finished chocolate bar.

 

From the start, I knew I wanted chocolate that is free from additives, fillers, and refined sweeteners. But once I started making it, I was struck by the huge range of flavors across different cacao origins. My mission expanded beyond just nutrition, to making and sharing chocolate that celebrated these diverse flavors.

 

It took about 6 months, dozens of batches and origins, and lots of problem-solving to pin...

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Bittersweet Chocolate Souffle with Custard Sauce

Posted by Doreen L on September 05, 2016. 0 Comments

Recipe from Chef Cindy Mushet, The Art and Soul of Baking, makes eight 4-ounce ramekins

 

 

 

Ingredients 
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (up to 70% cacao), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated + 1 extra white
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) sugar
Preparing the oven
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Position an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Melt a little extra butter and thoroughly brush the inside of each ramekin – just an even, light coating – do not let it pool in the...
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Cococlectic Chocolate & Whiskey Pairing @ Square Headquarters

Posted by Doreen L on August 18, 2016. 0 Comments

Summary

The Square Chocolate group partnered with Cococlectic to provide a complimentary whiskey and chocolate pairing experience to folks at the Square office. Cococlectic is a company dedicated to helping new American bean-to-bar chocolate makers get the word out about their chocolate by providing a monthly chocolate subscription. In addition to that, they provide several other services such as guided tastings and other classes that can be found in their site.

 

For our tasting, we paired Bulleit Bourbon, Bulleit Rye, and 7 Stills Fluxuate with eight mystery chocolates!

 

 

Background

Doreen and Brent are currently attending culinary school and run Cococlectic.

 

Brent loves savory foods, so chocolate is a somewhat odd choice, but he loves pursuing passion, and there’s a lot of passion behind chocolate! He used to work in administration for a culinary school when he decided to switch to the other end of the...

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Ben Rasmussen from Potomac Chocolate

Posted by Coleen L on August 13, 2016. 0 Comments

 

Ben Rasmussen, a chocolate maker from Potomac Chocolate is no ordinary man. By day, he is a family man with 4 kids and works as a Linux Systems Administrator. By night and weekends, he is a devoted chocolate maker. He was introduced to craft chocolates in 2009 by his brother who had attended a chocolate class and organized a chocolate tasting for him. Despite being skeptical (growing up and loving big name popular chocolate bars and NOT a fan of dark chocolate), he gave it a try. He admitted he was completely blown away! Bar after chocolate bar continuously blew his mind as he tasted the difference in their flavor profiles – spices, various fruits, earthy notes, tobacco and nuttiness.

 

He then fell in love and became obsessed with learning more about chocolate through tasting. It wasn’t...

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Robbie and Anna of Ritual Chocolate in Park City Utah

Posted by Coleen L on July 11, 2016. 0 Comments

When Robbie and Anna met in 2008, they had no idea that within 6 months of their meeting, they would be setting out on a long journey to produce great chocolate. Part of falling in love, for some, is the gifting and consumption of chocolate, and Robbie and Anna were no different than the millions of couples that had preceded them in embracing this ritual. They also had an interest in fine foods, especially those that are influenced by terroir, such as wine and coffee. After several pivotal moments in their culinary repertoire, they were finally introduced to decent chocolate that wasn’t just a candy.

 

As with most small businesses, Ritual Chocolate was started in a small studio apartment in Boulder, Colorado, in 2010. On January 1, 2011, the couple began making chocolate at Steve DeVries’ factory in Denver. Four years later, they built their own...

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