We love chocolate! Chocolate is a great flavor for dessert; it can be savory as a mole sauce, or used decoratively as a garnish. Chocolate is also reported to have health benefits, and most would agree that it is good for the soul. Chocolate, however, is a tricky product.
There is a wide variety of chocolate on the market. As with any product we use, we have to balance variables such as cost, quality, how easy is the product to work with, and availability. The chocolate industry is, sadly, notorious for using child labor and slave labor in chocolate producing countries. This is one of the reasons we carefully select our products, and it is also one of the reasons we are proud to support and collaborate with select companies.
Can I just tell you, we struck the proverbial gold when we came across Raaka Chocolate! Raaka is located in Brooklyn, and they produce some of the best chocolate we have found anywhere. Right now, I am enjoying their dark chocolate and sea salt bar, and the Bourbon Cask Aged bar is waiting in the cupboard. The interesting thing about a high quality chocolate such as this is the complex flavors that are naturally present. The Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt bar has a prominent raspberry flavor, with hints of melted caramel at the finish.
Raaka is a unique chocolate in several ways, though. In addition to their commitment to organic and ethically chosen beans, Raaka uses single origin beans in their chocolate, and they also use a low temperature production method that does not roast the cocoa bean. The unroasted, single origin cocoa beans shows off the true taste of the chocolate. Chocolates from different origins showcase their flavors just as a good wine or coffee might.
We use Raaka at Ellie’s and at Gracie’s. At Gracie’s you can find Raaka in different desserts, based on the inspirations of our pastry chefs. At Ellie’s, we sell Raaka bars, and also use it in our Mille Fuille (chocolate puff pastry). We look forward to sharing our love for chocolate with you, and hearing about your favorites!