Creating our chocolate starts with the source, including locality and ethical considerations and works right through details like form, aesthetic, size, smell, taste and flavour and, specifically for chocolate, the mouth feel and finish.
At this early stage of our business life the sourcing does not go right back to the cacao bean. This has been our dream since the beginning and is part of our plan in the coming years. This topic is covered more under "Cocoa".
For now there are three key elements to our focus on ingredients:
1. We are devoted to creating a sense of being inspired by our chocolate. For ingredients this means first utilising our imagination and experience, and then expressing it to our signature.
2. We use only the best quality natural ingredients which keeps things very simple. We control everything from sourcing to farewelling the customer so we have no limits or the need to compromise. Because we only use the freshest cream and butter, and fruit purees our shelf life is much shorter than mass-produced chocolates. We never substitute vegetable fats for cocoa butter or use artificial additives or preservatives.
3. It's nice to look to your own backyard to gather the essentials for a brewing concoction. Local suppliers are an element of our brand which we are happy to sing about, such as David Baker, owner of Melbourne-based single malt whisky company Bakery Hill, supplier of the key ingredient for our Single Malt Whiskey Praline; Perth's The Wine and Truffle Co, supplier of the black truffle for our Truffle Caramel, exclusive to our Claremont Salon; and honey from The Tasmanian Honey Company for our Leatherwood Honey Praline. One of our favourites is Erich Mayer from Wellwood Wallace. Erich grows organic walnuts near Ballarat, just one hour from the Koko Black Creative Centre. Naturally, this wonderful product is available seasonally and when we aren’t able to source walnuts from Erich, we withdraw our Walnut praline from our Salons because we just can't bring ourselves to use any of the alternatives, which don't come close for flavour or quality.
It is important for us to stress that fine chocolate is never viewed by us as a luxury item, or somehow exclusive. Historically, and even today, fine chocolate has been seen this way, but at Koko Black we believe that exclusivity is not a part of the nature of chocolate.