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‘Demand for organic, vegan chocolate increasing in India’

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New Delhi, Jan 15, 2021-
The artisanal, bean-to-bar chocolate making will further gain feet in India in the coming years. An evolving palate of Indian consumers will help the rise of India-made chocolates and brands that use honest, natural ingredients and practise small-batch handcrafting, says Sheetal Saxena, founder of Colocal, an artisanal chocolate brand.

Colocal, which has a casual cafe diner and chocolate factory at its flagship in Delhi’s Chhatarpur, is a bean-to-bar concept based on strategically sourcing locally grown cacao and transforming it into the finest, skillfully blended chocolate available to all the chocoholics out there in every possible form. The idea behind the brand is to introduce people to the craft chocolate world, where they get to taste the real chocolate with their varied notes, made out of premium quality Indian beans.

“There is a growing interest and demand for dark chocolate as people are paying far more attention to health and sugar reduction now. The demand for organic, vegan, sugar-free, and gluten-free in chocolates is increasing rapidly. At Colocal our dark hot chocolates are evidently popular. We offer dark hot chocolate variants in strengths 55 per cent, 64 per cent, 72 per cent and 85 per cent with added flavours like mint, raspberry and chilli, and sea salt,” Saxena told.

Colocal is conceptualised by Sheetal Saxena and Nishant Kumar Sinha, who recently launched the flagship diner in the capital. While serving delicious chocolate-based dishes, the place also has a chocolate factory on the floor above, where diners can experience chocolate being created.

The process of making craft chocolates is often seen as the most complex and layered product to work with. The whole process from bean-to-bar is an extensive and far-flung activity, involving a lot of steps before the final bar is produced. The brand sources the Cacao from Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the two regions where the best quality cacao is grown in India. Once the beans are plucked from the Cacao tree, they are then taken for fermentation at a high temperature to get the right profile. After fermentation, the beans are left for 3-4 days to dry completely before the process of roasting starts.

Roasting is the most important yet momentous part of the entire process. It brings out the desired notes, taste, colour and texture of the cacao beans. Once the beans cool down, they are cracked open and separated. Then the Cacao nibs are crushed and sugar is added to make the final chocolate bars. After the Cacao nibs are crushed and made into chocolate liquor, they are further conched to remove the acidic acids from the bar for a better after-taste. Tempering is the final step and this is what decides the final finish look and taste of the chocolate. All chocolates are tempered at different temperatures and are packaged and distributed around the world. The entire process of making a bar out of roasted cacao beans takes up to 72 hours.

The menu at Colocal is handpicked and assorted with a mix of Italian and Continental fare such as sourdough pizzas, handmade Pastas, scrumptious burgers and sandwiches, not to forget the most popular and celebrated Roastery Coffee House coffee beverage menu. It also incorporates delectable drinks and a food menu made using the in-house chocolates like hot chocolate, cold chocolate, cacao cold brew, to name a few. It also offers baked goods and bakery items overwhelmingly revolving around chocolates. The appetizing desserts include Chocolate Souffle, Chocolate Tart, Cakes, Chocolate Babka, Sourdough, Croissant, Pain au chocolat, amongst many more intriguing treats.

Where: COLOCAL, Dhan Mill, 100 Feet Road, Chhattarpur, New Delhi (Agency)

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