CHOC-A-BLOCK

We asked three chefs which choco­lates stand out in their minds

T. Dining by Singapore Tatler - - Starter Ingredients -

In­done­sia, the world’s third-largest ex­porter of ca­cao, boasts a clutch of fledg­ling bean-to­bar play­ers such as Pip­iltin Cocoa and Pod Choco­late. In Malaysia, Ong Ning Geng, the founder of Choco­late Concierge, not only pur­veys choco­lates made from lo­cal ca­cao beans, he’s also gone ahead and bought his own ca­cao trees. Viet­namese choco­latier Marou Faiseurs de Cho­co­lat is al­ready a well-loved brand around the Asian re­gion, while in the Philip­pines, Hi­raya Choco­lates sources its beans from Davao. Hav­ing their bases lo­cated close to the ca­cao farms they buy from means th­ese choco­late mak­ers have an ac­tive hand in their raw ma­te­ri­als—so the flavour and qual­ity of their choco­late is gen­er­ally world-class.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, choco­late finds an ex­cel­lent flavour part­ner in an­other third-wave prod­uct: cof­fee. The lush, bit­ter un­der­tones com­ple­ment one an­other delectably, as seen in the most ba­sic of desserts: choco­late cake, choco­late mousse and tiramisu, to name but a few. Try it in your own ren­di­tion of cof­feescented choco­late truf­fles. Sim­ply mix half a cup of heavy cream with a quar­ter-cup of espresso and bring to a boil, and pour the boil­ing mix­ture over 280 grams of roughly chopped dark choco­late. Stir un­til smooth and re­frig­er­ate for 30 min­utes be­fore scoop­ing tea­spoon-sized balls of the re­sult­ing ganache onto a sheet pan lined with parch­ment pa­per. Re­frig­er­ate for an­other 30 min­utes and roll the truf­fles in cocoa pow­der be­fore serv­ing.

JOSEPH YEO, CHEF-OWNER, SPRMRKT KITCHEN & BAR

“The Te­muan sin­gle-ori­gin Pa­hang choco­late with cocoa nibs from Choco­late Concierge is my favourite be­cause of its semisweet, nutty flavour and crunch. It goes well with unsweet­ened cof­fee, and I par­tic­u­larly en­joy it with Sprmrkt’s latte.”

AN­GELA MAY, CULI­NARY DE­SIGNER, GLASSHOUSE

“Val­rhona’s Cu­vée Bali 68% strikes a chord with me be­cause Val­rhona works with 400 ca­cao farm­ers in Bali who use ar­ti­sanal meth­ods to blend the only Asian choco­late they make. Be­cause the trees grow be­side the rice fields, I would sug­gest mak­ing a plated dessert of Cu­vée Bali choco­late mousse with a co­conut tu­ile over roasted pineap­ple and puffed rice.”

PANG KOK KEONG, EX­EC­U­TIVE CHEF-OWNER, AN­TOINETTE

“I love the com­plex­ity of Val­rhona’s Man­jari 64%. It has a strong cocoa pro­file, with hints of roasted nuts and a pleas­ant acidic fin­ish of red fruit. I use it in our cakes and desserts.”

Cof­fee and choco­lates are soul­mates— match sin­gle-ori­gin vari­ants from Choco­late Con­ceirge with sin­gle ori­gin cup­pas

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