Our Dark Chocolate
Cacao, pronounced ‘ka-KOW’, is the raw, agricultural ingredient used to make chocolate. In shades of red, orange, yellow, and green, cacao pods sprout from trunks of cacao trees, and cacao beans (seeds actually) are found inside the pods where delicate, sweet, fruity pulp surrounds the cacao bean cotyledons (which later become nibs). Most of the world’s cacao is still grown on small farms that provide many families who are located in remote areas of the world with their economic livelihood.
“Strung around the world along the Equator (between 20 degrees N to 20 degrees S parallels of latitude), cacao growing regions lie in a ring of fire (anillo del fuego in Spanish). We search this region to find the best cacao beans. Then we painstakingly combine them to craft the ultimate blended chocolate flavors.”-Gary Guittards
Guittard Chocolate Company is one of only ten chocolate makers in the US, and one of few that works directly with growers, long before harvest. An expert team at Guittard travels the world, working closely with growers to assess the development of individual crops and to oversee the fermentation and drying process of the cacao beans.
Our truffles are made with 2 different Guittard chocolates. The shell is made of the super dark, 72% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate which is crunchy and provides a smooth feel in your mouth and an intense flavor. The ganache is made with 61% Cacao Semisweet Chocolate which has super-rich flavors, with a refreshing chocolate finish when melting on your tongue.
We Are Tempering
In eight years we have won 18 National Awards for 18 different cheeses. The selection of the best available equipment and ingredients are an important factor for that. When we decided to make Gourmet Goat Cheese Truffles we did the same: researching the best equipment, best ingredients, and the best way to make them. We went the extra mile and invested in a high capacity tempering machine, because in 1999 researches in England found some chocolate is much better and crunchy in a bite: Tempering A Chocolate Tempering machine gets the desired amount of Type V crystals that are found in high quality chocolates. Uncontrolled crystallization of chocolate typically results in crystals of varying size, some or all large enough to be seen with the naked eye. This causes the surface of the chocolate to appear mottled and matte, and causes the chocolate to crumble rather than snap when broken. In each of our truffle you see the uniform sheen and crisp bite of properly processed chocolate as the result of small crystals produced during the tempering process.
How We Make Our Truffles
Our Gourmet Truffles are handmade in small batches-like our Gourmet Goat Cheeses-to insure the highest quality and freshness. In the first step our high quality truffle molds from Belgium are coated with melted and tempered 72% Dark Chocolate (Photos 1 and 2). Using molds gives our truffles a nice shiny surface and the same size and weight. Next the 61% Dark Chocolate for the filling (“ganache”) is melted and tempered. Then we add our Award Winning Goat Cheese to the chocolate (Photo 3). Meanwhile the additional ingredients are prepared and added to the ganache: we chop fresh organic fruits (photo 4) like all the berries, grate the citrus fruits from our own organic orchard, we hand-roast and chop the best hazelnuts available (Photo 5). Our Rum Raisins are made with aged rumsour owner is collecting old rums from all over the world-and several spices like cloves, cinnamon bark, star anise, etc. When the ganache is ready it is filled into a pastry bag and piped into the truffle shells (Photo 6). Then the truffles are cooled down and hours later taken out of the molds (Photo 7). Each of our Gourmet Truffles is hand-decorated and put into it’s packaging (Photo 8). Enjoy.