Ever heard of a Moringa-flavoured chocolate? Or ragi and coconut milk? These are part of chocolatier Arun Viswanathan’s new range of bean-to-bar chocolates called Chitra’m. “Chitram means painting in Tamil. I consider cocoa as my canvas and the flavours my colours. I love experimenting with both. This is also a tribute to my mother, Chitra, who is no more,” he explains.
All the packaging has an illustration of a peacock in gold. “This was designed by those who work in my cafe,” says Viswanathan.
“Let the chocolate melt in your mouth,” Viswanathan instructs, as I pop a piece of the Moringa-Lemon flavour into my mouth. It’s supposed to be white chocolate but the bar is pastel green in colour. “All the flavours are infused with the cocoa during the grinding process.” It is sweet with a mild flavour of the leaf. The after-taste of lemon lingers in my mouth.
“Bean-to-bar chocolates are the latest trend in the chocolate industry. It is made in small batches of 50 bars and that’s what makes it different.
This lets me control the entire manufacturing process from the selection of beans to packaging.”
Viswanathan sources the cocoa beans from a farmer in Kerala. “I need around 100 kg of cocoa beans a month. The taste of cocoa can vary from farm to farm. The aroma and the taste helps me to find the quality. I tried the produce of eight other farmers before I found the one that met my requirements. This cocoa complements the taste of the added flavours.”
The beans are cracked, roasted and ground to make the bars. It takes around 48 hours to make one batch of Chitra’m bars. Each bar weighs 50 gm and has a shelf life of nine months. “I use no artificial colours, flavours, stabilisers or vegetable fat. All my chocolates will have a slight bitter taste as I don’t use vanilla essence in it. For sweetness, I add low-glycemic-index cane and palm sugar. My chocolates are good for health,” he claims.
He says that his passion for experimenting with flavours led him to create the Chitra’m range. “We usually do not use local flavours in chocolates but I wanted to do so. All the ingredients are carefully measured to ensure the best blend. I also make bean-to-bar bonbons that are available in my cafe.”
Which is his favourite? “The Ragi and Coconut milk one. ”
Chitra’m is available at Infusions Café. “It will soon be available in Bengaluru and Chennai also,” Viswanathan says. He is also planning to tie up with cafes and retail stores in the city to sell this range.
Green Chilli and Raw Mango Dark Chocolate
Ragi and Coconut
Moringa and Lemon
Mango Lassi Milk Chocolate
70% Dark Chocolate
Turmeric and Black Pepper Dark Chocolate
Price ranges from ₹250-280. The introductory offer of ₹200 will be available till end of July