PAIN ET CHOCOLAT (means Bread and Chocolate) was born from a fond childhood memory back in France. The memory of a small bar of chocolate melting on a warm slice of bread or into a piece of baguette for an after school snack.
Today, many moons later, this is still our favourite way to eat chocolate. Bread and Chocolate bring back all those memories. It is simple yet delicious.
PAIN ET CHOCOLAT is about the love of all handcrafted foods in small batches. Pain et Chocolate sources only the highest quality ingredients (organic where possible). Variations or additions to the range are set by seasons and trends.
We are also a member of 1% For the Planet – which is an initiative for businesses to give at least 1% of our annual sales towards approved Australian environmental nonprofits. Read more about that here.
No, part of our production is made with Felchlin couverture chocolate made in Switzerland from single origin cocoa beans (Venezuela, Ghana, Ecuador) and the other part of the production is what we call Bean to Bar. In that case we purchase our cocoa beans from a bigger local chocolate maker who can directly source from the farmer at origin or from a broker. Our bean to bar production is very small and at the moment we only work with two different origin cocoa beans, Peru & Panama.
Couverture chocolate is chocolate made by a bigger manufacturer who imports all the single origin cocoa and makes bigger amounts of chocolate in button form which will be distributed to chocolatiers around the world. Some of the manufacturers can also be chocolate makers and supply fine dining restaurant or high end pastry chefs. This is not the case for all the manufacturers and I advise to always get informed about the origin of the couverture you buy (who makes it, where do the beans come from, is it direct trade/fair trade, are the farmers paid a fair wages, etc…)
Unfortunately it is a well known fact that there is a dark side of the chocolate industry. Like most things we consume it is worth being educated about our choices.
Bean to bar literally means from the cocoa beans to the finished chocolate bar.
Once the fermented cocoa beans arrive in Australia in 50kg bags, the chocolate maker is in control of all the steps of the process of making the chocolate.
1. It starts with the manual sorting of the beans (separating the good beans from the damaged ones and picking out any foreign material ie. wooden sticks, stones, etc…)
2. Once sorted the good beans get roasted (just like coffee beans but at different temperatures).
3. After the roasting we crack & winnow the beans to get the nibs (the shell is removed and the beans are cracked into smaller pieces called nibs).
4. From the nibs we step into the conching process which creates a liquor (liquid cocoa) and we add sugar for dark chocolate or sugar and milk powder for milk chocolate and any other flavouring agent for flavoured bars. This process can last up to 72hours depending of the batch size. The bigger the longer.
5. After 72h of conching we have a very warm liquid chocolate that is poured into containers to set and rest for a certain amount of time (this step varies between makers, it is a personal choice) This way all the natural flavours from the cocoa beans have time to develop and get ready for the tempering process.
6. At tempering (in machines or manual) the aged block of chocolate is melted and cooled again at the perfect point to create the perfect chemistry so the bar you will eat is shiny and snap nicely when you break it up!
7. In our instance we design and in house print all our packagings and finally hand wrap all our bars with love.
This is a long and meditative process we are passionate about. It is an intimate relationship with the cocoa matter where there is always room for improvement, always!