Delhi’s chocolatiers concoct many flavors for gourmets
Since Roald Dahl introduced us to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, many of us may have dreamed of being surrounded by copious amounts of this sweet confectionery. Made from cocoa beans and steeped in nostalgia, chocolate often offers people both comfort and excitement.
We talk to a few artisanal chocolatiers in Delhi-RCN who offer a range of flavors that should be on every chocolate addict’s radar.
Nothing less than art
“Chocolate has always excited me. There is something very different from other sweets,” says Neha Singh of Gurugram.
Her home business Bijoux Chocolates, established in 2017, attempts to add an artistic touch to regular chocolates. True to its name (jewelry means jewelry or trinkets in French), the chocolates made by Singh are not only appealing to the taste buds but also to the eyes due to the jewel-toned frosting which is hand painted by Singh.
Offering unconventional flavors such as Cherry Blossom, Matcha, Raspberry Lychee, Passion Fruit and more, all are made from naturally sourced ingredients. “I use dried flower petals. The idea is to infuse the true flavor of the flower into the chocolate,” she adds.
Where: Bijoux Chocolates on Instagram
Price: Rs 550 for a single bar; Rs 975 for 2 boxes of 4 candies each
Feast for the eyes
Mandakini Gupta’s journey as a chocolate maker began because of her love for chocolates from the American artisan company Mast Brothers. “Mast Brothers chocolates had a really interesting packaging, which has always intrigued me,” Gupta shares.
Unpacking that inspiration, Gupta launched Smitten Bakery and Patisserie in 2014 – she runs it from her home in Asian Games Village – which offers a range of handmade desserts and chocolates. For Gupta, presentation is also essential and she wraps her chocolates in a unique way using origami designs. Smitten has a red rice crackle chocolate, which is Gupta’s take on the Cadbury Crackle.
Where: Smitten Bakery and Patisserie on Instagram
Price: Rs 200 – Rs 280 for bars of 50-75 g
Fusion of exotic flavors
Pragati Sawhney of Gurugram created Cockriti in 2011 in hopes of tackling the lack of interesting flavors and good quality chocolates in India. Working from home – she had a studio, which is now closed due to the pandemic – Sawhney’s line of candy bars are made by fusing natural teas, flowers, spices and herbs with pure cocoa.
Cockriti’s specialties include flavors such as African Rooibos tea, lavender, mogra, Turkish coffee, matcha, as well as chocolates made with goat cheese and Rooh Afza.
Where: chockriti.com or @ chockriti.chocolatier on Instagram
Price: From Rs 300 – Rs 3,000
Founded in 2015 by sisters Gulati Radhika and Simar, Rosarté’s Chocolate Studio, based at GK-1, is a cloud kitchen that delivers artisanal Belgian chocolates across Delhi-RCN. “Our idea was to introduce Belgian couverture chocolates to the country”, explains Radhika.
You will find a range of truffles, candies and chocolate bars, as well as their specialty, the Chip and Dale chocolate bar inspired by the eponymous characters of Walt Disney. Rosarté also offers single-origin chocolates, whose flavor is unique to the country – Venezuela, Java and Madagascar, to name a few – from which the cocoa bean is harvested.
Price: Rs 650 plus delivery costs for a box of 9 candies; Rs 450 for a 100g bar
Tribute to Indian cocoa
Richa Chaudhary and Prajnay Garg launched Darkins in 2019. With their studio located at Sainik Farms, Darkins offers a variety of chocolate products made from locally sourced cocoa beans from three farms in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and South Korea. ‘Andhra Pradesh.
It serves to highlight the different flavor profiles offered by Indian chocolate. “We hope people will take our chocolates to other countries to make the Indian cocoa bean more famous,” Garg says. With a team of 10 women, Darkins’ specialties include chocolates infused with Indian flavors. One of the most interesting fusions they have is Banarasi paan flavored chocolate.
Price: Rs 295 per 65 g bar