Madecasse Chocolate were at Hub SOMA in San Francisco last night to 'launch' their chocolates. I've been eating their great chocolate for some time now, but it's always good to gather chocoholics and chocophiles together for an evening of great chocolate.
The history of their chocolate is worth telling. Tim McCollum &Brett Beach were inspired by their Peace Corps experiences in Madagascar. Besides producing fabulous chocolate, Madecasse helps rural cocoa farmers access the equipment and training they need to get more value from their crops. If you know anything about chocolate growing and harvesting in African countries, you know there are often child labor problems, as well as poorly paid worker and growers. Madecasse Chocolate is actually made in Madagascar, making it one of the only chocolates made in all of Africa. This creates four times more income for the people there than Fair Trade.
The Madecasse Principles
1 Good food starts with good ingredients.
2 Partner with the people of Madagascar to share skills, ownership and profits.
3 Farming and creating finished products, together, make a sustainable economy.
Madécasse is “tree to bean to bar” in Madagascar. Everything is done at the source, from harvesting and curing the cocoa in the Sambirano valley, to crafting their finished chocolate bars in the highlands of Madagascar.
Last night we tasted lots of chocolate starting with the 63% Dark which was very smooth... well all their chocolate was pretty smooth. I tried the Sea Salt and Nibs which was excellent, too. Actually I tried everything. I think it was a tie for me betweet the 75% and 80% dark chocolate. I like my chocolate, like my tea, strong.
I often give recipes on his blog that call for real vanilla. Madecasse produces and sells pure Vanilla Powder, Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Cane Sugar (yum!), and Bourbon Vanilla Beans. Definitely worth ordering directly from Madecasse.
Sarah, Brett Beach's wife, made Chocolate Mousse for all those in attendance last night. Of course, I needed the recipe, and she was very forthcoming. It's so simple!
Melt 1 bar of Madecasse Dark Chocolate over a pan of simmering water --or in a double boiler. While the chocolate is melting, whip the whites of two eggs until you have peaks. Fold the chocolate into the whites, blending. That's your mousse! Easy and delicious. To really have a taste sensation, mix 1/2 of one bar with 1/2 of another! Sarah made enough Chocolate Mousse for 100, and she ended up using a pastry bag to fill the containers without a lot of fuss. Good idea. Thanks, Sarah!
Frank Price, a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Cote d'Ivoire, does the Chocolate Tastings for TeamBuilding Unlimited. He uses at least one Madecasse chocolate at each tasting.
Enjoy this Video of Madecasse!