Chocolate lovers often reach that point when they want to try chocolates not made by commercial companies. That is not to say the chocolates we find at stores aren’t tasty, but sometimes we want to try something different. These artisan chocolates are also not easy to find and are often produced locally.

What is an artisan chocolate?
Artisan chocolates are made by hand in small batches. This is opposed to commercial chocolates which are mass-produced. Artisan chocolates sometimes takes days to create. They also come in different designs and shapes. You might ask, do they use ingredients that are natural? Well, not necessarily. Even these small-scale chocolate makers use artificial coloring and ingredients to create their products. Some of these are meticulously picked and processed, however, and that is why some artisan chocolates can be pricey.

What are the types of artisan chocolates?
Like commercially-produced chocolates, artisan chocolates are divided into three categories; dark, milk and flavored. Dark chocolates have the highest percentage of cocoa solids and has little to no added sugar. Milk chocolates are cocoa solids mixed with milk. Other ingredients such as vanilla, butter, lecithin and milk fats are also used. Flavored chocolates are cocoa solids with flavorings and other ingredients besides those used to make milk chocolate. Some artisan chocolates add unusual ingredients such as chili, salt and others in the chocolate. What about white chocolate? White chocolate isn’t actually a type of chocolate because it isn’t made from cocoa solids, but are made instead from non-fat parts of cocoa.

How are artisan chocolates made?
Most artisan chocolatiers start with the cocoa beans. These are bought fresh from the market or directly supplied by farmers and then roasted. The husks are removed and the cocoa is refined into bars. There are two primary ingredients for any artisan chocolate, the cacao and sugar. Some artisans are particular about the type of cocoa beans they use. There are three types used today by chocolate makers. These are Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario. After the husks of the beans are removed, the nibs are ground into chocolate liquor. Next, the chocolate is placed in a wet grinder to refine and aerate it. The sugar is usually added while the chocolate is refined. After the grinding, the chocolate is tempered by cooling and warming alternately and then molded.

Where to find artisan chocolates in Singapore?
Check out these artisan chocolatiers in the country.
1. Angelina Tea Room & Patisserie
2. Anjalichocolat Artisan Chocolatier
3. Artisan Boulangerie Co.
4. Beans to Bars
5. Chocolate Origin
6. Cocoa Colony
7. Demochoco
8. Laurent Bernard Chocolatier
9. Leela’s Fine Chocolates
10. Matt’s The Chocolate Shop
11. The Audacious Cakery
12. The Bakery Chef
13. Wimbly Lu Chocolates