The origin of the Cacao Tree
The cacao tree is a tropical evergreen plant and was christened Theobroma Cacao during the 18thcentury by the Swedish botanist Linnaeus. Theobroma Cacao means “food of the gods” from the Greek ‘Theo’ meaning ‘god’ and ‘broma’ meaning ‘food’, reflecting the reverence chocolate has.
CHOCOLATE MAKING: FROM HARVEST TO CONCHING
From May to December, the cacao tree bears fruit in the form of bright red, green, purple, or yellow pods that change color as they ripen. After harvest, the surrounding layers of pulp are taken out of the pods and covered in banana leaves, then dried and graded after 3-9 days. The cocoa beans are then roasted, cracked open and separated (also called winnowing), and ground releasing the cocoa butter and cocoa mass. Finally, the chocolate is mixed with basic ingredients such as sugar and milk powder, and goes through a refining process (called conching) that removes unwanted flavors and aromas, creating chocolate that is full flavored and velvety smooth.
the concept & recipes
Creating chocolate perfection – from cocoa farm to box of chocolates – requires vision. From this vision, our master chocolatiers dream up a concept. Through trial and error, Moonstruck Chocolate’s chocolatiers work hard to find a blend of flavors that transports you to another world - filled with magical flavors and pairings. Recipes are developed and tested to find innovative flavors that create a truly magical experience.
Once recipes are developed and flavors are tested, the art of chocolate making truly begins. To create the perfect structure of cocoa butter crystals, the liquid chocolate is cooled from 45 °C to approximately 28 °C then heated again to 30°C. This is a critical stage resulting in chocolate having a high glass finish and sharp snap when broken.
Moonstruck Chocolate prides itself on the individual attention each chocolate gets throughout its lifecycle. Each individual truffle is decorated by hand in Portland, Oregon, creating a personal touch to every box of chocolate.