The inspiration It all began with a quest for fine chocolates. Richa Chaudhury was looking for a bar of Indian chocolate that could satiate her palate. With this yearning, began the decade long journey of learning to make gourmet chocolates. She set out to different parts of India to source beans, experiment and learn more about the chocolate-making enterprise. Further, she travelled to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore to study the bean-to-bar chocolate process. It all came to fruition when she found her partner Prajnay Garg, and gave this venture a true form in the name of Darkins – the dark Indian chocolates. The company born in 2017 has been growing quickly since – thanks to the founders’ mad love for chocolate.
The Journey In our quest to create fine Indian chocolates, we travelled to the banks of Godavari for cacao; the city of Coimbatore for our stone grinders amongst other towns picking up trade tricks and tools. Our beans are sourced directly from farms that practice natural/organic farming. We work closely with our partner farmers to improve the flavour profile of the cacao grown. By providing higher remuneration for their finer produce, the farmers are able to supplement their income. Historically, Indian cacao beans were mixed with African beans and used by commercial ‘chocolate’ makers. Also, while few realize India’s potential as a serious cacao producer, not many have explored Indian beans from a single farm. Darkins plans to change this and bring Indian cacao to the forefront. We slow grind our cacao in a traditional stone grinder. Slow grinding ensures the retention of nutrients and enhances the natural flavour profile.
How do we differ from other players in the market? The majority of chocolatiers buy a bulk source of chocolate (couverture or compounds) and melt it down to craft their chocolates. Darkins on the other hand, roasts, winnow, refine, conch and temper all of our chocolate in our micro-factory. We hand sort the cacao beans, gently roast them to bring out the chocolate aroma. The nibs are stone ground and conched for several hours into a thick paste, releasing all the flavour. The chocolate is tempered for its beautiful glossy shine. It is then carefully handcrafted individually into classic luxurious dark chocolate bars. Our end-products do not have any emulsifiers or flavour additives, making our chocolates healthier and chemical-free. In short, setting us apart from most chocolatiers in the country.