The Use of Fair Trade Ingredients for Chocolates

Edward Anderton is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Lachs-Adler Scholarship based on his academic and athletic prowess. After graduating, he served for several years as a program and project manager for Microsoft. Edward Anderton now operates as the managing director and co-founder of Scarlata Chocolate in Seattle.

Founded in 2012, Scarlata Chocolate makes fine chocolates that can be found at boutiques, wineries, and events in the Seattle area. The company prides itself on the quality of its chocolate, which is made with organic, gluten-free ingredients, fair trade cacao, and small amounts of sugar.

Fair trade refers to a trading partnership that emphasizes respect and helps to promote sustainable farming in developing countries. Cacao, which grows best in the tropical climates of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, is primarily produced through the hard work of small operations and family farms. Through added premiums and other efforts, fair trade processes ensure farmers receive a fair price for their work, thereby improving the quality of local businesses and encouraging reinvestment in developing countries. Typically, a chocolate maker or manufacturer works with a fair trade-certified importer to ensure they source fair trade cacao.

Tempering Chocolate – Why It’s Important and How to Do It

An innovative business leader, Edward Anderton serves as managing director and co-founder of Scarlata Chocolate in Seattle, Washington. Since starting the company in 2012, he has pioneered a monthly subscription chocolate service and grown revenue by more than 100 percent for four consecutive years. Edward Anderton also has developed chocolate-making classes, hosted by Scarlata Chocolate, that cover the process of tempering chocolate.

The tempering process stabilizes the cocoa butter found in chocolate. Cocoa butter consists of three to four types of fatty acids, all of which solidify at a different temperature. When a piece of chocolate is melted, these fatty acid crystals separate and create streaks or spots in the surface of the chocolate when it cools.

By tempering chocolate, the fatty acids are crystallized together. This creates a smooth finish on cooled chocolate confections and ensures the chocolate does not melt easily when held, and that it snaps when broken or bitten.

To be tempered, chocolate must be melted to a temperature that melts all the types of fat crystals, usually somewhere between 110 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. The chocolate should be constantly stirred while being allowed to cool to between 95 and 100 degrees if it’s being kept in a double boiler pan, or between 80 to 82 degrees if it’s poured on a cool surface.

Chocolate left in the double boiler is usually ready to use when it is between 95 and 100 degrees. When the chocolate is poured out to cool, it must be reheated to between 87 and 91 degrees in a double boiler before being usable.

Once the chocolate is properly tempered, it can be used to cover fruit or cookies as a dip, be placed in a mold to make a solid chocolate, or used as a shell for a candy or truffle, and left to return to room temperature.

Why You Should Consider Choosing Cacao Over Cocoa

Edward Anderton holds a BA in economics and is a certified project management professional. As the managing director and co-founder of Scarlata Chocolate, Edward Anderton has led the company in significantly increasing its sales of high-quality chocolate products made from sustainably sourced cacao beans.

Cacao differs from cocoa in several significant ways. Although both products are derived from the same plant, cacao is chocolate in its most natural form. Cacao seeds are processed without using high temperatures, unlike cocoa which is produced under high heat that causes it to lose some of its nutritional value. Another drawback of many commercially-produced cocoa products is that they are often supplemented with high-calorie ingredients such as oil, milk fat, and sugar.

Cacao offers a more intense chocolate flavor compared to cocoa and is typically sold as a raw powder and in small chopped pieces similar in size to chocolate chips. The cacao plant is also used to make raw cacao butter which contains only the fatty component of the fruit. Cacao butter is considered a very healthy type of saturated fat to consume and also offers a variety of beauty benefits.