(This article appeared in the Winter 2022 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
Annie Rupani Farino, Owner
Inspired by ingredients and spices from around the world, Cacao & Cardamom brings a new twist on chocolate. Curiosity and creativity in recipe development is a specialty of our company. Each bonbon is hand-crafted and hand-painted in cocoa butter to express the flavors and originality of each piece of chocolate. By using only the finest ingredients, we promise freshness, quality and a unique burst of flavor with every bite of chocolate. In addition to our chocolate bonbons and truffles, we service our clientele with espresso-based drinks as well as drinking chocolates.
We are definitely known for our unique bonbon flavors, from Guava Tamarind to Black Sesame Ginger to Chinese Five Spice Praline. Our customers love to experience an explosion of flavor with each bonbon, but they also love gifting the bonbons because of their aesthetic appeal along with our luxurious gift boxes.
We have over 30 bonbons in our Signature and Classic collections, and in the past when trying to ramp up production, we would do production for all of the bonbons all together. We have found that if we focus on five to seven bonbons per week, then we are able to accomplish more than if we try to do the whole collection. It’s almost like muscle memory, because we’re able to get through three rounds of five different bonbons faster than one round of 30 different bonbons.
One of the most important pieces of equipment is definitely our automatic tempering machine. Without that, we would have to continually temper chocolate before use, so it is very convenient, especially during our molding process. Another piece of equipment that is essential in our kitchen is the EZTemper. The EZTemper allows for us to make sure every ganache and praline that is piped into the mold is crystallized, therefore increasing the stabilization and shelf life of our chocolates.
I think one thing that we hear a lot from our customers is that they love that we are constantly evolving from the standpoint of our chocolate flavors, aesthetics of the chocolate, and packaging. We always have a seasonal collection in the case, so everytime they come in, there’s always something new to try. We are also extremely particular about our quality, and we don’t take any shortcuts in terms of preservatives or fillers. We make all of our ganaches, pralines, caramels, and pâte de fruits in-house from real ingredients, and I believe it results in a superior product.
Since Covid, we have transitioned a lot of our business online. In the next year, we hope to improve our website significantly and open up a warehouse space for packing and shipping, as we’re unable to contain that capacity in our current space.
Visit www.cacaoaandcardamom.com for more info.