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Bake Better: Chocolate couverture made with Desi Khandsari a.k.a Muscovado Sugar

Why should you be baking with Khandsari Sugar and care if the baking chocolate you are using is sweetened with it? Read on..

Muscovado, also khandsari and khand, is a type of partially refined to unrefined sugar with a strong molasses content and flavour made from thickened sugar cane syrup. It is neither bleached nor contains harmful chemicals and additives and hence considered a less processed substitute to white sugar. It is dark brown in colour usually. Khandsari and Gur (jaggery) are the most popular forms of the traditional sugars in northern India.

Khandsari sugar is usually darker than other sugars

The largest producer and consumer of khandsari is India. The English name “muscovado” is derived from a corruption of Portuguese açúcar mascavado (unrefined sugar).The Indian English names for this type of sugar are khandsari and khand (sometimes spelled khaand). Nearly two thirds of the total sugarcane produced had been used for manufacturing of the traditional sugars in 1930’s. However, after introduction of sugar refinery mills and their significant growth and increased demand for white sugar associated with increase in per-capital income among the population, the demand for the traditional sugars declined. By 2000, only 32.5% of the total sugarcane produced in India was used for manufacturing of Gur and Khandsari.

Muscovado a.k.a Khandsari sugar sugar is unrefined cane sugar that contains natural molasses. It has a rich brown color, moist texture, and toffee-like taste. It’s commonly used to give confections like cookies, cakes, and candies a deeper flavor but can also be added to savory dishes. This is the reason why Kocoatrait chocolate couvertures have a deeper and unique toffee like note. This helps bakers add a slightly unique flavour to their final products. This is perhaps the main reason you should be Baking with Khandsari Sugar.

The use of khand in India in making sweets has been traced to at least 500 BC, when both raw and refined sugar were used. Along with gur, khandsari unrefined sugar is India’s traditional sweetener,[28] commonly used in traditional recipes for masala chai (spiced Indian tea), eating with roti by mixing with melted ghee, traditional Indian sweets that require sugar such as kheer (Indian rice pudding), gur or khand chawal (sweetened rice) or laddu. Khandsari (muscovado) is used in traditional Ayurveda medicine to aid blood purification, digestion, bone health and the lungs.

Having said the above, our verdict is as follows: While it is true that khandsari has more nutritional value than white sugar.  But let us be real.  One should not be eating sugar for the vitamins and minerals! The fact is that khandsari is minimally processed and has a unique flavour profile which makes it interesting to work with. This should be the reason you should consume it. Further, there has always been a debate about bone char being used to refine sugar. We just could not get around proving that, so we decided to avoid the problem instead of solving it ! We do not encourage the health claims associated with khandsari. However, using minimally processed and safe ingredients is always something we are eager to do Thats why we buy only USDA organic certified khandsari sugar for use in Kocoatrait chocolate products.
Michael Krondl, Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert, Chicago Review Press, ISBN 978-1556529542, pp. 34–35

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Kocoatrait Chocolate Flavours

Kocoatrait Bean to Bar Chocolate India
Kocoatrait Bean to Bar Chocolate India

55% Dark Milk Irish Cream Chocolate (Brand: Kocoatrait)
This chocolate bar is our treat to the coffee lover who can’t live without chocolate! The Irish cream flavour adds to the comfort!

64% Dark (Brand: Kocoatrait)
This is our signature plain dark single origin chocolate made with Indian cacao. We have strived hard to enhance the rum & raisin notes of this chocolate bar. Makes us proud!

64% Sukku Coffee Dark Chocolate (Brand: Kocoatrait)
Sukku Coffee, a popular drink in Tamilnadu is used to aid in digestion. It is a combination of dry ginger, coriander seeds, and other flavorful spices. We aim to recreate the popular Sukku experience with chocolate!

65% Pink Rose Dark Chocolate (Brand: Kocoatrait)
Organic & very aromatic Pink Rose from Rajasthan provides the subtle rose flavour to enhance the experience of love! Perfect gift for your loved one.

65% Masala Chai Dark Chocolate (Brand: Kocoatrait)
The masalas that trigger freshness have been perfectly roasted and incorporated in this chocolate bar made of Indian origin cocoa beans!

65% Coconut Milk & Cinnamon Dark Chocolate (Brand: Kocoatrait)
The creaminess of coconut milk and a pinch of cinnamon helps enjoy the bar while being vegan!

66% Dark Banana (Brand: Kocoatrait)
This dark chocolate bar is made with Indian Bananas for a balanced and delightful fruity experience!

66% Dark Lavander (Brand: Kocoatrait)
This dark chocolate bar is made with Kashmiri Lavander flowers for a creamy dark experience!

65% Red Rose Dark Chocolate (Brand: Kocoatrait)
Organic Red Rose from Rajasthan is used to flavour this bar! With less on aroma but higher (than pink rose) on flavour, this bar is a way to please your pallete!

70% Dark (Brand: Kocoatrait)
This is our deep and rounded plain bar! Cocoa in its purest form!

70% Dark Jaggery (Brand: Kocoatrait)
This is our deep and rounded plain bar sweetened with jaggery to a familiar treat! Cocoa in its purest form!

66% Dark Lemongrass (Brand: Kocoatrait)
Lemongrass is long associated with food preparation! Here we use real lemongrass of Indian origin to create a deep connection with cacao. Enjoy this South American combination!

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Why must every baker in India make their own bean to bar chocolate?

The pandemic has made most of us agree that ones own immunity is perhaps the most critical weapon in fighting the pandemic. As they say, the world order has now changed! Most executive chefs of leading hotels have amplified their voices about eating local, natural & organic foods. Further diets like Vegan, Keto, Sugarless, Sugarfree, Less Sugar and alternate sugars have been trending. Traditionally products containing chocolate make for more than 40% of a bakers total products sold. In the article below, we list a few reasons why every baker must make their own couverture chocolate from bean to bar! and start NOW!

Bean to Bar India
Bean to Bar India

Bakers have not been able to take full advantage of this opportunity and shift in consumer preferences. Bakers are best placed to cater to this changing consumer requirement. Bakers have now started to look closely at every possible ingredient that they use. However, chocolate still remains the least understood and/or prioritised ingredient. Partly because bakers think it is a complex ingredient. With the evolution of innovative small batch bean to bar chocolate making equipments and access to high quality eduction even during this time of pandemic, each baker can now make their own chocolate and create differentiated products quite easily. There is no better time than this pandemic to upgrade your skill and knowledge and develop new products and be ready for the new consumer demands.

Control the quality of ingredients

Industrially made chocolates (compounds and some pure chocolates) include several avoidable ingredients like Hydrogenated vegetable oils, PGPR, cocoa butter substitutes apart from artificial cocoa & vanilla flavours. While making bean to bar chocolates, one can control the ingredients and also make pure organic couverture chocolates using just 2 ingredients! This helps bakers improve the over all quality and purity of the ingredients used.

Introduce New Product Lines

A bean to bar setup helps bakers make their own nut butters, fillings and also Bon bins and chocolate bars. This adding their product offerings and help to service more customers. A Bean to bar chocolate setup also helps you create a new range of products. Thus helping you cater to a new audience. Take a look at our range of consumer chocolates that we have developed:

Create differentiated products

By controlling the ingredients in chocolates, bakers can make differentiated products with innovative and trendy recipes. For instance, bakers can make Vegan, Keto & Paleo friendly cakes, cakes with healthier sweeteners like dates, jaggery, palm sugar etc. It also helps you make baked products with unsweetened chocolate products by following several american recipes. Thus expanding your product offering.

Create chocolate in small batches

The advantage is that you can make chocolates in batches as small as 1 kg! Thus helping you remain flexible and innovative while not investing in creating new products. You can look at the entire range of baking essentials we have made and curated here:

Requires no extra space

The bean to bar equipment setup can be accommodated within your current compact kitchen. This can literally be made at home! Excepting tempering your chocolate, no other process requires air conditioning.

Reduce Costs

The costs of making Indian origin Bean to Bar chocolates is lesser than buying fancy imported couverture helping you save costs. Yes! You can learn more about the actual cost savings during our 3 day live Bean to Bar class. This makes it the most attractive reason to consider making bean to bar chocolates yourself.

Increased Demand

Couverture chocolates as a category is seeing very high demand. The demand for bean to bar chocolates will be higher! L Nitin Chordia predicts that there will be 40 bean to bar chocolate makers by the end of 2020 in india and over 150 bean to bar chocolate makers by end of 2021. The year 2021 is going to a decisive and important year for india.

Increase profits

Perhaps the biggest advantage of investing in the bean to bar business is that it helps you increase your profits! Yes! The Return on Investment is usually less than 14-16 months. This is possible because of increased profits.

Create a completely local product

The chocolate that almost all bakers in india use are either imported or made by Indian companies using imported cocoa beans. By making your own bean to bar chocolate you have the potential to make and use an entirely Indian product. This will help you be vocal about local and improve the local economy! This is the need of the hour for the country.

For further details contact: L Nitin Chordia +919600064846 or

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Ceremonial Cacao in India

Ceremonial cacao in India is a rather new concept and phenomenon. Ceremonial Cacao is cacao in its purest paste form and does not taste like chocolate! The traditional ceremonial grade cacao is produced from Native Cacao Strains which grow naturally. They grow in the wild and without human interaction/cultivation in South American countries like Guatemala & Peru. These strains are both the rarest and contain the compounds in most concentration, necessary for ceremonial use.

Our organic ceremonial cacao is made using traditional recipe & process to be used during cacao ceremonies. Cacao is a vasodilator, meaning your blood vessels widen & muscular systems relax helping increase blood flow by up to 30%, meaning that more blood, is moving through your body & nourishing all of your systems.

Further, ceremonial grade cacao is minimally processed, helping retain most of the beneficial compounds available naturally found. Ceremonial cacao is made from whole bean, organic cacao only (and not Cocoa Powder) and without anything added to it. The cacao beans undergo a fermentation process necessary for building their flavor profile and activating certain natural compounds. The beans are then roasted at low temperatures, cracked, and stone ground by traditional means! It is believed that ceremonial grade cacao should not be altered. Hence, Ceremonial cacao is NOT even tempered!

Ceremonial cacao in india is made by Kocoatrait from the same traditional centuries old recipe. We do this carefully in the southern state of chennai, Tamilnadu, India. Tamilnadu is the home or birthplace for stone grinders which have been modified and used as cocoa grinders to make luxury chocolates across the world.

What is Cacao Ceremony?

Cacao ceremonies are actually a type of shamanic healing, but they don’t have hallucinogenic or “out of body” effects, unlike some of the other shamanic experiences. Cacao ceremony usually involves a communal gathering with a sacred circle, music and of course, ceremonial cacao. Cacao ceremony is a once in a lifetime experience and a way of life for many. Engaging with chocolate as a ritual, rather than consuming it as candy, has direct positive impact on our individual well-being as well as our global ecosystem. Shani Jay (Founder of She Rose Revolution) claims that a cacao ceremony has Emotional and Spiritual benefits which help in healing. It helps with the following:

  • Heart Opening
  • Connection with your higher self
  • Enhances and deepens meditation
  • A pathway to creativity
  • Improved yoga practice
  • Mental clarity
  • Re-balance of your inner male & female energies
  • Inner peace
  • Healing
  • Career guidance

Hosting a cacao ceremony using ceremonial cacao in India

There isn’t a rule book, but here are some of the elements a cacao ceremony can involve. Usually, a cacao ceremony is hosted by one or several people trained in preparing cacao and holding sacred space. A person usually takes the lead and here’s what you can expect from a cacao ceremony. Buy Ceremonial Cacao in India here.

  1. Create a sacred space, often with a table in the middle in a peaceful and disturbance free surrounding. We have hosted a cacao ceremony among the sounds of the sea waves !
  2. A group of committed participants sit in a circle and open up the circle by going around and saying your name out loud, sharing an intention of the ceremony.
  3. Set an intention for the ceremony
  4. Pray for peace and inner awakening peacefully together
  5. Honor and bless the cacao to give it collective healing powder
  6. Pour the cacao in your mug and pass it around the circle humbly.
  7. Savour the cacao slowly and try to connect with yourself and the origin of the cacao.
  8. Breathwork, meditation, sound journey, dance, music – from here, it’s up to the person leading the cacao ceremony and whatever tool they prefer to use to amplify and manifest the intentions created by the participants and continue the memorable journey.
  9. Close the circle – Just like cooling off exercises, this is an important part of the ceremony that invites integration of the deep spaces you may have explored during your cacao journey. We must not forget to thank the cacao tree for this opportunity.

Ceremonial Cacao Recipe

Ceremonial cacao is rather simple to make. However, its best to ensure that you relax even while making it! The true slow food revolution is here! Please click here for ceremonial cacao recipe.

To get your journey started with Ceremonial Cacao, contact us at or +919600064846