COCOA - Peruvian Cocoa
The baking chocolate products are made with Ottawa based Camino 100% cocoa mass from Peru. I chose Camino initially because the cocoa mass is certified organic and certified Fairtrade. However, as I learned more about the company, I was impressed that they work with 2,100 Peruvian family farmers who are members of award winning ACOPAGRO, the first co-op to export cacao in Peru. With Fair Trade premiums, ACOPAGRO has invested in a new office and warehouse facility, equipment and quality trainings for members, vehicles for staff, and social programs such as basic food production and access to medical services like dental and eye care.
COCOA - Venezuelan Fine cocoa
Bonbons and all the other chocolate products are made with Calgary based Delicacies Valley 100% cocoa mass, cocoa butter and nibs from Venezuela. The cocoa mass is a result of grinding a premium blend of roasted Trinitario cacao beans with a high content of Criollo beans. I chose Delicacies Valley because I was intrigued with using Venezuelan Fine Cacao which has a long history of being the best in the world and thrilled that I could buy it from a company so close to Saskatoon. While Delicacies Valley does not have the FairTrade certification as it is hard to get given the political situation in Venezuela, they work closely and fairly with their farm partners, as well as their processing plant partners. “The harvest processes (pre, during and post-harvest) are completely natural, based on the legacy of the first workers of the land.” (Delicacies Valley website).”
My goal is to use zero glycemic sweeteners. I really like Monk Fruit extract powder. I had planned to use it as my key sweetener which is why my chocolate is called MonKKey Chocolate. Unfortunately, in Canada, monk fruit powder is only approved as a table top sweetener. I was also going to use Allulose because it has some wonderful sugar-like qualities which results in wonderful caramels. However, Allulose is not approved in Canada for any use. Health Canada is currently assessing applications to approve Allulose and to expand the use of monk fruit powder.
In the meantime, I will continue to use erythritol in my sweetened products: MonKKey Chocolate, MonKKey Bars, MonKKey Marbles and K2C2 baking chocolate. TOTALLY chocolate will be unsweetened.
I use Parmalat Dariplus powdered cream cheese. This product has additives that fill specific roles in drying and shelf-life. The sodium phosphate (<3%) & sodium citrate (<1%) are both commonly used for the spray drying process. The tocopherols (<0.1%) is specifically used in this product for shelf life because of the high fat content: it is a natural antioxidant. The silicon dioxide (<1%) is used as drying agent to prevent clumping and moisture absorption. It is used in many organic products for that reason.
I use whole milk powder from Medallion Company in Winnipeg, MB to add a natural sweetness to the milk and white chocolate. Medallion Milk Co. prides itself on being a Canadian product that is easy to use, has a long shelf time and is indistinguishable from fresh milk when reconstituted. Over 50 years of experience has allowed Medallion to perfect a proprietary technique that creates delicious tasting milk from a fine, crystal powder. The key to their success—and their mouth-watering milk—comes from these tiny, perfect crystals.
I use Dairyland brand products in ganache and caramels: 35%MF whipping cream and both salted and unsalted butter. I use different brands of full-fat cream cheese.
FLAVOURS, FRUIT & NUTS
Healthy food is important to me. That is why I will always choose organic products if they are available. I buy through Canadian companies. If possible, I buy berries such as Saskatoon, strawberries and raspberries from local producers. Vanilla is from Madagascar and Direct Fair Trade from Uganda.
Natural colours from fruit are a healthier option, but they aren’t always lovely. Appealing to the eye as well as to taste is particularly important when creating chocolates and candies. If a touch of turmeric gives a bright yellow pop or if green matcha tea is perfect as a mint colour, I will use them. Other colours will be natural whenever possible, and if not, will be commercially made.
I clean thoroughly and often. However, even that is not enough to stop transference of milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, wheat/gluten, soy and fish. (Shellfish and fish!? – no, these are not ingredients in my sweets but remember that I am working in my kitchen.) All allergens could be present. Please gauge your risk based upon your allergy sensitivity.
I use cream and nuts. I do not use peanuts. The flours I use are keto friendly: lupin, coconut, and almond. People with peanut allergies should avoid lupin as they are related. I use vital wheat gluten. If I use lecithin, it is organic sunflower.
If the above information does not address your allergy concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another promise: no matter how keto they are, I will never, ever use cauliflower or mozzarella as ingredients.