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THE M A K I N G O F Cao Chocolates Soon after he moved to the United States from Venezuela, Founder Ricardo Trillos was calculating his way up the corporate ladder as a successful accountant. While his career was quickly flourishing, a bubbling passion for the rich chocolates of home inspired a personal transformation. Channeling his inner chocolatier, Trillos opened Cao Chocolates, where he continues to create the chocolate confections of his home country. He uses only single origin Venezuelan cacao when making small batches of molded chocolates, chocolate-covered fruits, pastries and other treats. The process of making chocolate from scratch is called “Bean to Bar,” which is an artisanal way to turn cacao beans into chocolate —ensuring a unique taste with more complex flavors and aromas. The beans are carefully selected according to region, flavor profile and complexity. Then, the batch is roasted at bean-specific times and temperatures. After the shell is removed, the cacao nibs are ready for liquid stage, where sugar and other ingredients are slowly added to create a smooth after taste. The final step is crystallization: combining all the ingredients — at just the right temperature — to offer a perfectly glossy shine. Cao Chocolates offers private tastings where groups sample a variety of chocolates paired with provided wines and cheeses. Before attendees taste each confection, the host explains the origin and creation of each sweet, and how it might be used in various desserts. Cao Chocolates is located at 9804 SW 77th Ave. in Miami. To learn more about Cao Chocolates or register for a tasting, visit www.caochocolates.com or call 305.879.0821. may/june 2014 39


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