When ex-chef Emma Ogilvy sent us an email asking if we would like to try her chocolate, we of course said yes. And when the samples arrived a few days later we were amazed and delighted. Out of nowhere we had discovered a brand new British maker crafting bars directly from the bean. We knew straight away that we needed to bring Aztec Gold into the Chocolate Library.
After years of working as a chef-patron in Southern Spain, Emma moved to Costa Rica. It was here that her childhood love of dark chocolate was reignited. For the first time, she began to truly understand the importance of the cacao you use and of the journey a cocoa bean undergoes to become chocolate. For Emma what makes chocolate so special is not just the taste alone, but all the goodness that is locked up in the tiny beans.
Returning to the UK, Emma began experimenting and launched Aztec Gold at the end of 2015. Looking to maximise both he chocolate’s flavour and possible health benefits, Emma doesn’t roast her cacao beans. As much as possible, she keeps the beans at lower temperatures throughout the bean-to-bar process. In doing so Emma believes that not only is the chocolate better for you, but that the natural flavour of the cacao is more clearly expressed.
So far Emma is working with just one origin: Peru. She uses a company in Devon who buy beans directly from co-operatives in Peru. After trying many different beans, Emma says that their cacao stood out as having by far the best flavour. Emma found the company’s ethos to be in line with her own. It supports, ‘Quality rather than quantity, diversity, fostering Andean mega-biodiversity, not homogenization. Promoting an organic system of production. Income distribution among the people that participate as suppliers, transformers and traders.’
Having just started, Emma’s already looking to expand. Already she’s experimenting with new bars and new origins!