‘We generally arrive in the kitchen by nine,’ says Amit. ‘First, we turn on the tempering machine and fill it with fresh chocolate because it takes some time to warm up. We then plan how many bars of which flavours we are making that day. This will depend on things like orders and inventory. We weigh and prepare the toppings that we’ll use. Celine generally takes care of roasting the nuts, grinding the spices and hand-picking the Sichuan pepper we use while I’m at the stove toasting the spices and making caramel and brittle. Once the toppings are ready, they go in and the chocolate is ready to be moulded. This is where we need to work fast and precisely because each topping requires a different process. We tend to focus on one flavour at a time, which also makes more sense in terms of the kitchen tools we need. We take the right amount of chocolate for one mould, mix in the topping and mould it. We then tap the moulds on the counter to spread the chocolate evenly and remove the air bubbles, and put it in the fridge to set. We repeat the same process for all the flavours for the day.’
‘We usually eat the light lunch we prepared while the chocolate is setting in the fridge. If the machines have some trouble, or we get stressed and things start going wrong, we go out instead and have a comforting pho to hit the reset button,’ says Celine.