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FAQ

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Chocolate FAQ:

Q: Do you have an in store location?

  • We currently offer an online shopping experience only at this time along with a mobile events service bringing chocolate making experiences to you!

Q: Are you nut-free?

  • Unfortunately we cannot offer 100% nut-free as we host & create products that sometimes contain peanut and tree-nut options.  We do not recommend folx with peanut or tree nut allergies to consume our chocolate and if so do so at their own risk.

Q: Are you gluten-free?

  • Our brand of chocolate is gluten-free however we host within our facility and use some gluten ingredients in some of our products.

Q: Are you able to accommodate plant-based options?

  • As long as there are no allergies at risk we would be happy to accommodate any plant-based chocolate requests! We have a variety of plant based flavors to offer and they can be made with either 55% semi-sweet dark chocolate or 72% bitter-sweet dark chocolate! Use the drop down menus in our Chocolate Shop to select plant based options to view our selections.

Q: I see on your labels that it says “May Contain: Dairy” even though we discussed it as a plant-based option. Why is that?

  • Due to our facility hosting dairy items and equipment using dairy products during some production it requires us to label our products with a “May contain” warning even though we have not included ingredients that contain any dairy in them in your purchase.

Q. Are you able to accommodate Kosher or Halal options?

  • Yes we would be happy to accommodate both options, please contact us to discuss further details.

Q: What is fair trade chocolate & do you offer it? 

  • Fair trade means that the grower is being paid for their produced goods and does not lose money on the product and may even make some profit. Our chocolate is made with Fairtrade organic cocoa beans, cane sugar from Paraguay and organic milk powder from certified cooperatives. By combining environmental protection with care for cocoa growers, these products offer the highest levels of sustainability. The range is fully traceable and strictly controlled. 

Q: What is the difference between Cacao and Cocoa?

  • Cacao is the plant and derivatives before processed and Cocoa is once it has already been processed. 

Q: What kind of chocolate are you using? 

  • “Couverture” chocolate is considered a very high-quality chocolate that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is what gives chocolate its unique mouth-feel and stable properties. To be considered “real” chocolate, a chocolate product will contain only cocoa butter as its fat source, not any other fat substitute. Chocolate that replaces cocoa butter with fats like palm oil are called "compound chocolate" and are considered more of a candy than true chocolate. For a chocolate to be labeled as chocolate, as opposed to candy, the Food and Drug Administration requires that the bar be made up of at least 10 percent cocoa mass (nibs plus the cocoa fat inherent to the bean), with no specifications about cocoa butter. White Chocolate, on the other hand, has to have a cocoa butter content of at least 20 percent and does not require the inclusion of nibs.

Q: Is white chocolate really chocolate?

  • Some debate that white chocolate is not real chocolate because it contains no cocoa solids. A cocoa bean is made up of roughly equal parts cocoa butter and cacao nibs. Cocoa butter is what gives chocolate its rich mouthfeel, and the nibs hold most of the distinctive smell and taste. White chocolate is absent of cacao nibs and is primarily made up of cocoa butter, milk solids and sugar. Some debate white chocolate should be considered real as it contains a high amount of cocoa butter.

Q. I noticed you use percentages a lot when referring to your chocolate. What does this mean?

  • Percentage= Cocoa butter + cocoa solids. Cocoa percentage means the percentage of the chocolate that comes straight from cocoa beans. For example: a 70 percent chocolate bar will consist of 70% cocoa product (butter and solids) from refined cocoa beans and the remaining 30% of the bar consists of all the other ingredients such as sugar, vanilla and sometimes milk products.

Q: What is Chocolate Tempering?

  • "Tempering" chocolate is a heating and cooling technique while working with the cocoa butter content within the chocolate. Once chocolate has melted, the fatty acid crystals separate within the cocoa butter. The objective in tempering chocolate is to entice the fatty acid crystals of cocoa butter back into one stable form. The benefit of chocolate tempering creates a smooth, glossy texture, the chocolate sets firm at room temperature & has a satisfying snap in every bite!

Q. What is the white dust or white streaks I’ve seen on and throughout chocolate?

  • This is called Sugar or Fat Bloom. Sugar bloom is caused by moisture. Condensation on the surface of the chocolate or moisture in the chocolate coating causes the sugar to absorb the moisture and dissolve. When the moisture evaporates, the sugar forms larger crystals, leaving a dusty layer. Fat bloom occurs when the chocolate gets too warm and the cocoa butter separates from the crystallized chocolate mixture and then re-solidifies and comes to the surface. This usually happens when the chocolate is kept at a temperature higher than 21-24°C. Blooming of chocolate effects only the visual of the chocolate and often gets mistaken for an expired chocolate although it is still good to consume despite it's appearance.

Q.How do you keep your chocolate from blooming?

  • Store your finished chocolate products at a constant temperature between 18°C and 20°C. Fat-based fillings (e.g. pralines or nut-based fillings) will make fat bloom appear faster. You can prevent this by adding 5% - 6% cocoa butter to your filling and then tempering it.

Q: Is Chocolate good for you? 

  • Quality dark chocolate is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and a few other minerals. It is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet! With 70% and higher dark chocolate bars, there is stronger evidence suggesting that eating chocolate may help prevent heart disease. Flavanols have been shown to lower blood pressure and make your heart, veins and arteries work better. Milk chocolate and white chocolate however contain less cocoa and more sugar & dairy contents making them less healthy.

Q: Where does chocolate grow? 

  • The production of cocoa begins in the tropical regions around the equator, where the hot and humid climate is well suited for growing cocoa trees. 70% of the world’s cocoa beans come from four West African countries: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon!

Q: What's better Belgian or Swiss Chocolate and why are they so famous?

  • Swiss chocolates and Belgian chocolate have been exported around the world since the beginning of the twentieth century. The Swiss came up with the idea to add cocoa butter to chocolate and the method to do it which gave the chocolate a much smoother, nicer texture. The Belgians invented the praline, chocolate truffles and many different exotic fillings. There are several differences between Swiss and Belgian chocolates. The cocoa beans for Belgian chocolate come mainly from Africa. The Swiss mainly get their cocoa beans from both Africa and Latin America. For both, texture, storage and the use of milk in chocolate are other distinctive features of each type of chocolate. The Swiss chocolate has usually a smoother texture and would rather avoid using artificial emulsifiers. Swiss tend to produce milk chocolate and in general they contain more sugar and less cocoa than Belgian chocolates which are often dark. We prefer using Belgian chocolate over Swiss but it’s up to the consumer!

Q: How long can chocolate last for? 

  • Solid Milk & White chocolate If stored properly can last up to 1 year and Dark Chocolate can last up to 18 months! If you are consuming a chocolate paired with a filling than your chocolate is likely to have a shorter shelf life and it is recommended to check your products expiration date.

Q. Does your chocolate contain any alcohol in it?

  • Our Lemon Chocolate Bonbon contains organic lemon extract that has an alcohol base, as well as our Orange Chocolate Bonbon contains organic orange extract that has an alcohol base. Other than those 2 options we do not have chocolate containing any alcohol. These 2 flavors may also be altered to not contain the extracts, the chocolates flavor will be slightly dulled but still tasty.

 Events FAQ:

Q. Are you offering chocolate events currently?

  • We currently are offering small, private events consisting of a maximum of 9 persons plus your chocolatier. This is a strict capacity to adhere to the recent covid-19 bylaws put in place for the Toronto region. We also have online chocolate making events where we can make chocolate together virtually from the comfort of your home! Public workshops are placed on hold for the time being. 
Q. Is there a minimum amount of people needed to book a workshop/event?
  • Unless it is a private lesson booking for one person then our minimum participants for an event is set to 4 persons. (And a maximum 9 persons)
Q. Do I need to bring anything to participate in a workshop event?
  • We will provide everything necessary to participate in our events! This includes: hand sanitizer, disposable aprons and gloves for each participant as well as all the tools and ingredients needed will also be provided! The only thing we encourage our guests to bring along would be your camera phone to capture memories!

Q. Do you need to have a base knowledge on chocolate or previous school education to take part in your programs?

  • Our programs are designed to be enjoyable for all skill sets and levels of knowledge. We also offer one on one private lessons for anyone looking for focused attention and learning from our chocolatier. 

Q. What is the minimum age to attend a workshop event?

  • Our programs are designed for any age to participate and have fun! Kids under the age of 4 are encouraged to have an adult with them to help throughout the program.

Q. Are the events messy?

  • Your chocolatier is trained on multiple strategies to keep any type of mess cleaned and contained! Following your event our chocolatier will ensure the space is mess free of any chocolate.

Q. Do you offer venue locations for events?

  • For an additional charge our customers have the option to reserve from 3 different downtown Toronto event spaces to host your private events. Please contact us for further details!

Q. How far in advance should I book my event?

  • The sooner the better! We love booking events early however we understand last minute bookings happen and we will do our best to accommodate event requests within 48hours notice. Ideally 1-2 weeks notice is preferred however we are flexible! 
Q: When will our Chocolatier arrive to set-up for our event?
  • Depending on the program selected, your chocolatier will arrive between 60-120 minutes prior to the program start time.
Q: I came up with a great idea for a chocolate event. Are you open to collaborations?
  • Absolutely! We love doing custom orders and event creations. We’d love to discuss your idea further with you and make it a dream come true!



Do you have further questions? Please contact us through kelly@hotshotchocolate.com