Valentines Day Chocolate with Love Bites Chocolate
Love Bites Chocolate with Michele Capra
Q: Tell us a little bit about you, your chocolate company and what inspired you to start it?
A: I'm from Topanga and I love natural living, so I was naturally drawn to raw chocolate. I began experimenting with making chocolate while working as the raw chef at Topanga Fresh Market. I had access to all the necessary ingredients and began making chocolate. After falling in love with the process, I created Love Bites Chocolate in January 2014.
Q: Do you have a ritual for making/consuming chocolate?
A: I like to wake up at dawn. Morning is a very special and sacred time for me, so my ritual involves silence, solitude and all the promises of a brand new day. It's really nice to have that time to be calm while making chocolate.
Q: How much experimentation did it take for you to come up with the chocolate recipe you now sell? What was that experience like for you?
A: In the beginning, I refused to create recipes and measure things. I am very intuitive in the kitchen, and hardly even tasted things while making them! After enough practice I found that measuring my ingredients would help me understand my production and costs. Coming up with my "base recipe" was a process of several months, and my end goal was simplicity.
Q: What type of sweetener do you like to use and why?
A: I like to use coconut palm sugar from Indonesia because it's very dry. It helps the chocolate keep its form at higher temperatures and has a rich, warm maple-like flavor. It's also low on the glycemic index and it's the most sustainable sweetener!
Q: When you are not making chocolate, what else do you like to do?
A: I like to sing, cook, make coffee, go hiking, read, draw, learn. I love things that are active or creative.
Q: In what way does chocolate enhance your love life?
A: It makes me more loving, and I love to share chocolate with my boyfriend. I think it's a perfect food to heal hearts and bring us together. It also greatly increases serotonin and dopamine levels and feels like a key ingredient to my life.