Natural pink chocolate, the pretty new trend
Ruby is the fourth chocolate variant after dark, milk and white chocolate.
It's rare, it's pink, it's pretty and it's a new trend the has pastry chefs, chocolatiers and chocoholics around the world excited.
Long in the making, ruby is made from pink cocoa beans that are found in Brazil, Ecuador and Ivory Coast.
Founded by Callebaut, the world's largest cocoa processor, the chocolate has a natural berry flavour.
According to chocolatier and owner of Huguenot Fine Chocolates in Franschhoek Danver Windvogel in Franschhoek says it's been 15 years in the making.
With only 600 tons of the beans shipped to South Africa, the local Belgian chocolate producer is at the forefront of ruby chocolate in the country and has sold more than 100kg since launching their own range in August.
"It was discovered just over 15 years ago," says Windvogel.
"It's the same cocoa bean that's been used all these years, but it was just overlooked. (These specific beans) are more of a defect when it comes to the normal cocoa bean. When you open the beans some of them are pink inside and it has an acidity to it," he adds.
Andrew de Bruin, the pastry chef at the Hilton Hotel in Durban, said ruby chocolate, which has a "refreshing" taste with "a light creamy texture", would be a popular trend over the holidays and especially on Valentine’s Day.
"I am certain it will trend," he says.
"Chocolate, in general, is a firm favourite over Valentine's Day and with consumers becoming more conscious about the food they consume, pink chocolate, because it is organic, will become a major food trend. It's a quality bean that is generating demand," he says.
De Bruin says he is excited about working with pink chocolate because it has natural flavours and beautiful contrast, making it perfect for a variety of desserts and sweets.
"The first dish I would like to create is ruby-pink chocolate mousse with rose-scented Turkish delight," he says.
Chef Gina Marziani, the pastry chef at the Twelve Apostles Hotel in Cape Town, said the interesting taste profile of ruby chocolate which was, "somewhere between yoghurt and fresh berries", is what makes it unique.
"It is rare and a limited edition, because the chocolatier will know whether it is the 'pink bean', only once they start processing it," she said.
While some chocolate producers are reluctant to add the ruby chocolate to their brand, Marziani is excited about making her own pink creations.
"I'm a girl, I love anything pink. I would create petit fours with raspberries and Callebaut ruby chocolate. In other words, a very pink bonbon."
Asked if she thought ruby chocolate would be a major food trend on special days, Marziani says: "definitely. It's natural and unique and you don't have to do anything extra to achieve the 'pinkness'."