Valrhona is reinventing chocolate beverages with Ground chocolate

Ground  chocolate  is  a  range of ready-to-use finely grated single origin dark chocolates which offers a whole new chocolate beverage experience. It  is  for  professionals  –  including  baristas,  shop-based  creatives  and  restaurateurs  –  who  want  to  amaze  customers  with  an  original  tasting  experience thanks to a range of quality chocolate drinks.

The Ground chocolate range is made up of two single origin dark chocolates. One is a Ghanaian single origin with a sweet and spicy aromatic profile, while the other is a Grenadian single origin which stands out for its balanced profile and ripe fruity notes.

Ever true to its commitments to transparency and traceability, Valrhona has developed these two products using cocoa beans that can be 100% traced back to growers in Ghana and Grenada.

The new chocolate drink experience

Creative recipes

It was important to Valrhona to collaborate with its customers, so we worked with two beverage and chocolate industry expertsQuentin Jacquemaire is a barista instructor at Parisian coffee roaster Coutume and Craig Alibone is a British pastry chef who opened his tea room in Bodø in Norway.


By Quentin Jacquemaire

  • 1 Double espresso
  • 20g Water
  • 100g Whole milk or 120g of oat drink

Prepare a double espresso, preferably a ristretto (1 part coffee to 2 parts water).
Put the Ground chocolate in a pitcher, then add the hot water and stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate shavings.
Add the milk and heat the mixture using a steam wand.
Pour the hot mixture over the double espresso.
Hot chocolate hazelnut-praliné

By Craig Alibone

Hazelnut praliné foam

  • 300g Cream

Melt the Ground chocolate in a bain-marie and mix in the cream, followed by the hazelnut praliné.
Pour the mixture straight into a siphon and load 1 nitrous oxide gas charger.

Hot Chocolate

  • As needed Fleur de sel
  • 100g Whole milk or oat drink
  • 20g Water
  • As needed Hazelnut Praliné Foam

Put the Ground chocolate, hazelnut praliné and fleur de sel in the shaker.
Heat the milk and water to 160°F (70°C) then pour into the shaker.
Shake the shaker vigorously.
Strain the mixture into the container chosen for tasting.
Layer the hazelnut praliné foam on top of the hot chocolate before serving.

Craig Alibone uses a shaker for his recipes. This particular one can also be done using a steam wand.é

By Quentin Jacquemaire

  • 20g Water
  • 50g Chai liqueur
  • 100g Whole milk or 120g of oat drink

Put the Ground chocolate in a pitcher, then add the hot water and stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate shavings.
Pour the chai liqueur into the jug then add the milk.
Heat the mixture using a steam wand.
Serve in your cup of choice.
Quentin Jacquemaire

Barista instructor for Coutume coffees

Hello Quentin, could you introduce yourself in a few words?
My name is Quentin. I have been a barista for Coutume for just over three years now and I have been an instructor for professional clients for a little more than a year and a half. My goal is to pass on our expertise to every customer who wants to serve Coutume coffee in their business. I also assist the roaster from time to time during our roasting workshops. 

Why did you become a barista?
I became a barista because I love coffee. The first thing that drew me to it was its taste. I also wanted to know more about it, as we are all familiar with coffee but few of us actually know about its natural qualities, history and geography.

What do you like most about your job?
What I like about my barista job is introducing people to a drink they think they already know and revealing very different sides to it than we’re used to seeing in our day-to-day lives. The idea is to make tasting it a genuine aromatic experience. I’m also fortunate to be in a small team where I can get involved in lots of different aspects of the specialty coffee production chain. Namely, selecting the beans while they are green, roasting, distributing and extracting them.

What challenges does your job present?
The main challenge in my job as a barista is always maintaining our drinks’ high quality.

What chocolate drinks do you think you’ll be serving in ten years’ time?
Right now, Coutume serves dark chocolate in two formats: small and large. I think that in a few years’ time there will be a similar approach to chocolate as there is to specialty coffee, with shops offering single origin chocolates prepared in different ways and in different regions and continents. The aim will be to introduce customers to different tastes within a single product.
Craig Alibone

Pastry Chef

Hi Craig, could you please introduce yourself? 
I am Craig Alibone, owner and head pastry chef of Craig Alibone Chocolate, a coffee shop & Champagneria.

Why did you choose to become a pastry chef?
After working as a chef in England and France for eight years, I was very fortunate to be introduced to a very talented French pastry chef. He open my eyes to the incredible capabilities in the pâtisserie industry. Within six months I enrolled at the Alain Ducasse École Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie in Yssingeaux, France. From there my new career began.

What led you to open a coffee shop & Champagneria?
Having developed my knowledge and skills over the years I found that in order to better myself and create something I truly believe in, I needed to start my own company. The pâtisserie & champagneria is a result of my vision and dedication to the industry. It also allows me to put a smile on peoples faces. There’s nothing better than seeing people having fun trying the products we make.

Can you explain the concept of the Champagneria?
The concept of my champagneria is to incorporate high quality pâtisserie with a great range of champagne, wines and cocktails. We focus on pairings and tasting experiences. We like to think we’re creating a culture of indulgence. All the finer things in life in one place.

What do you like the most about your job?
This answer could go on forever. The endless possibilities to be creative. The flavors, textures, the feelings when tasting great creations, the reaction and dedication it brings out in people. Probably the most rewarding part is the joy it brings to people’s lives. For those few minutes we have the ability to make their lives great.

What are the main challenges in your job today?
When you have a business you have a clear goal of what you want to achieve. For me nothing would be possible without the commitment and passion of my staff. So I feel keeping everyone happy at work and making sure they’re living a beneficial life within my company is challenging because everyone has diffent needs.

For you, what could the chocolate beverage offer look like in five to ten years?
I think with the society’s thirst for more natural and pure products chocolate beverages can present a more natural flavor palette.