While celebrating the existence of chocolate is more of a year-round affair for us, we’re certainly not about to turn down an entire day dedicated to enjoying the cocoa-based treat. In honour of World Chocolate Day, we’ve rounded up our favourite local artisan chocolate producers and brands showcasing the best of Malaysian-made chocolate, from award-winning single-origin bars to handcrafted confections infused with tropical flavours.
Founded by Ong Ning Geng, Chocolate Concierge spotlights single origin Malaysian chocolate made locally in small batches, using sustainable practices that also support indigenous farming communities. The tree-to-bar chocolate maker is also proudly home to the Malaysian Single Origin Dark Chocolate Kelantan 70% and Kota Marudu 70%, both of which boast cocoa named in the 2021 Cocoa of Excellence Awards’s 50 best list. The Kelantan 70% features a distinct profile of coconut, pear and toasted clove, while its fellow award-winning Kota Marudu 70% from Sabah presents hints of sea hawthorn berry and robust red fruits. W shop.chocconcierge.com
With a name derived from a portmanteau of ethical and cocoa, Benns Ethicoa takes its commitment to positive environmental and social impact seriously. In addition to striving towards more sustainable, natural production processes, the chocolate maker also works directly with farmers across Asia to deliver well-crafted chocolates that both taste good and do good. With origins ranging from India, Vietnam, and the Philippines to local farms in Pahang and Muar, Benns Ethicoa offers a selection of chocolate bars, chocolate snacks, drinking chocolate, cacao bites and bon bons. Recently, the 63% Merdeka Blend made from Sungai Ruan and Panchor cocoa beans became the first Malaysian origin chocolate to earn four wins at the International Chocolate Awards. W bennsethicoa.com
At Jugèlìk Artisanal, the focus is on high quality dark chocolate made with tropical, surprising flavours, wrapped in packaging that score high on the aesthetic scale. Art, creativity, and passion meet simplicity and minimalism in the chocolate creations, which range from a 61% dark chocolate bar with curry and almond nibs, to a 32% white chocolate bar with matcha and almond nibs. Boxes, wrappers, cards are also customisable, making them ideal gifts to present to friends, family and loved ones. W jugelik.com
Established by dark chocolate lover Jinli Chan after finding most chocolate products on the market too sweet or artificial tasting, Cocova brings high-quality, all-natural single origin dark chocolates that are made in Malaysia and low in sugar. The brand offers dark chocolate snacks, chilled chocolate drinks, chocolate spreads and cacao nibs, crafted without flavour enhancers or artificial ingredients. Its top selling Curious 68% Dark Chocolate Buttons, with its notes of coconut and hint of acidity, is particularly perfect for melting into a rich, creamy cup of hot chocolate. W cocova.co
Built on a mission to re-energise the Malaysian industry and put quality homegrown chocolate on the map, Seniman Kakao makes it a priority to source the highest quality cocoa beans in the country for its range of chocolate products. Beans are hand-sorted, fermented, roasted, and then ground with organic cane sugar to bring out their distinctive flavours. Free from preservatives, soy lecithin, and palm oil, the bean-to-bar specialty chocolates originate from local farms in Perak, Pahang, Melaka and Selangor. Popular specialities include the Cranberry & Almond bar, the 72% Cacao Coffee bar, and its line of single origin drinking chocolate sachets. W beanshipper.com
Founded in 2016 with the goal of bringing exceptional tasting chocolates to as many people as possible, Cocoraw is a homegrown brand most known for its Japanese ‘Nama’ style of chocolates. With their melt-in-your-mouth constitution, the chocolates are especially well suited to the infusion of different flavours, such as Salted Gula Melaka and Teh Tarik. In addition to these local-inspired treats, Cocoraw also supplies vegan and single origin chocolates, as well as boozy variations like The Gin and Limau Nipis. W cocoraw.me
Feature photo: Chocolate Concierge