One of the very first companies to offer sponsorship of the FBI 2011 goodie bags was Bright Bean who are the official distributors of Madécasse Chocolates in Africa. Charl and Tracey from Bright Bean are two of the most fabulous people, kind of like the lovely Pesto Princess ladies who got involved and helped so much behind the scenes. It is such a pleasure to have folk like this come on board and it is very encouraging to see companies like this out there.

 Madécasse Chocolate is single origin Madagascar which means that the entire product “from tree to bean to bar to wrapper” is beneficiated on the island of Madagascar. This enables the Malagasy communities involved in farming and production to earn as much as four times more impact than fair trade cocoa alone.

The Madécasse 44% Cocoa Milk Chocolate has just won a prestigious Good Food Award 2011 beating out 800 other participants. The award goes to chocolate that “meets the criteria of being free of genetically modified soy lecithin and made by chocolatiers who seek to know their cacao farmers.” Here is some background behind Madecasse which the judges found noteworthy about the manufacturing process:

“Madécasse is redefining chocolate production so that “bean to bar to wrapper” takes place near the point of origin, the Sambirano Valley of Madagascar. Here, the fermentation and drying process occur at the farm while farmers are taught how to harvest higher quality cocoa beans. This paradigm enables Madécasse to “produce four times more economic impact than fair trade,” thereby creating a “real Madagascar chocolate” and a sustainable chocolate industry in Africa. Unlike typical cocoa plantations which use mono-crop systems, the Ezaka Cooperative practices higher levels of biodiversity by growing banana trees, coconut trees, mango trees, coffee trees, and indigenous hardwood species under the same canopy as the cocoa forest. Madécasse aims to dispel claims that fine chocolate can’t come from Africa by empowering local farmers and chocolate makers through collaboration, connection, and partnership.”

Madécasse has sold at Whole Foods as well as other natural and organic product delis and health stores in the United States for the last 6 years, as well as in other countries. Madécasse is proving to be very popular with South African consumers and tourists at a number of levels:

Story. Madécasse comes with a positive story of African upliftment, and its trade-based model is making a real difference to alleviate poverty, provide electricity, and educate children, whilst promoting self-esteem and dignity among those involved.

Unique. Madécasse is the only tree to bar chocolate in Africa, and one of only two tree to bar producers in the world.

Hype. Madécasse attracts consumers’ attention through its taste and packaging, and consumers are amazed that the product is African. Word of mouth is spreading the awareness of the Madécasse brand in South Africa, aided by our use of social media to spread the news. Madécasse continues to receive positive reviews in the US.

Exclusive. Madécasse is exclusive and produced in smaller quantities compared to other chocolate brands, which are becoming less premium and more commoditised, and so less appealing to consumers looking for something different.

Pairing. Following international trends we have been working at pairing Madécasse with wine and coffee. The success of this stems from the fact that Madécasse is a pure chocolate with no artificial additives, ingredients or preservatives that may clash with the flavours and aromas of the paired wine or coffee.

Wellness. The pure (and few) ingredients in Madécasse, as well as its organic and natural growing conditions appeals to health conscious consumers and is proving very popular in wellness outlets in South Africa.

Madécasse has just been voted one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world, by Fast Company.

Besides the little hessian baggies of chocolates that you found in your goodie bags after the conference Madécasse also sponsored TWO divine gift pack hampers of their range of chocolates. Thats right folk. And seeing as it is my birthday weekend I have decided to do some giveaways on my blogs. Here are the two hampers that are up for grabs:

And nooooo, the helper elves are not also up for grabs. Those, at least, are all mine 🙂 But you can have the chocolate….

So, to win yourself one of these hampers tell me what you would do with all of the products inside…….

Each hamper contains 275g of 70%, 275g of 63%, 75g Milk Chocolate, 75g of 67% Chocolate, 75g of 75%, 75g of 80% and 75g Sea Salt and Nibs Chocolate.

Thats a LOT of chocolate to make a lot of delicious things…or just eat it!

Give me your comments. You might be one of the lucky two to win a hamper…..The winner will be announced at the end of April.

Competition open only to those living in South Africa!  If you don’t live in SA but have a South African address that it can be shipped to then feel free to enter! If you don’t have one I can give you mine 🙂 That’s how much I love me some of this choccie haha!

A very special thank you to Tracey and Charl of Bright Bean, and to Madécasse for the awesome sponsorship. Without special people like this the FBI2011 would not have been the success that it was!

Have an awesome weekend chocolate lovers!



EDIT: Sunday 1 May 2011

This competition is now CLOSED! No further comments will be entered into the draw which will take place tomorrow morning. The two winners will be notified via email and through this blog. Thank you everyone for the lovely comments!



  1. I would hide it all! I have my stash places they have never found *evil grin*
    However, I might be tempted to make the family their favourite chocolate mousse……but then again, maybe not! 🙂

  2. I love chocolate! (Which woman dosen’t? ;))
    I make my own choccies from moulds so that would be one thing to try.
    I’ve always wanted to try fruit dipped in the 75% choc so that is on the definite list!
    My special aunt also loves chocolate so I’d share some with her and my kids…
    There is so much I could do I’d be here all night writing. 🙂 so I’ll end off here.

    • Thank you Di, I would say that is a lot that you could do with the chocolate…you’d actually share?? Hehe…good for you! Have a good weekend!

  3. Hmm, Madagascar is just down the road from me and we don’t get these wonderful chocolates here. Another item to go onto my To Do list for when I get back home.
    I hope your winner will post a recipe or two from what they make.
    🙂 Mandy

    • Really? Its delicious choccie Mandy. Look online for a supplier near to where you will be staying in SA…I also hope that we hear about the recipes. Hugs xx

      • She currently lives in Mauritius Tracey but will be coming back to SA on holiday in June I think….to the Eastern Cape near PE

  4. I’ve had the good fortune of buying some Madecasse chocolate from Tracy herself, she’s a wonderful person selling some amazing chocolate!
    What would I do with the chocolate if I won? Probably hide them away and save them for special occasions or to impress dinner guests 😛

  5. I would keep all the dark chocolate just for me, but I would share the milk chocolate with my family… so generous! Or perhaps just one bar of dark choclate could go towards a decadent chocolate tart for Easter.. but that sea salt is all mine!

  6. I would make a special batch of Choc chip cookies using the 70% bar. It adds the most intense flavour that your regular baking chips just doesn’t achieve.
    It would be a first for me to try the Choc with the sea salt bits, So I anticipate sending my taste buds to new heights. The rest I would have to hide from MYSELF. Great giveaway. i didn’t even know about this company.

    • Thank you f. The sea salt with nibs is my very favourite of the chocolates. So YUM! I’m so glad you know about this company now. They are fabulous and their chocolates are awesome!

  7. Just love the branding and the whole slow concept of this company. Keep up the excellent research and interesting information that you keep posting.

  8. Colly, what a magnificent prize and such a brilliant story behind it. They say that chocolate heals all wounds and I definitely need some in my life at the moment for comfort! I’d settle down in front of the TV with a good chick flick and some of these slabs – the sea salt one in particular, as I am a huge fan of salty-sweet combinations. I’m also dying to make a chocolate-chilli sauce for a delicious steak evening to thank my boyfriend for his incredible support over this time.

    • I bet this would be very healing Linda. The sea salt is decidedly my favourite too. I love it. Hmmmmm chilli chocolate sauce for the steak sounds pretty decent…right up my chocolate alley hehe. Hugs and love to you xx

  9. I admit, this was one of my favourite goodies in my FBI gift bag! I agreed to share this with my team (if I win – fingers crossed!) and our winemakers to do a chocolate pairing with our wines; the best of both worlds!

    • Awesome to get some feedback on the goodie bag goodies Marina. Thanks so much for sharing. Oh my………a chocolate wine pairing….I have never been to one of those. Definitely the best of both worlds. xx

    • Hey Marina, so glad you enjoyed the chocs. They pair really well with wine 🙂 I tell you what .. you bring the wine, we’ll bring the chocolate …. 🙂

  10. My first instinct would be to eat it all. I am crazy about Madecasse chocolate esp their sea salt one and then the 67% – drooooooling just thinking about it. But I’d want to experiment with brownies and homemade hot chocolate as well. Just imagine how fantastic that’d taste with such good chocolate.

    • Ooooh, I can tell I will have to hide my sea salt chocolate away when any of you come around here….I also love that stuff. Thank you for entering Marisa. brownies are of course my soft spot as you know 🙂 And hot chocolate..can never go wrong with it xx

  11. I. HAVE. TO. HAVE. THEM. *evil cackle* Would use some of them to try and perfect ganache which is apparently easy, but somehow I manage to stuff it up!

  12. I’d enjoy a bar secretly, share a bar with someone special over a bottle of wine, use one bar as a posh topping for Sonia Cabano’s cake recipe and the sea salt (but just a little of it) it a chilli mole to top a nice fillet (would stash the rest). Very good chocolate, I still have my little hessian bag from the Indaba, alas it’s empty. Sous Chef was my roomie, you know *gives Sous a suspicious look*

  13. SInce It’s my birthday week too I’ll keep it all for myself!
    I might be tempted to give away the milk or sea salt but the dark chocolate will be all for me to be enjoyed with some coffee and nothing else!

    I tend to savour, melt and nibble my chocolate so usually after enjoying a few blocks , my boyfriend has munched it all – # the best thing – my boyfriend doesn’t eat decadently dark chocolate 🙂

    • Oh the sea salt one is the best one Roxy! Love it when the other half doesn’t like dark chocolate. Unfortunately for me…..both my little grandsons love it which is rather strange hehe. Happy Birthday

  14. I’d probably just eat the entire hamper of goodies myself … but I’m sure I have the self control and will power not to. If I was able to resist I would hold onto and give it to my Mom for her birthday on the 27th next week; well … .she would get photos of the item, and will only see her in June for my nieces party on the other side of the country; so she will get the actual item then. So …. 1 hamper may not be enough, I may have to go buy another once the 1st one is polished off.

    • HAHA! Its a very kind thought Mike…and the thought counts doesnt it? Happy birthday to your mom and thank you for commenting

  15. I’d grate the 80% into a chantarelle mushroom risotto (I’ve used a 70% chilli chocolate and it wasn’t quite dark enough); I’d use the 70% and 75% chocolates in flourless chocolate puddings for a dinner party; I’d share the 67% and 63% in front of the telly with hubby (unlike me, he doesn’t like eating very dark chocolate, so we’ll snack on the milder, milkier ones); I’d put the Sea Salt and Nibs chocolate out as appetizers at a braai, and whatever’s left over I’d stash away in my desk drawer for an afternoon pick-me-up at work.

  16. “If I win this hamper how happy I will be
    Who will I share it with?
    No one , just for ME!, Me!, ME!

    If I win this hamper
    I will hide it all away,
    So no one will ask
    Wa het jy daai Chocolate gekry?”

  17. Where to start?? Feel-good stories, lovely mentions & heavenly chocolate… all in one place! EEEE! 🙂
    Thank you, Colleen, for letting us be useful! It was such fun helping out at such a wonderful event!
    Ok. So. Chocolate. *sigh* And Madécasse chocolate at that??? *deep breath*
    I would take a bite; just to test…
    make Pecan Chocolate Brownie Fudge Cake
    …test a bit more…
    make Chocolate Cobbler
    …mmfph, chomp…
    make Mint Chocolate Mousse
    …mm-mmpfh… nom…
    make Chocolate Cheese Cake….

    And yes; all in one day. Why not?
    And no; there won’t be any chocolate left after all the ‘taste-testing’ bites… Should there be? 😉

  18. I would bake a massive batch of chocolate chip cookies and take them over to the kids at the Lindawo Foster Home in Pinelands and have a feast with the 15 kids that live there. They will just cry with excitement! My kids will love them too.


  19. I am sure the above comments contain a wealth of ideas! But, as I am always trying to improve my favourite recipes, I would make some chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce for drizzling, some salted truffles to decorate and of course, for just in case a chocolate souffle or two – and I can rightly say, I am the Queen of Souffles! Hugs to the helper elves from me 🙂

    • Awesome Tandy….can I please come over for the choccie overload? Hehe…thank you for that. Hugs coming up on Pinky Friday for the elves xx

  20. How I’d consume (and share) my chocolate hamper
    275g of 70% to be spread over 14 days (2 weeks of happiness) having about 20g a day with my after supper coffee
    275g of 63% to be spread out over another 14 days (another 2 weeks of happiness) having about 20g a day with my after supper coffee
    These two may be alternated day by to bring some variety to my life.
    Of course if I’m having coffee with someone else I’ll just save the day’s ration for bed time, and if I’m not on my own there I’ll just keep it for whenever (there are some compensations for missing my daily choc)

    75g Milk Chocolate. Now this I could be persuaded to share with someone special who may not be as into dark chocolate as I am.

    75g of 67% Chocolate, 75g of 75%, 75g of 80% and 75g Sea Salt and Nibs Chocolate. Now these treats I’d share with just a couple of equally chocoholic friends. Maybe using some for baking choc chip muffins, maybe just eating as they are, because I don’t believe in polluting chocolate with other things very often 😉

  21. This response is amazing and there are some incredible, creative ideas out there. A huge THANK YOU to Colleen for your enthusiasm in sharing our story and our chocolate! 🙂

    • It is absolutely my pleasure. You have a fabulous product and you are lovely people. Just doing my bit! Thank YOU for your wonderful sponsorship xx

  22. Ja, ja – no begging or fancy, schmancy recipes to impress you to win the stash. I was given some choccie from Madagascar some 8 years ago and found it soooooooooooooooo much better than any of those expensive, larney chocs that people think is tops. I will wave the chocolate under my sprogs’ noses as a bribe to get chores done, melt some for you know what with the little white shorts person in the house and then stand outside the mall waving my *slabs around and make everyone else jealous while loudly chanting ‘whe, whe, whe, whe, whe’. Ooooh, the power!
    Er *slabs = chocolate bars. Geez.

  23. Definately make a real drinking chocolate, like in the movie Chocolat. A mesmirising swirl of real chocolate in hot milk, maybe with some spices to bring out the flavour. After that, some chocolate flapjacks served with berry and redwine sauce. A rich, moist chocolate cake dripping with ganache. The rest will be eaten in a warm bath running over with bubbles by candlelight- of course after the baby has been put to bed!

    • Sounds absolutely wonderful Tania…did you have to go and mention Chocolat? My all time favourite movie…I really must watch again and pretend that I am Vianne when I work with my chocolate next time…

  24. I would just stare at them in absolute delight CW, and then go and make some chocolat pots de creme. Mmmmm … and if my name gets picked, please have them shipped to your address {Pretty please!} Much love!

  25. Chocolate pots de creme sound like my kind of bliss Deeba. Thank you for that great idea. So nice to see you visiting around these parts. I have not been able to visit blogs in a while so it is time for me to pay you a call and see what you have been up to as well. Hugs xx

  26. Pingback: MADECASSE CHOCOLATE HAMPER WINNERS | foodbloggerindaba·

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