An Ooltewah High School teacher is making more than lesson plans this school year.
Ella Livingston is what you would call a multi-tasker, from being a high school math teacher by day, then turning into a chocolatier by night.
The idea for her business, called Cocoa Asante, came to her after tasting chocolate on a trip to Japan.
That’s when the idea sparked to create something from her homeland.
“All of the chocolate we use is sourced from Ghana, which is something that makes the company special because it’s actually where I’m from,” says Ella.
Her heritage is a big part of the brand, introducing her tribe’s sweets not only to her students but the world.
“This is just another way of me doing that but with the Chattanooga community as a whole,” says Ella.
The first step to making her premium truffles is tempering. She brings her special chocolate to an exact temperature, creating a hard chocolate shell that doesn’t melt right away.
“Cooling the chocolate is a process,” says Ella, “You don’t want to cool the chocolate too fast.”
For the center of the truffle, she uses heavy cream, butter, and other flavors.
But it’s the oil in the mixture that helps the truffle melt after the first bite.
“Once you pop our truffles right out of the fridge, you wait a few minutes to let it come to room temperature,” says Ella.
The meaning behind her chocolate truffles goes far beyond their delicious taste. The symbol on her packaging comes from her tribe in Ghana called ‘adinkra’.
“We took one called NSAA, and it means excellence and high quality when it comes to craftsmanship,” says Ella.
After whisking the chocolate into a thick consistency, it’s time to pour it in the now-hardened shells.
The last step is sprinkling luster dust on top to give it a glittery shine.
Putting the final touch to what she calls a part of home.
“Ghana has a lot to offer,” says Ella. “Cocoa is our number one export and so what I wanted to show people is that this is like a taste of Ghana. This is what we have to offer.”
Ella says her math students have helped her solve business equations such as how much profit she could make in a year and what the temperature of her chocolate should melt.
To purchase Cocoa Assante, visit their Facebook page by clicking here.
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