This delicacy has been prepared and showcased at ITC hotels in six cities: Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru and will be on sale till Sunday.
The proceeds will be used for charity. This reporter had a chat with ITC Grand Chola Hotel's executive chief Ajit Bangera and chocolate expert Deepthi to know about the preparations in Chennai.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: Let's know more about the plan and preparation for this chocolate bar.
A: Every year, we make something special for Independence Day. On a similar note, we were informed to make a 72-kg bar. Before us were three important parameters that needed to be fulfilled: taste, uniqueness and finish.
At the same time, we were also told to add 72 different ingredients, a difficult task. We planned the chocolate bar for more than three months, mixing different contents, checking out their taste, finalising the best, and so on. One fine day we started making the bar. Work went on for more than 10 days. Finally, our hard work paid and we had the bar ready for charity.
Q: Why did you name the bar Rocky Road and what's unique about it?
A: It was made with rich milk chocolate blended with unique ingredients like nuts, dried fruits, cookies, seeds, jellies, biscuits, etc., creating a lot of textures. As there are 72 different contents, they created a rigid surface which resembles a rocky road.
So, we named it Rocky Road. To keep with the theme, we are using a hammer and chisel to cut our chocolate bar. The unique aspect of our offering is none other than its texture. It has smooth finish on the outside. But, on the inside, there are different patterns just like a chiselled rock.
Q: What about the craftsmanship?
A: Making a chocolate bar that too this big a one is not an easy task. Also, when many ingredients are involved it's more risky as even a single ingredient can ruin the taste. Also, chocolate needs optimum temperature at the right time for proper formation and thickening.
It's similar to heat treatment of a metal. We not only had to check the cooking temperature but also make sure the ingredients retain their taste. Every preparation is a lesson for us.
Q: What was the best part of the preparation?
A: The making was like we created the base first and placed 15 crusts over it. The most tiring and difficult part was the placement. We had to look after three different aspects: the right position, proper fixation and decoration.
If the position went wrong, the entire bar would go waste. In the same way, if the temperatures was not right, the crust won't stick to the base. So, working on these aspects were the best parts of our preparation.
Q: And the proceeds go for charity?
A: The chocolate will be available in ITC Grand Chola Hotel till his Sunday. Any one can buy pieces of it from Rs 72 onwards. All the proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish Foundation of India, a non-profit organisation working towards supporting deserving children lead a better life by fulfilling their wishes.
So far, the NGO has fulfilled over 39,000 wishes of children across 11 divisions in India and now with proceeds raised from this chocolate sale, it's hopeful of fulfilling several such precious wishes of kids.
Q: What are you planning ahead for?
A: We always strive to do something different every festive season. So, this year, too, we have a host of food initiatives planned like a massive cake, or food art or anything related to it.
To buy the chocolate and donate for the cause, head to Fabelle at The Chocolate Boutique, ITC Grand Chola, Mount Road, Guindy. You can also call 044 - 49065410 for details.