She Produces Art and Health Out of Chocolate

She Produces Art and Health Out of Chocolate

Aslı Bilgin, who offers various flavors, prepared with dried fruits and nuts, to chocolate lovers aiming to stay healthy and fit with Nuvole Chocolate brand, does not forget vegans as well as those whose diets exclude sugar or gluten.

Targeting to take place with new branches in İstanbul and in different cities in 2020 and beyond, Bilgin stated that they began this journey with the dream of becoming Turkey’s first sustainable chocolate brand. In line with this aim, Bilgin emphasizes that she will introduce Nuvole Chocolate in global markets by participating in international fairs and summarizes her biggest dream as follows: “Bean to bar chocolate production, in other words, making our own chocolates from collecting the cocoa beans to the final stage.”

Healthy chocolate recipes

Aslı Bilgin, the founder of Nuvole Chocolate, is a 21 year old young entrepreneur and artisan. Aslı Bilgin is a senior student at Yeditepe University, Department of Public Relations. She is also a student of the department of international relations and political science. Bilgin, who has played licensed volleyball for 8 years and worked as a professional model for 2 years, said, “I always had to look fit and healthy because of my discipline and my modeling skills. Healthy eating became a hobby for me after a while. I loved eating chocolate like everyone else. It all started with the question of how can we make chocolate healthier? We mixed healthy recipes, developed by my mother Hale İsmet, and dried fruits and chocolates. In time, we started to receive significant orders for the chocolates that we sent as gifts to our circle. Because of the department, I’ve studied, I started asking myself, why shouldn’t I build my own brand?” Starting from this point, Bilgin launched Çikolatam Fit’s Instagram and Facebook accounts in November 2017 with the motto of ‘For those who want to stay fit and who cannot stay away from chocolate!’

Special to those whose diet is gluten or sugar free or vegan

Aslı Bilgin set out with the goal of designing chocolates prepared with healthy and delicious recipes. She participated in the applied chocolate course of the Yeditepe University Gastronomy Department to improve her technique. Bilgin also aimed for flavors that would appeal to those who are vegan or who follow diets that are sugar or gluten free. On May 15, 2019, Bilgin opened the Nuvole Chocolate store in Kozyatağı with the advanced entrepreneur support from KOSGEB. Bilgin indicated that the couverture of gluten-free/sugar-free/vegan chocolates they produce using molasses and dried mulberry powder to sweeten instead of sugar is made by them and said, “We are careful to use pure cocoa butter and organic certified cocoa powder. We work with Belgian chocolate producer Callebaut’s dark and milk chocolates. Our dried fruits and nuts, which we use in our recipes, are completely procured from the domestic producers of our country. We do not use food coloring either… Stating that there is a demand for roche (bulk) chocolates, Aslı Bilgin says that Kıtır Fit products are also very popular. Nuvole Chocolate now offers 20 different types of chocolate, including chocolates with fillings.

Color and flavor harmony is important

Bilgin provides the following information about fit energy balls and fit product groups, which are prepared with the use of healthy ingredients and can keep satiated for a long time after being eaten: “While we are selling our products we offer many options for presentation to our customers such as boxes, jars, packages, Fit Bar, special occasion boxes/packages…  Our priority is that our boxes and jars are recyclable. I think that our branding process has accelerated by reflecting the healthy content of our chocolate to our package designs. Usually, we get questions like why is your chocolate fit? From the first day, we continue with the vision of ‘abundant ingredients-less chocolate’.The reason for calling them fit is that these ingredients are very rich in minerals and vitamins cause they are dried fruits and nuts. Therefore, when making our designs, we pay attention to the abundance of the ingredients and the harmony of color and taste. Unfortunately, there are not many alternatives suitable for gluten-free or vegan diets. Those that are suitable are priced quite high. At this point, our priority is to provide quality and accessible products to all our customers. For customers who do not consume sugar, we offer our chocolates flavored with molasses or dried mulberry powder.”

Technical processes are precise

How is the production process shaped? Aslı Bilgin summarizes this process from the first to the final stage as follows: “First, we melt the raw form of the chocolate which we call couverture with the bain-marie method. After the tempering process, we bring our chocolate to a certain temperature and pour it into molds and cover it with dried fruits or dried nuts that we have determined before. For our chocolates with fillings, we prepare the filling material. Instead of aroma, we use the fruit extracts or grated fruits that we have prepared for chocolate fillings. We pour the chocolate into the molds and then into the vibration machine to remove the air bubbles in it. Finally, we let them cool and take them out of the molds. What is important here is that the chocolate can be easily and gently removed from the mold. We remove the chocolate from the mold to pack air-tight and close. We use packaging options that are as simple, natural-looking and made from recyclable materials. Transparency is very important to us.” Bilgin said that they also give momentum to work in e-commerce; they will take their place in winter festivals with a hot chocolate concept which has never seen before in Turkey; they will start soon their mother/father-child workshops.

PHOTOGRAPHER/FERHAT MAKASÇI