Cacao & Cardamom
Meet Houston Chocolate Hero Annie Rupani of Cacao & Cardamom
'Cacao & Cardamom is one of eight independent Houston businesses featured during Houston Chocolate Hero Month held from January 7 through February 10, 2019. For the event, Chef Rupani created a special Belgian Dark Chocolate Oregano Truffle.
Rupani went from beauty queen to crafting beautiful chocolates. Before becoming a chocolatier, the Sugar Land native was a pageant competitor who won the Miss Pakistan World crown in 2010. That was in addition to graduating with a degree in anthropology and religion. Next, she started studying for her law school admissions exam — and it was in the midst of that when she discovered her true passion. After taking chocolatier classes in Kuala Lumpur, she made her way back to Houston and dedicated herself to her newfound career, showcasing her well-made and vibrantly hued truffles at many pop-ups and special events.
“I started out using Callebaut,” says Rupani. “What’s so great about it is there are so many different options. As a company, Callebaut is also constantly developing new products for chocolatiers to work with. That makes it even more fun for us in the kitchen — to always be able to have a new medium to infuse flavors.”
Rupani quickly became known for the deft incorporation of Middle Eastern spices in her glossy, well-made chocolates. Curry, chai and, of course, the namesake cardamom are just a few of the spices Rupani uses. She also crafts truffles with fruit purees, such as passion fruit encased in white chocolate ganache and mango, or passion fruit and caramel nestled in milk chocolate.
She opened the first Cacao & Cardamom storefront in 2014 in the posh Galleria shopping area and in 2018, expanded the business with a second store in River Oaks. Customers can also purchase her chocolates online.
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Annie is proud to share that Cacao & Cardamom was named among Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America in 2018 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur 360 list. The award recognizes the chocolate shop’s leadership, growth as well as the hard work and craft that goes into creating fine chocolate products.