The most important ingredient. We use delicious Belgian Fairtrade couverture, made by Callebaut.
Chocolate starts as cocoa pods, growing on trees. They only grow in tropical regions, requiring steady temperatures and lots of rainfall.
When ripe, the cocoa pods are cut from the trees and split open. The beans inside are removed and dried, then sold to international chocolate-makers like Callebaut.
The beans are roasted and crushed. The resulting chocolate liquor is separated into cocoa butter and cocoa mass. The cocoa butter and cocoa mass are recombined in different quantities, and sugar and milk powder* are added.
* Only in milk chocolate.
This mixture undergoes a process called conching, where the chocolate is mixed and pressed for up to 72 hours. Longer conching results in smoother chocolate.
Cocoa beans only grow in tropical regions of the world, often in some of the poorest countries. It is our duty to ensure that the farmers who grow these beans are not exploited so that we can enjoy our treats. By using Fairtrade ingredients, we ensure the producers of our chocolate are being paid a fair minimum price for their crop.
We make our own delicious ganache from chocolate and double cream. For flavours such as coffee or vanilla, we infuse the cream with Fairtrade coffee or vanilla pods. Fruit truffles contain only real fruit purée, made from the fruit in our own kitchen.
Fruits such as raspberries are puréed, the seeds removed and then condensed down before being used in our ganaches. This ensures we get the full flavour of the fruit with nothing added, like the sugar which is often added as a preservative to commercial purées.
We make our own candied peel for garnishes and to add to our ganache. After carefully washing the fruit, we remove the zest and cook it gently with a little sugar. This makes a beautiful garnish, and also works well chopped up inside the ganache.