4th May 2018
Pure Delish - introducing an extra-special taste experience
Most of us respond well to tender loving care.
And chocolate is no different.
In fact, did you know that the way you treat chocolate can alter the whole sensuous feel when you bite into it?
At White Rabbit Chocolatiers, we’re always looking for new ways to develop our craft and, with that in mind, we’re experimenting with hand tempering to create a new selection of high quality bars that are as close to the flavour god intended, as can be.
Like wine, every plantation and harvest of cocoa beans has its own unique characteristics, and a well-trained palate can identify the country of origin of every chocolate, from its taste.
We want our customers to be able to taste this wonderful product in the most natural state possible, and so – in addition to the couvertures single origins chocolate ingredients we’ve stocked for a while, we’re now sourcing some exciting new options from our latest chocolate supplier, Duffy Sheardown.
As you may have seen in our recent blog, we first joined forces with Duffy, who is based near Grimsby, last Autumn. Having fallen into the career later in life via a circuitous route, the former racing driver’s passion is now manufacturing his own chocolate direct from his own sourced beans.
And this provenance is important to us, too.
Duffy has relationships direct with the plantation owners and their workers, who grow and harvest the beans, so he is able to trace back every single step of their journey from plantation to palate.
There are so many question marks over the chocolate trade – including the unfair payment and treatment of workers in some places – that it’s important to us to sell only products where it’s been ‘done right’.
Chocolate as art form
We looked, in another previous blog, at the challenges of hand tempering. Transforming this precious substance from its semi-raw state to something you would want to eat as a treat takes extensive work and the conditions – from the temperature to how hard you work it – have to be just right.
Our chocolatier Amy is passionate about learning this age-old craft and has been attending special workshops to learn from industry masters like Paul A Young, just how it’s done.
Tempering is the process of turning the raw chocolate ingredient into what you ultimately eat as a treat. Conditions including temperature and how much you work the chocolate have to be just right, to ensure the best texture and flavour, including the ‘snap’ it makes when you bite into it and how it melts in your mouth.
Amy has started to produce special bars reflecting this purest of chocolate states. By painstakingly tempering each batch of chocolate by hand, she creates delicious bars which each offer their own, unique, taste experience.
She said: “Duffy deals direct with growers and even builds his own machines, all important factors in the ultimate taste experience.
“We’re now sourcing single origin bars from him, where we can be very specific about the plantation and even the particular harvest they come from. It’s like having a kind of time bubble around each supply of chocolate, just like that you get with a vintage wine from a particular year.
“But because it’s so delicately balanced, this kind of chocolate needs hand tempering to really bring out the subtleties of its flavour. As a result, it’s so unadulterated that you literally can’t experience the same kind of taste from anywhere else.
“Even the weather conditions prevailing on the particular day you temper it can make a difference!
“All of this means that the resulting chocolate has bags of character and you don’t really need to add anything else at all to it. I’d describe it as the difference between drinking a cheap bottle of plonk and savouring a really special bottle of wine.”
Our first origins bars
Panama Tierra Oscura
This is a rare Panamanian dark chocolate couverture, hand tempered by Amy and with tasting notes of light cherries and liquorice, with an after taste of leather and raisins.
Corazon Del Equador
A rare 83 per cent Equadorian dark chocolate couverture with tasting notes of deep, warm flavours and hints of raisins, coffee and citrus.
Nicaragua Oh Chuno!
A rare 45 per cent Nicaraguan milk chocolate couverture with soft hints of hay, figs and red fruits and a sweet caramel after taste.
If you’d like to taste our new origins bars for yourself, they are available from our White Rabbit Chocolatiers shop at 14-16 Dyer Lane.