CHOCOLATE IN CORNWALL
We love anything and everything chocolatey in the Barefoot office. As it’s Chocolate Week (13-19 October) what better time to have a chat with some of the businesses creating delicious chocolate products here in Cornwall.
FOOD OF THE GODS RAW CHOCOLATE
Dal Hall is the founder of Food of the Gods Raw Chocolate. He lives with his family in St. Just, in west Cornwall, making his chocolate by hand in small batches, using the best quality raw organic, fair-trade ingredients possible. His bars are made using just three ingredients. Cacao solids and butter make up 96% of the chocolate. The remaining 4% is date syrup which is used as a sweetener, rather than refined sugars. The cacao bean is unroasted in raw chocolate so it retains more of its beneficial nutrient qualities. It is a very pure and intense dark chocolate and as Dal says, “You only need a little piece to give you that chocolate ‘hit’.
“Our best-selling chocolate is our cacao nib and rose petal. I think the colours of the pink petals set against the intense dark brown of the chocolate catch the eye. My personal favourite is our cacao dusted mulberry bar. The mulberries have their own unique sweetness and chewy texture and set into dark chocolate, it’s almost like eating caramel, but instead of empty calories and loads of sugar, mulberries are packed with nutrients and antioxidants.”
NICKY GRANT CHOCOLATES, WEDDING CAKES AND FAVOURS
Nicky Grant is an award-winning wedding cake designer, pâtissière and chocolatière with more than fourteen years of experience. She works from her kitchen studio in the countryside near Hayle, and specialises in wedding cakes, wedding favours and handmade fresh chocolates. The flavours of her fresh chocolates are part of a developing range of pralines and chocolates, made without the use of any preservatives or additives. Her ginger and fennel fresh Cornish cream cut ganache chocolate won a 3 star gold in the Great Taste Awards 2012.
Nicky’s favourite chocolates include those flavoured with cardamom or pistachio, and among her products it is her fresh chocolates that are most popular. “The chocolate we use is carefully sourced from around the world and includes single origin fair-trade chocolate from Venezuela and plantation chocolates from Peru and Trinidad to name a few.” This results in a top quality product, with unique flavours and taste which is then beautifully packaged.
Nicky Grant chocolates are available to purchase online via her website.
Kernow Chocolate is a family-run business based in St. Eval, near Wadebridge. Founded nine years ago, they will soon be opening a brand new factory which will allow visitors to see their chocolate being made. They use sustainably grown and ethically sourced cocoa to create products which are handmade, and also packed and wrapped by hand.
Andy Soden at Kernow Chocolate says, “Without a shadow of a doubt our best seller is our Milk Chocolate and Caramel Sea Salt 100g bar. We have also just added a rosemary and sea salt bar and will shortly have a 70% and sea salt too. Of course we only ever use Cornish Sea Salt with our chocolate, it is a fantastic product to work with and the burst of flavour you get when you bite into a salt crystal is delightful.” If you’re thinking ahead to December already, keep an eye out for the Bah! Humbug! Christmas bar. “It tastes just like a Murray mint and is totally moreish,” says Andy.
Kernow Chocolate can be purchased online, at farm shops, delis and retailers across the South West, including the Eden Project for whom they make exclusive flavours with the African superfruit baobab, as well as National Trust shops nationwide.
STEIN’S PATISSERIE, PADSTOW
Stein’s Patisserie is located in Padstow and is one of four shops in the town owned by Jill and Rick Stein. Stuart Pate, executive pastry chef at Stein’s creates the desserts on the menu at The Seafood Restaurant as well as the chocolate products available to purchase at the Patisserie and Deli. The truffles are made in Padstow and alcohol is used to flavour the fillings.
According to Stuart, the chocolate fondant on the menu at The Seafood Restaurant, and their milk chocolate Kahlua truffles are their most popular chocolate products. Stuart says, “I love milk chocolate, a personal favourite is Felchlin Swiss chocolate. Milk chocolate with peanuts is also one of my favourite combinations.”
Rick Stein’s truffles can be purchased at Stein’s Patisserie and Stein’s Deli, and are available to buy as part of a new Champagne and biscuit Christmas hamper via the website.
ALSO TAKE A LOOK AT…
We are also fans of Penryn-based Chocolarder‘s bean to bar products, Raw Chocolate Pie‘s range of sugar, dairy and gluten-free chocolate bars with colourful packaging, and The Buttermilk Confectionery Co‘s luxury chocolate fudge for which the company recently won the ‘Best of Confectionery’ category in the 2014 Taste of the West Awards.