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  • Jul 25

    Celebrate summer with craft chocolate ice cream!

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    Let’s start with a question with a surprising answer (unless you’ve guessed from the above picture!): Which was the first item, after drinking chocolate, that chocolate was used as a base ingredient and ‘cooked’ with? Chocolate Ice Cream? Chocolate Mousse? Chocolate Digestive biscuits? Chocolate Brownies? Chocolate Cakes? The answer is chocolate ice cream; we’ve a […]

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  • Jul 18

    Is chocolate addictive?

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    Chocolate is NOT addictive. Unlike the likes of caffeine, alcohol and other drugs, theobromine (the primary stimulant in chocolate) doesn’t meet any of the standard definitions for addiction. But various ingredients can be added to your chocolate bar that ARE highly addictive. Top of the list of these additives is sugar, especially if combined with […]

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  • Jul 11
    map of camerron

    La Reine Astrid and Cameroonian Chocolate

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    One of the wonderful benefits of working in craft chocolate is the serendipitous insights it offers into geography, history, food science and much more. And this week as part of introducing a new French craft chocolate maker, La Reine Astrid, I’ve started to scratch the surface of the complicated, painful and difficult history of Cameroon […]

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  • Jul 04

    Salve and Guten Tag to KARUNA

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    Here is a quick quiz to introduce this week’s post: Which is the wealthiest province in Italy? In which Italian province do the majority of the population speak German as their first language? To which Italian province did the real-life von Trapp family (made famous in the Sound of Music) flee? In which Italian province is Karuna, […]

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  • Jun 27

    Is this a PEPPER or a CHILLI?

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    (the answer is neither: it’s a pink pepper) To any of you who have ever wondered: How did we come to MIX peppers, chilli peppers and peppermint with chocolate (and why these combinations can be such fun)? Why are the names of peppers, chilli peppers and peppermint so easy to MIX UP in almost every language (except Nahuatl)? … this […]

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  • Jun 20

    Paris 1, London 0. Merci PLAQ!

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    Paris 1 – London 0 No, this is not a forecast for the Euros. Nor is it a reminder of the UK’s Eurovision song contest result. It’s a (belated) celebration of a wonderful new Paris based craft chocolate maker: PLAQ, created by Sandra and Nicolas. Not only are Sandra and Nicolas great craft chocolate makers. […]

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  • Jun 12

    Introducing Craft Chocolate Truffles!

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    For something so famous and ubiquitous, the story of chocolate truffles is infuriatingly vague. Their inventor, history, naming and even definition are obscure and complex. They are nonetheless amazing when properly crafted. And we are delighted to, finally, have some craft chocolate truffles from David Crichton of The Careless Collection, and Mike Longman of Chocolarder, […]

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  • Jun 06

    These are Not ultra-processed!

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    Last week’s post on a drink made out of cocoa pulp led to some GREAT questions; astute readers noted that the likes of Nestlé and Callebaut are developing and marketing “whole fruit chocolate”; bars which are made without added sugar but made with ‘unsweetened cacao pulp’. This is truly inspired marketing. …But it’s a bit […]

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  • May 30

    Drink of the gods: Cocoa Pulp?

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    Despite it almost being the start of June, and the summer equinox less than a month away, summer sunshine has still yet to arrive here in the UK. In fact the water temperature in the ponds has been dropping over the last few weeks from a high of over 15 degrees Celsius to below 12.5 […]

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  • May 23

    Vanilla: A Cross-Modal Understanding

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Weekly Blog

    The influence of vanilla on the flavour experience of chocolate involves more than simply the taste buds. Vanilla is remarkable in how it works on different foods and different cultures because of its ‘cross modal’ characteristics. To explain this, consider these two questions: If you think of vanilla, which word would you associate it with? […]

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