Please see Delivery information.
In a society surrounded by foods with artificially extended shelf-lives, Iain Burnett is proud to offer fresh produce. Such delicately handcrafted chocolates with fresh cream, fruit and spices do require a little extra care. They are best enjoyed at ambient/room temperature but should be stored sealed, away from odours, and cool – below 20°C/68°F (ideally 14°C). To ensure you enjoy them with optimum flavour and quality, they are best eaten within a short period after they have been made. If chocolates are kept sealed and cool, this period is approximately a week for truffles, pralines and marzipan, and three months for others. This can be doubled if chocolates are refrigerated and returned to room temperature over half a day while still air tight.
70%... 80%... 100% Cocoa
80% cocoa solids in a chocolate is not necessarily better than 60% cocoa solids. What counts is the flavour and quality of the cocoa itself. More of a bad thing is not better! This common misconception arose when stuff with only 5% cocoa was being called “chocolate” and regulations were then publicised requiring minimum amounts. A chocolate made with 40% poor quality cocoa can be very bitter and a premium chocolate made with a 60% cocoa can be quite sweet and fruity.
Excellence is not achieved by cutting corners. If Iain had used the usual oils, glucose, sorbitol, UHT cream and preservatives it would have taken a few weeks to develop a passable truffle, albeit a sticky and oily one. The shelf-life would also have doubled and it would have been cheaper and suited to low-skilled production. Instead, by determinedly standing by his principles he has arrived at the outstanding flavour and texture of the award-winning Velvet Truffle™ – a chocolate with pure and natural ingredients. Knowing how to use the honey from a local apiary rather than buying manufactured invert sugar has manifold benefits. He is not a purist or even a traditionalist, but knows that Mother Nature is worth respecting and craftsmanship is worth refining.
He does not use alcohol or cheap alcoholic flavourings in any of his chocolates to mask poor quality or extend shelf life. A drink and a chocolate can be carefully created to complement one another side by side. Their true quality is only appreciated if they arrive on the palate one at a time.
Some of The Highland Chocolatier’s chocolates are decorated with bright colours which are, of course, food colouring! These are mixed with cocoa butter or sugar to make a “paint” and bring the joy of artwork to the palate.
Organic & Fairtrade Chocolate
Iain Burnett uses fairly traded chocolate. Organic chocolate and fairly traded chocolate under the Fairtrade mark are laudable efforts which have done much to raise awareness. Unfortunately there are major limitations in quality and scope which would severely curtail the standards offered by The Highland Chocolatier. Fairtrade has no controlled focus on quality improvements or education of farmers. There is currently no premium quality couverture yet available which is organic or Fairtrade certified. Nevertheless, Iain Burnett has been scrupulous in ensuring that his source of chocolate is indeed fairly traded. Only his personal extensive research on the impressive community welfare, housing, quality assurance and educational projects undertaken by his supplier gives him the confidence to state this.
Allergies, Preferences, & Diabetic Chocolate
It is impossible to guarantee that any of Iain Burnett’s gourmet chocolates will not contain minute traces of nuts, sesame, milk, soya or gluten. Even sulphur dioxide may be traced from dried fruits. However if you bear this in mind and there is safely no trace-level allergy, you may use the following as a guide based on main ingredients:
Avoiding nuts - pure chocolate, chocolate truffles, and fruit dipped in chocolate should be fine. Nuts are only in Iain Burnett’s marzipan, praline and gianduja recipes or where indicated.
Avoiding alcohol - all Iain Burnett's gourmet chocolates are alcohol free chocolates and are suitable chocolates for children, Baha'is, Muslims, etc.
Avoiding gluten - all should be fine except the Orange Crunch which contains wheat.
Avoiding lactose and dairy (also for vegetarians & vegans) - pure dark chocolate, dark chocolate florentines, and fruit dipped in plain chocolate should be fine. All of The Highland Chocolatier’s chocolates are suitable for vegetarians. His chocolate truffle recipes contain fresh cream and butter. Milk chocolate does indeed contain milk!
Avoiding sugar - the 100% cocoa bar should be fine. However, please note that Diabetes UK has stated that ‘diabetic chocolate’ is a con, that “total avoidance of sugar is now unnecessary”, and that “there is no single food that must be excluded from the diet of people with diabetes”. See www.diabetes.org.uk. It may assist with diabetes control to know that the 70% cocoa dark chocolate used by Iain Burnett contains about 30g of sugar per 100g, and his milk chocolate about 50g.
Avoiding colourings - all products except the Selection Boxes should be fine. Selection Box truffles and pralines which have coloured designs on the top, do of course contain food colourings, some of which are commonly used but may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.
Please see Cake Guide.
The Ingredients contained within the section Hot Chocolate and Ingredients, as well as the 100% Bars, within the Gourmet Tablets section of this website are rated as zero VAT. These items are intended for use as ingredients, and have been treated as such for this website. All other items offered for sale have the normal VAT rates applied to them with regard to standard UK rates at this time.
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