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Joining the Ranks of British Excellence

April 27th, 2018

A Prestigious Alliance

Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier has received the honoured invitation to join Walpole, the prestigious alliance of Britain’s leading luxury brands.

Walpole boasts an impressive tradition of supporting excellence in British craftsmanship, innovation, design, style, and impeccable service, and includes such illustrious names as Rolls Royce, Mulberry, Wedgwood, Claridges, Jimmy Choo, Bentley, The Savoy, The Dorchester, Tiffany, Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnum & Masons among others.

Walpole CEO, Helen Brocklebank, said “I’m delighted to welcome the Highland Chocolatier as a member of Walpole. Walpole represents the finest luxury brands in the British Isles, and Iain’s quest for perfection and his attention to detail in chocolate making, from sourcing the finest cream from a single herd of Perthshire Friesians to tracking down rare cocoa from São Tomé, demonstrates a remarkable commitment to the pursuit of excellence.

Striving for Excellence

Among such distinguished creators and brand leaders, Master Chocolatier Iain Burnett is a natural addition. Twice winning the World Gold at the International Chocolate Awards for his unique Velvet Truffles, Iain is Scotland’s most awarded chocolatier. As a truffle specialist, Iain has carved a unique niche with other culinary masters, supplying Michelin Star chefs with world class petits fours, Master Distillers with chocolate pairings, and some of Britain’s must luxurious hotels with stunning bespoke chocolates for their guests and clients.

Walpole’s devotion to excellence could not be more in keeping with Iain’s personal ethos. Asked for his definition of luxury, Iain replies “I think striving for excellence on a daily basis is a route to creating genuine luxury – far above average and something an artisan is proud of.”

Love Affair with British Luxury

On receiving the news Iain responded “Becoming a Walpole member is a tremendous honour. I greatly value the opportunity to learn from association with such like-minded members, many of whom started as family businesses themselves.”

As Walpole’s Member Guide explains, “The world’s love affair with Britain’s luxury brands shows no signs of abating, and Walpole’s 200 members have never been more valued or desired… Walpole supports the luxury sector through a strategic programme of events, mentorship, thought leadership, communications and political and media engagement.”

Read Iain’s full interview with Walpole about the life of a Master Chocolatier here.

 

Taste of Christmas at The Highland Chocolatier

November 30th, 2017

Cold Makes Us Nostalgic and Nostalgia Makes Us Warm

Christmas and New Year for me has always been the priceless time when family and friends get together and bask in the glow of the season. How many priceless memories centre around this time of year for each of us–the atmosphere, the anticipation, and the joy. Since my family opened the business 12 years ago, Christmas has become the one week of the year when I close the chocolate kitchen, and that I get to be on holiday at the same time as my brother, Calum, who is my Senior Chocolatier.

For me it is also a particularly beautiful and jovial time in Scotland— especially with the colourful celebration of Hogmanay to brighten up the bleak winter weather. Above all, the season offers a poignant chance to laugh, reflect, and share from the heart—and in that spirit, I offer some Christmas selections, and my warmest wishes for a lovely holiday.

Make It a December to Remember

With such heartfelt nostalgia surrounding it, winter and the holiday season inspires the evocative limited edition Velvet Truffle—The Festive Spice. 

The Festive Spice Velvet Truffle is the chocolate equivalent of a Christmas Pudding. Whether in an exquisite selection box of enrobed Velvet Truffles and pralines, or in an ornate box of unenrobed cocoa-dusted Velvet Truffles, the Festive Spice makes the perfect petits fours for after Christmas dinner, adding an unforgettable sparkle to the taste of Christmas. 

 

 

St. Andrew’s Day with Scotland’s Most Awarded Chocolatier

November 29th, 2017

St. Andrews Day at Iain Burnett The Highland Chocolatier

The 30th of November is St Andrew’s Day. A day when Scots and Scots-at-heart pay homage to the patron saint of Scotland, and celebrate our national day.

St. Andrew’s Day is usually commemorated with special events and celebrations honouring Scottish heritage, history and culture.

What better way to mark the day than by indulging in artisan chocolate, handmade by Scotland’s most awarded chocolatier.

The White Raspberry Velvet Truffle was crafted by Iain as a tribute to his Scottish roots, and is modelled after the traditional Scottish dessert, Cranachan.

Typically this classic dessert is a mixture of whipped cream, whisky, honey and fresh raspberries, with toasted oatmeal.

The White Raspberry Velvet Truffle blends only fresh Scottish ingredients, combining crushed raspberry and creamy white chocolate ganache, and sweetened with Scottish heather honey.

While none of Iain’s chocolates contain alcohol, they are expertly matched to pair beautifully with a number of favourite whiskeys and gins.

Iain recommends the Ledaig 15 Year Old malt whisky as the companion to The White Raspberry Velvet Truffle.

Slàinte mhath!

 

All Hallow’s Eve 2017

October 26th, 2017

Halloween and Chocolate: A Frightfully Thrilling Mix

Originating as the Celtic festival of Samhain, where Scots would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts, Halloween is now inextricably linked with candy and sweets. However, the intoxicating brew of Halloween and chocolate is actually a relatively recent one.

As traditions from various cultures began to mix, Halloween became the one night of the year where pranks would be tolerated, where tricks ranging from playful to ghoulish might ensue.

The more modern form of trick or treating dates back to the 1930s and 40s, when costumed children going door to door would spirit away with a wide variety of treats, ranging from fruits and nuts, to toys and coins.

In the 1950s, spotting a diabolical opportunity to boost candy sales in the autumn season, candy companies cackled at the chance to cast their spell over the holiday, offering an affordable and convenient reward for witches and wizards appearing on doorsteps.

By the 1970s, chocolate and candy was regarded as the official Halloween fare, and today, approximately £1.5 billion of chocolate is sold at Halloween.

Whether you’re braving the eerie night, or warlocking your doors and curling up against the cold, Iain wishes you a very Happy Halloween.


Elements for a Devilish Potion

For the ultimate Halloween hot chocolate, use some of Iain’s Dark Hot Chocolate flakes mixed with hot milk.
Add in some chili or cinnamon to taste, and a dash of black food colouring for a bewitching brew.

Or, combine some of Iain’s White Hot Chocolate with pumpkin spice mix, if available, or mint.
Stir in some green or orange food colouring for a wickedly warming Halloween treat.

Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight

September 5th, 2017

Celebrating All Things Scottish…

Iain Burnett creates his famous Velvet Truffles from a small kitchen in Grandtully in Perthshire where he is surrounded by quality fresh ingredients. The Velvet Truffles are created using heather honey & fresh cream from a single herd of local Friesian cows. The quality of this cream is crucial to achieving the velvety, delicate texture and the rich sweet taste of Iain’s truffles.
This fortnight has been chosen by Scotland Food and Drink to celebrate & support Scotland’s producers. Over the next 2 weeks we will be celebrating all things Scottish about Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier, from the ingredients used in the chocolate kitchen, to Iain’s partnerships with award-winning producers from all over Scotland.


Some of Iain’s Scottish Highlights…


Award Winner’s Selection
The Velvet Truffles have now won over 40 different International awards, including many Scottish awards.
This selection of truffles won Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Product of the Year 2013


 

The Robert Burns Collection
This special collection was created in honour of Scotland’s most loved poet, Robert Burns. It features the unique Cranachan Velvet Truffle made with local Scottish heather honey, fresh crushed raspberries and white chocolate ganache, as well as the World’s Best Dark Chocolate Truffle.



Box of 9 – White Raspberry & Heather Honey
Using this fresh local cream together with fresh raspberries and beautiful golden heather honey from local apiaries Iain created the White Raspberry & Heather Honey Velvet Truffle.

This box has been created to match with Eden Mill’s ‘Love’ gin, as well as Ledaig 15 year old Single Malt Whisky from Iain’s home town of Tobermory.


Keep an eye on our social media channels over the next couple of weeks to hear more about the Scottish heritage of Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier.

 

7 More Stars! The Great Taste Awards 2017

August 8th, 2017

Star Turn for Highland Chocolatier

 

 

 

 

This week Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier added yet another 7 stars to over 40 prestigious awards received for his renowned Velvet Truffles.

The Great Taste Awards judges have just announced that Master Chocolatier and truffle specialist Iain Burnett, from Grandtully in Highland Perthshire, has been awarded 4 new awards.  Last year Iain Burnett’s Velvet Truffles were awarded Best Truffle in the World for the second time at the World Finals of the International Chocolate Awards.  The Great Taste Awards judges include chefs, food critics, restaurateurs and buyers from Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. From thousands of entries, the judges said the Velvet Truffles were “Outstanding – above and beyond delicious”.

The judges’ comments speak for themselves – the Orange & Clove Velvet Truffle is “beautiful looking… extremely well made… really delicious… a beautifully executed smooth ganache… the touch of orange and gentle twist of clove are in perfect harmony with the fruity cacao.  This is brilliant!”  The Espresso Mocha Velvet Truffle has an “excellent balance between the dark chocolate and the coffee with a lovely creaminess… very rich, luxurious texture, velvety, pure… simple but exquisite… a great after-dinner treat.” The Ginger Velvet Truffle has “a gorgeous melt… spices are fresh… incredible, so spicy and warming… intriguing little Pandora boxes of pleasure and naughtiness… an exquisite, delicious, brilliantly made product”. The Strawberry & Star Anise Velvet Truffle is a “very smooth ganache with a gentle sharpness from the strawberry… we loved the luxurious silkiness of the ganache”.

The judges’ comments underline Burnett’s approach to pure, natural ingredients and the refinement of highly skilled artisanal methods in his chocolate kitchen in Grandtully, Perthshire.  The internationally recognised Scottish Artisan responded to the awards by saying “it is fantastic that these judges recognise in a blind tasting the value of artisan skills and exceptional ingredients – it is testimony to the rare fruity and spicy cocoa from the South Atlantic Island of São Tomé, this exceptional unblended fresh cream from a single herd of Perthshire cows, and a team with the patience and passion for excellence to create the special texture which the Velvet Truffles have become famous for.”

 Iain Burnett has been creating bespoke Velvet Truffles for Michelin star chefs, corporate clients and Master Distillers for over a decade and sells them online for delivery as gifts all over the world.  Based in the picturesque village of Grandtully, between Aberfeldy and Pitlochry, his specialised chocolate kitchen can be seen in the Scottish Chocolate Centre which has become an award winning 4 star attraction for locals and visitors who travel far to enjoy the chocolate Exhibition, gourmet Chocolate Shop and new Chocolate Lounge. He has recently launched audio-guided Tours and Tastings of the Velvet Truffles.

The Great Taste Awards is one of the most respected food accreditation schemes for artisan and specialty food producers.  During the last 5 months over 500 judges have been meeting to identify the winning products. These judges come from all corners of the gourmet world to take part in a blind tasting of each product entered, ranging from Iain Burnett’s hand-made truffles, to artisan cheeses and preserves. To ensure a complete balance of expertise, age and gender the judging takes place in groups of 3 or 4. The judges are looking for truly great taste. They take into account the texture, appearance and of course the ingredients; they like a good aroma, a decent bite, a smooth finish or a lingering flavour. Everything comes back to taste.

July 2017 – Wimbledon, World Chocolate Day & Summertime Deals

July 31st, 2017

A busy July for Iain and his team…

Wimbledon 2017 – A Winning Serve

Did you know that approximately 10,000 litres of cream and 28,000 kg of strawberries are eaten at Wimbledon every year? What’s all the “racket” about?! Here’s our “spin” on the popular combination.

Iain Burnett created a special “Strawberries & Cream” selection of chocolates for Wimbledon this July. It included his Velvet Truffle – Strawberry (with just a touch of Star Anise) and his White Velvet Truffle Heart. The intense flavour from the Strawberry Velvet Truffle alongside the sweet, rich creaminess of the White Velvet Heart made with a fresh cream ganache base made for a “match” made in heaven

Sadly it wasn’t a Scottish win on the tennis front, but it was certainly a success for Iain’s Scottish Velvet Truffles. The limited edition box was hugely popular – and “aced” it into the top 5 most popular Iain Burnett products for July, some might say “a winning serve“!

Where did the Strawberries & Cream tradition come from?

Strawberries & Cream have been served together at Wimbledon since the first tournament in 1877.

There are multiple theories out there, however one that seems as feasible as any is that the right-hand man of King Henry VIII (Thomas Wolsey) loved strawberries, in fact they were his favourite fruit. Based at Hampton Court with Henry VIII there were often at least 600 hungry lords and ladies to feed and thinking of something quick, easy & tasty for dessert was a constant challenge – until they came up with wild strawberries and cream! This was supposedly first served as a dessert at a banquet that Thomas Wolsey hosted in 1509.

So why do we associate Strawberries & Cream with Wimbledon?

First of all – it is worth noting that Hampton Court itself had tennis courts on the premises – therefore it is possible that the association of this dessert and tennis originated at roughly the same time as the dessert itself!

However another explanation for this is simply timing. Tennis is a Summer sport, and as we know, strawberries are a Summer fruit – they are at their absolute best in the Summer, both sweeter & juicier.  


 

Friday 7th July was #WorldChocolateDay

This seemed like the perfect opportunity to share Iain’s proudest achievement to date with the world – for less! In both 2015 & 2016 Iain’s Velvet Truffles won GOLD at the International Chocolate Awards.

The first gold award was for Iain’s Dark São Tomé Velvet Truffle – The best dark truffle in the World…

 

The Velevt Truffle Dark Sao Tome Gold WInner

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second gold award went to Iain’s Caramel & Liquorice Velvet Truffle – The best white truffle in the World…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of 7th July 2017 THE WHOLE multi award-winning Cocoa Dusted Velvet Truffle range has been reduced from £22.95 to £19.95. 

Iain hopes by doing this, more people will be able to experience the best truffles in the world – more frequently!

These outstanding truffles were once only available to both Michelin Starred and AA Rosetted chefs, however you absolutely do not have to be a chocolate connoisseur to appreciate the purity and uniqueness of the Velvet Truffles…. Take it from Iain’s 8 year old daughter Maya!


Summertime Sweetness
As we are bang in the middle of Summer we are most excited about Iain’s fresh fruit based ganaches…. Click on the image below to browse the full range of Iain’s Cocoa Dusted Velvet Truffles – Some of which are dusted in crushed fruit powder!

 

World Gin Day 2017

June 16th, 2017

Saturday 10th June was World Gin Day and with it came the launch of a brand new selection of Iain Burnett’s Velvet Truffles. His whisky pairing boxes have been extremely popular since their launch a few years ago and with the exciting climate within the gin industry currently, Iain decided to create a box to pair with a selection of Scottish craft gins.

Since 2012, gin exports have risen by 32% (£114 million), and the Wine & Spirit Trade Association predicts that at this rate, exports will exceed £500 million by the end of the year. It’s not surprising, therefore that last year 44 new distilleries opened in the UK, bringing the total number of new distilleries over the last 2 years to 100, (The Guardian, 2016). However it is not as straightforward as it seems – the industry is changing. Gin seems to be becoming more and more central to many social activities; perhaps that is why the way in which people are enjoying it is transforming so much.

One of the key consumer trends for 2017 is the “experience economy” – we are seeking more than just tangible gifts or predictable & familiar service experiences. This has resulted in increased sales within the ‘gift experience’ industry, but it’s not only hot air balloon rides or helicopter flights that are soaring, many bars and restaurants have shifted their focus to meet the gin-fueled consumer demand as well. This has all been boosted further by the excitement around ‘multisensory socialising’. In order to escape the norm, consumers have the desire for their sensory boundaries to be pushed when socialising – they’re looking for experiences that are extra experimental, memorable and immersive. The global future and culture planning director at Diageo, Zoe Lazarus explains; “Sensory science is on the rise and people now expect their drinks to come with a side order of surprise, immersion and sensory delight.”

So, what better surprise or ‘sensory delight’ than chocolate!? Part of the reason that Iain’s naked Velvet Truffles have won him such recognition as a Master Chocolatier & Truffle specialist, is that they provide a completely unique chocolate eating experience, like nothing people have tried before. Whether you are a Michelin starred chef, or simply a chocolate-adoring consumer, The Velvet Truffles have a real ‘wow’ factor.

Wild Island Gin & Iain Burnett’s Velvet Truffles

This perfect combination of the nation’s favourite drink & the World’s Best Truffles by Iain Burnett is sure to deliver the most multi-sensory delight…

It certainly went down well last night at The Pump House in Bristol as Keith from  Wild Island Gin presented our partnership for the first time!

Iain Burnett and Keith have worked together to create beautifully unique pairings of their products…

 

This concept of gin and chocolate is not necessarily brand new; we’ve seen a gin & tonic chocolate bar, as well as multiple chocolate gins, however the more subtle companionship between an array of interestingly flavoured craft gins and Iain’s selection of gourmet Velvet Truffles remains more true to Iain’s values as a Truffle Specialist. None of Iain’s Velvet Truffles contain any alcohol. Adding something as bold as alcohol to the truffles, can overpower the gentle flavours and delicate intricacies of the São Tomé cocoa.

 

 

 

Sláinte! Chocolate Pairings For Whisky Month

May 23rd, 2017

Sláinte! It’s Whisky Month…


May is Whisky Month and Iain has been celebrating all of the unique chocolate pairings he has created with various Master Distillers of Scotch Whisky, Gin & luxury Champagne Houses. Interestingly, none of Iain’s Velvet Truffles contain any alcohol. However their unique flavours and textures compliment, contrast and enhance some of Scotland’s finest Single Malt Whiskies.


The Glengoyne Selection

A range of dedicated Whisky Pairing Boxes can be found on our website. New this month is The Glengoyne selection!

This special box contains:

Dark Velvet Truffle

Raspberry & Black Pepper Velvet Truffle

(which both pair with Glengoyne 21 Year Old)

Lemongrass Velvet Praline

Milk Velvet Truffle

(which both pair with Glengoyne 15 Year Old)

As a special introductory offer, everyone who orders a box of ‘The Glengoyne Selection’ will be emailed an exclusive code to receive 10% off any purchase of whisky at Glengoyne.com.

Learn more about Glengoyne Distillery and Iain Burnett… Kindred Spirits 


Iain’s Special Partnership With Dalwhinnie Distillery

Dalwhinnie was the first distillery to work with Iain Burnett on Whisky & Chocolate pairings about ten years ago, and it has since experienced the most fascinating increase in visitor numbers from year to year. Obviously people are responding well to the idea of whisky paired with chocolate, what’s not to like? Some people that visit would have never dreamed of tasting the two together… but when they do, their whisky world as they knew it changes forever! It’s amazing to watch people’s reaction when they try a whisky paired with one of Iain Burnett’s Velvet Truffles;

“The combination of flavours went brilliantly… People that consider themselves ‘non-whisky drinkers’ try it with chocolate, then say ‘I never knew I liked whisky before!'”
– Ewan Mackintosh, Distillery Manager, Dalwhinnie.

However, it’s not just any chocolate that allows this unlikely combination to transform itself into a heavenly marriage. The creamy, smooth texture to Iain’s Velvet Truffles allows the whisky to glide down your palate, while the sweet, caramel & vanilla notes of the São Tomé cocoa bring out the delicate flavours in Dalwhinnie’s 15 Year Old Malt, known to conoisseurs as ‘The Gentle Spirit’.

See for yourself how Iain pairs his award winning Velvet Truffles with one of Glengoyne’s favourite whiskies!

 


Whilst naturally concentrating on Whisky & Chocolate in May, next month brings the arrival of World Gin Day on the 10th June and with it will come an exciting new selection box to add to Iain’s collection.

Look out for  exciting Gin & Truffle pairings throughout June!


An Easter Eggstravaganza!

April 21st, 2017

Wow – What an Easter we’ve had at Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier!

Iain Burnett's Giant Latice Easter Egg

The GIANT Egg! Click to listen to Sara Cox at BBC Radio 2 Interview Iain!

This Easter was eggstra special for Iain and the team as they embarked upon creating the ultimate Easter Egg for Glengoyne Distillery!

It took Iain and his team 2 days to create this masterpiece for one of his valued clients! A unique Easter Egg weighing 5kg and standing half a metre tall should in theory collapse under its own weight – it is only by understanding and working with the science behind chocolate that allows Iain to build something so delicate yet structurally strong! He was originally asked to create whisky filled Egg – but instead came up with this more delicate and artistic idea, containing the bottle itself.

You can watch the creation of this Giant Easter Egg here!

Glengoyne's Ultimate Easter Egg

Glengoyne’s Ultimate Easter Egg

And if you’d like to know how he makes the beautiful chocolate butterflies, click here

If this wasn’t enough excitement… On Monday 10th April, in the run up to Easter weekend, Iain Burnett was interviewed on BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show with Sara Cox! You can listen to the interview here!

 

Radio 2 Interviews Iain Burnett

Radio 2 Interviews Iain Burnett

It was certainly a Happy Easter here in Grandtully! We hope you all had a lovely Easter as well!