Archive for October, 2014

Chocolate Bars Showcased by Selfridge’s of London

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
Selfridge's Chocolate Library

Selfridge’s Chocolate Library

Earlier this year Selfridge’s launched their new “Chocolate Library” in the Confectionary Hall of their flagship Oxford Street store.   Four hundred bars were carefully selected from every corner of the world. This makes an eye-catching and dramatic full wall display. Browsing could take hours, but it is easy to find ours in their striking red envelopes right in the middle of the display.  Just like a library, the bars are displayed A to Z by “author” and there is a “chocarian” on hand to advise._MG_9936

Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier offers a range of around twenty bars with new flavours being introduced throughout the year. Of these, Selfridge’s feature our Blonde White Chocolate, Chinese Ginger on Dark Chocolate, Cranberries and Apricot on Milk Chocolate, Almonds and Pistachio on Dark Chocolate and Peppermint on Dark São Tomé Chocolate bars.



The Chocolatiers’ Tips for Tasting Chocolate

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Discovering all the different characteristics of cocoas from around the world is an exciting journey through intense cocoa and smoky roasts, from floral aromas to candied fruits, citrus and many others. You don’t have to be a connoisseur to find a chocolate that speaks to your personal taste. Start with a dark couverture chocolate like São Tomé (one with no added oils or butterfat), made with cocoa from a single country or plantation, not an unidentified blend. There are many misconceptions about percentages of cocoa solids and a poor quality 60% cocoa can be more bitter than higher quality 70% made with sweeter beans.

Wooden Spoon

Chefs know that your palate is fresher before meals or coffees and at its most sensitive first thing in the morning. While best stored cool, chocolate should be tasted at room temperature. Bite off a little, crush it in your mouth and let in warm up on your tongue. Be sure to breathe in with an open mouth to appreciate the flavour you taste first from the flavours that come later. With practice, you can begin to differentiate primary bitter or roasted cocoa notes, sweet fruity or floral notes, right through to subtle characteristics that only appear after you have swallowed.

Food and drink pairing is big news now. Try eating the food first, hold it in your mouth and take a sip of drink. Then try it the other way round. You might find each journey is quite different.

Taking time to taste is a fascinating experience and is a skill well worth developing.