This is the story of how Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier went about creating a special edition spiced chocolate for Christmas to sit alongside his Award-winning range of Velvet Truffles and Spiced Pralines.
As winner of the 2014 Great British Salted Chocolate Challenge, with his Szechuan Pepper Salt Velvet Truffle, Iain was invited to return to judge the Great British Spiced Chocolate Challenge at the 2015 Chocolate Show in London in October. Being the judge meant that the Highland Chocolatier was not allowed to enter himself, but the concept of a new spiced truffle inspired the team in Grandtully to start working on the recipe for a really special spice chocolate for Christmas.
Leaving no spice unturned a short list of recipes was prepared in time for Chocolate Week and customers in our shops in St Andrews and Grandtully, as well as attendees at the London Chocolate Show, were invited to vote and comment on the various flavours, created around
* Ras-el-Hanout – North African meaning ‘top of the shop’ this mix can contain up to 100 expensive ingredients
* Advieh – a warm Persian spice mix with dried rose petals
* Liquorice – yes this aromatic root is designated as a spice
* Festive Spice – familiar spices used for centuries in Christmas Pudding and fruit cake recipes.
Just to reach this stage many trials were made using white, milk or dark ganache centres, dusting with spices or cocoa or enrobing with milk or dark chocolate which might then complement or contrast with the centre. Some spices were rejected completely. Then there was the texture to consider. Iain Burnett is famed for his exquisitely smooth signature Velvet Truffles and as some spices can tend to be gritty this also had to be refined.
Our customers chose two clear leaders; the Festive Spice with a warming infusion of cinnamon, nutmeg, orange & allspice and one other, which will be released in the New Year – something to look forward to.
After settling two then the real detailed process of refining began. Iain had to ensure the perfect balance of flavour before allowing the Festive Spice to sit alongside the others in his multi Award Winning range.
This delicious Christmas gourmet chocolate is available in two options
As sister of the World’s Best Dark Chocolate Truffle, Gold winner at the International Chocolate Awards, The Velvet Truffle – Festive Spice is dusted in red cocoa. Velvet Truffles come in luxury black boxes, wrapped in gold foil and tied with a ribbon. No gift could be easier or more topical. Only available for a short period, these chocolate truffle petit fours will round off a festive meal perfectly.
To allow inclusion in our gourmet chocolate selection boxes, the same ganache centre has also been enrobed in a delicate shell of Dark Sao Tome Chocolate decorated with a star design. True Christmas artisan chocolates they are available in boxes from 2 to 20. If you would like to substitute them to any of our regular selection boxes just add Special Instructions at check-out.