During the Easter break one of my female friends went on a homely spring cleaning. I am still waiting for her offer to blitz my house. During her virtuous spree she found something in her husband’s possessions that shocked and unsettled her. Was this the man she married? Was he harbouring a dastardly secret? Her hubby didn’t have perfume or lipstick on his collar. He did not keep a hotel receipt in a phony name. He was not reading 50 shades of dull under the darkness of their duvet. He simply had a more than

Half-eaten milk chocolate bar stashed away.
As far as my friend knew, her hubby was a discerning foodie who adored fine dark chocolate and looked down upon the dairy-tinged version as kiddie stuff. So what was he doing slummin it? He explained that he’d bought the bar for a friend but had ended up eating most of it. Shocking!
The fine cocoa revolution of the last decade has taught chocolate aficionados to know their beans, percentages, origins, limited editions, vintage, plantations and for that I am very grateful. However it has also spawned a generation of chocolate snobs, including snob chocolatiers, who miss on some pretty darn good milk chocolate. The milky stuff has taken a kneecapping at the hands of those who view it as an ersatz of real chocolate.

Perhaps it is because most artisan chocolatiers do not make chocolate from bean to bar. They buy in industrially made chocolate and melt and temper it to make chocolate confections. Unfortunately milk chocolate made industrially tends to cater to the sweeter and family end of the market.
At Artisan du Chocolat, we took that as a challenge to make our own fine delicious velvety milk chocolate that does not stick to your teeth or the roof of your mouth. We start with fine ground cocoa beans (also called cocoa liquor), cane sugar (not the white refined to death type), dried milk from the British Isles, dried caramel. We load then into our chocolate conche and play with different temperatures and caramelisation processes and conching times. It is that hot and intimate process of conching dairy, sugar and cocoa particles together that develops the exceptional flavours in our milk chocolate. We then add cocoa butter and start the chocolate refining process till the lot is silky smooth - specifically less than 20 microns particles size which your tongue cannot detect.
I hope that our soon-to-be-launched salted caramel, crème brulee and confiture de lait milk chocolate bars will exhort chocolate lovers to come out and celebrate their not so dark guilty pleasures.
Have a good velvety chocolate week!
Miss Anne

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