On the ingredients trail, an Adventurer’s journey of taste
When popping one of our delicious salted caramels
in the mouth, few imagine the trail of ingredients journeyed to make these moreish morsels: a 3 parts epic journey though cacao, salt and caramel.
Chocolate is a simple word that hides a world of crop diversity and complexity from cocoa content to beans origin, terroir, cacao genotype DNA, length and method of fermentation, temperature and time of roasting, conching time, refining particle size, sugar proportion or cocoa butter content and tempering. A great chocolate doesn’t come through serendipity but through meticulous checks of all the factors from seedling to tempering that influence it. And through lots and lots of tasting on the journey – best job in the world!
Salt routes date back to the Bronze age, long before roads were constructed, and linked salt-rich provinces with salt-starved ones. Such is our fascination with the white crystals that a war, the Salt War, erupted in the 15th century between Venice and Ferrara over access to salt pans. And whilst we are not salt warmongers, we are fanatical about searching for the best mineral-rich, unrefined salts naturally evaporated from the clay marshes of Guerande to the thorn towers of Scotland.
Caramel, although made mostly with sugar, is not a candy, it is an art form at Artisan. The proportions of sugar and water, types of sugar and of course our generous addition of double cream took many experiments to perfect the humble caramel into the intense yet liquid gold that oozes from our truffles. Cooking this caramel is tricky, but nothing worth having is easy. So only a handful of our experienced chocolatiers are tasked with cooking our daily batches of 250-500kg of this molten lava, surrounding the area around our atelier in with a sweet heavenly smell.
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