Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Une semaine à Artisan du Chocolat

My brief spell at Artisan du Chocolat has come to an end so I thought I'd write a brief post. To be honest the only negative point I can raise is that I had to get up super early every morning (5am) to get there in time, alas, such is the life of pastry chef, so I guess I had better get used to it. And it did mean I saw some rather lovely sunrises on the M25 along the way.  Apart from that I had a truly wonderful time. Firstly, all the staff were so nice to work with and tried to show me as much as possible. Secondly, I got to see basically every stage of the process from chocolate making right the way to packaging, and thirdly, I was quite literally surrounded by incredible chocolate all day long.

Although I was aware of a lot of the products Artisan make before arriving, I was shocked to see quite how much variety they were producing and also didn't realise that Fortnum and Mason chocolate was also made there. It was nice to be in the factory during the Easter buzz and see all the easter collection getting made, the place was rife with eggs and bunnies. It also made me think more about the importance of packaging. Although the chocolate made there is really very delicious, all the packaging itself is so nice and well considered that it truly is the cherry on top.

Here are some of my Easter picks:

1. Creme de la Creme Eggs

These bite sized treats are a bit of a take on the classic cream egg. My favourite is the milk chocolate shell filled with a white chocolate ganache and passion fruit filling. Absolutely brilliant.  Having said that, these may be a bit more that marmite than your classic Easter treat. Whilst two of my housemates gobbled these down with glee, the third handed it back after one bite. I, however, would strongly recommend them and at £1.50 its definatley worth the gamble. The other flavour is dark chocolate apricot and mandarin. yum yum.

2. Pastel Plush Bunny
These are milk chocolate, sprayed with cocoa butter and incredibly cute. What more could  girl want at Easter?

3. The Artichoke Egg
I spent a day and a half making these and, even though a bit pricier than the rest, they really are a labour of love. So much so that I didn't even make half a dozen on day one. I managed to speed up significantly on day two, but even so one of these bad boys needs a good 40 minutes of TLC before it is ready to be sprayed. This egg really packs in the chocolate with a dark chocolate shell and base, covered in chocolate squares and filled with chocolate pearls. Its just a bit special.

Anyway, that's enough Artisan love. As you can probably tell, I had a rather nice time and my fascination with chocolate seems to be growing by the day.

Back to school tomorrow and I really can't wait. La vie est belle.

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