Food festivals are loved by everyone. They are a great opportunity for public to meet producers to learn how the produce they love is made whether its cheese, bread, gin or chocolate!
Christchurch food festival has been going for the last 20 years evolving all the time. In recent years it has expanded from the High Street to Christchurch Priory and beyond. Centre stage is the Cookery theatre. For us, it’s a great way to teach everyone how easy chocolate is to work with. This year I collaborated with Jennifer Williams from Naked Jam. The brief was to showcase how chocolate can be part of a wider experience, pairing it with a cocktail. The cocktail was designed by Tommo Quy of the Captains Club Hotel and was featured as their cocktail of the month. Jennifer, from Naked Jam, taught everyone how to make a delicious strawberry syrup as one of the ingredients of the cocktail and I designed Earl Grey tea dark chocolate shards. Earl Grey tea works perfectly in summer paired with chocolate and cocktails as it has a light floral delicate flavour and enhances the Columbian dark chocolate.
If you would to try your hand at making the shards I have included the recipe below – Good Luck!
Earl Grey Tea Chocolate Shards
100g 70% Dark Columbian chocolate
3g Earl grey tea
Handful of cornflowers and rose petals
Using a hairdryer to melt small quantities of chocolate gives your much more control over the temperature of the chocolate,. Melting chocolate in the microwave can sometimes burn if you forget to check it and stir every 20 seconds.
We will be demonstrating chocolate making at the New Forest Show on Tuesday 24th at 3pm and Lymington Seafood Festival on Saturday 11th at 4pm. Come and join us and try our delicious combinations!
Over the last two weeks I have had the joy of working with D’Arcy White.
D’Arcy wrote to me in January 2018 to enquire if she could take her work experience placement with Chocolate By Miss Witt. I met D’Arcy and her mum in March for her interview. I knew as soon as I met her she was a girl after my own heart. D’Arcy had the confidence to take the opportunity to approach me for a placement before seeing the list of placements the school had to offer for work experience. After meeting her I knew we would get on well. Her mum said she is quiet until she gets to know you and then will chat away. Sounds like myself I thought, although I am sure not many who know me would believe that!
D’Arcy and I jelled immediately. We worked side by side, everything I did, D’Arcy did. I wanted her to have the whole experience of my world. The first day at work I taught her how to temper chocolate; she was a natural. I could see her talent and I just wanted to nurture it.
At the end of the first week we had an event at Foxlease Head Quarters of Girl Guiding, Hampshire. D’Arcy was confident enough to demonstrate how to temper chocolate to a group of 50 adult Guides. This was the first time she had stood of in front of an audience. She was absolutely brilliant, it was enchanting to see the joy in her expression moving the chocolate around. By the second week we were both in our groove, and I felt confident leaving D’Arcy in charge of tempering chocolate and doing many tasks on her own.
D’Arcy’s teacher came to see us later that week, she was so impressed by how D’Arcy could temper chocolate and how she blossomed in confidence. Her last day was bitter sweet, D’Arcy had been a complete joy and definitely was becoming a Mini Miss Witt, but we both felt she was ready to go back to school as missed her friends.
I hope I have inspired her and you never know, she may be one of the Academy of Chocolate gold Medallists of the future.