Monday, November 22, 2010

FAQ about Chocolate

Dock Street Market Launch - Mike Wallis and chocolate
© Penny Andrews

The Dock Street Market launch was on Friday. After days of work, a last-minute "OMG" on my part - as in being asked to do stuff ten days in advance which isn't enough time to get ingredients sorted through my normal channels - and some rabbits being magically pulled from hats by those exceptional chaps at Riverside Sourdough and Fish&, the party was an incredible success. Lots of people had fun, and really I'm going to leave the writeups to The Guardian and Bronchia, with a side order of Ellie Snare.

What I'm going to do is talk about some of the FAQs I got on Friday evening.

1. What do we have here?
There were three basic chocolates with one having two different coatings for reasons too dull to go into here. They were Salt Caramels (described by one happy consumer as being like a really, really good quality rolo), coffee kisses, and comfit orange truffle. Nothing too fancy and they didn't really look as good as my usual standard, but that's something that will get addressed soon.

2. Can I buy them?
Not yet. I'll happily discuss orders and other enquiries as of now (feel free to email me about this), but I aim to be up and running around about mid-December.

3. What's the company name?
So far it's "Chocolates by Mike Wallis" but that'll change when we're properly up and running. It's not important. Please note that the press pack at the launch had the wrong email address for me; it's, not .com.

4. What other chocolates do you make?
Short-run bespoke chocolate is my speciality at the moment. I do limited numbers of exceptional tasting confections and the range will change almost on a weekly basis. Because I make everything with fresh cream the shelf life is no more than four weeks and is often more like six days. My specialities are citrus-based flavours and taking requests; last year I was asked to create a blackcurrant and chili based chocolate and I came up with a layered chocolate of chili jam and blackcurrant ganache that tastes divine, and very grown-up.

5. What sort of ingredients do you use?
I try to use as much fairtrade and/or organic as I can do, although with chocolate that does bump the costs up by quite a large margin. I use fresh fruit wherever possible and always, always fresh cream, even - or perhaps especially - in the caramels. I do make food with nuts, so although chocolates may not expressly contain nuts they have been made in an environment containing nut products. I do occasionally use alcohol but will make this clear on the packaging; generally speaking my chocolates are safe for kids.

6. Can I sell your chocolates in my outlet?
I'd love to discuss this with you. Please email me and we'll see what happens. Do note though that this is just me and I'm still working out how to get off the ground.

7. Are you married?
Ah, yes. But thanks for asking :)

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