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chocolate (b)log

Jane Williams goes Back To School

By: Bridget Hamilton in our story

Back in the summer, pupils from Ashley Primary School paid a visit to the chocolate factory to learn all about chocolate production. Several weeks later we received a package full of their thank you letters!

With the new term beginning for lots of pupils in the UK this week, we made a list of the burning questions they had written to us, and put Head Chocolatier, Jane Williams under the spotlight to answer them.



“How do you make the chocolate orange shiny?”

We dust them with an edible glitter powder. Just a little bit, so that they don’t look too shiny! It’s really great that there’s lots of ways to decorate our chocolates. Have you seen the chocolates with an edible sugar flower on them?


“What would you have been if you weren’t a chocolatier?”

A Secretary or Personal Assistant for someone more important than me. I like organising!


“Do you ever make chocolate bars?”

Not really. Our chocolates are quite expensive, there isn’t really a market for really expensive chocolates bars. You would want to give our chocolates as a gift rather than picking up a bar from a shop on your way home from school. Though chocolate bars would be extremely yummy!


“Where can you buy your chocolates?”

We sell all of our chocolates online through our website, as well as to other lovely food shops and delicatessens. You can look out for them in Fenwick on Northumberland Street, Grainger Market, and other places around Newcastle too. We make all the chocolates in our factory, and send them to the shops through the post.


“How do you make the raspberry jelly?”

With lots of sugar and glucose and raspberries, with pectin to make it set. Most of the ingredients are boiled up in our big copper pans, and then cooked to exactly 116’C.


“What is your favourite chocolate?”

I love our artisan hazelnut praline with crunchy bits of caramelised nut on top. Mmmmm!


“How do the orange and lime creams get their decorations?”

Michael designed a beautiful flock wall paper motif that has cocoa pods and cocoa blossoms on. We had this made into an edible transfer sheet that we then put on the chocolates before it is set, and it peels off once the chocolate has cooled and set.


“Where are cocoa beans grown?”

Cocoa beans can only be grown on trees 20 degrees north and south of the equator, where it is hot and humid.

You can read our own ‘History of Chocolate’ over on this page.


“What will the factory look like in ten years?”

Hopefully bursting at the seams! We only moved to our current factory a year ago because we needed something a bit bigger, and there’s still a lot of decorating we’d like to do!


“Do you make anything with white chocolate?”

We use white chocolate mostly as a decoration, as it is such a good contrast colour with milk and dark chocolate.


“Is it hard being a chocolatier?”

Everything is hard at first. Making chocolates does take quite a lot of skill, but once you know the basics you can be a lot more confident. There are lots of different techniques to learn, from tempering chocolates to making jellies and caramels. Because I’ve been doing it for 15 years now I don’t find it so hard. Though there are always new things to learn!


Throughout September we’ll be posting our favourite pictures and quotes from the children’s letters over on our Facebook page. Come and check them out!

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