How our chocolates journey from concept to creation.

21 Jun 2022

Chocolate Knowledge

How long does it take to turn a new chocolate idea into reality? Some new recipes seem to come to life in a flash; others can take months – or even years – to perfect.

How does our team of impassioned chocolatiers chart the course of new chocolates from concept to creation?

The ganache from our Raspberry and Peach Hearts took just one day of development.

Innovation means no shortcuts

Our most innovative recipes have to take an epic journey from light bulb to box. So, usually, the development time of a chocolate depends on how innovative we’re trying to be. We’ve spent years developing key recipe styles like pralines and fruit ganaches – and their example helps make some new recipes relatively simple to create… for our seasoned chocolatiers, at least.

Kiri in her ’happy place’, tempering chocolate.

For example, Kiri, our Chocolate Development Manager, recalls whipping up a Peach Ganache recipe in next to no time. “It’s a variation of a fruit ganache recipe we’ve already developed, so it literally only took me a day to make,” she says. Ideas that are truly out of the chocolate box can be much more fiddly to get right.

Our macarons took 6 months of loving development.

Factoring in the factory

“It’s easier to make artisanal chocolates but we need to be able to make ours in our factory,” says Adam, Head of Cocoa Innovation. “To do that, you need the creativity of a chef, the skill of an engineer and the precision of a food scientist.” For example, our Macarons, launched in 2019, needed a filling {that was} liquid enough to be piped but strong enough to support a chocolate disc – with the perfect flavour and texture.

Rhona in our Hadley Park Inventing Room. She probably has the best job in the world.

A kitchen time saves nine

“There are some things you can do in the kitchen that you can’t do in production,” explains Rhona, our Senior Chocolatier. “Ten seconds of mixing a small amount in a bowl with a spatula might be fine, but large volumes could take a minute or more, and that might warm it up and cause it to melt.” Not a conundrum a home cook needs to solve but keeping the magic alive as Britain’s largest independent chocolatier is a professional concern. ”To get it right, our Macarons took six months of trials and redevelopment, using equipment we know well.”

The ‘chocolate factory’: not your average kitchen.

Fast-forward to today, and Rhona and the team are experimenting with even more daring recipes using new technology at our Hadley Park ‘chocolate factory’. At Hotel Chocolat, life really is like a box of chocolates.