Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate!

Easter time means chocolate … a lot of Chocolate!

Here at Bayley & Sage we have a large selection of eggs, rabbits, roosters, even dinosaurs …  all different shapes, sizes, flavours, for the young and the young at heart…

Beside all those Easter themed chocolates, and available all year around, you will find some artisan chocolate bars. Made in the U.K, by passionate producers who have a conscientious and fair approach to the all processes of making chocolate.

We have 3 main suppliers: Pump Street Bakery Chocolate, Nomnom, and Mast.

Pump Street Bakery Chocolate was initially a bakery that makes exquisite sourdough, in the beautiful little village of Suffolk, Orford.  A few years ago Chris Brennan moved on, extremely successfully, to make chocolate bars equally exquisite. The range that we carry is composed of the follwoing:

-Sourdough and Sea Salt 66% Hacienda Limon 2015
-Rye Crumb, Milk & Sea Salt 60%-Ecuador 2015
-Grenada 70% -Crayfish Bay Organic Estate 2015 (my personal favourite -if I may say)
-Madagascar Milk 58% -Ambanja 2015.

Nomnom is a unique Welsh brand. Created by Liam, a young man with a vision. The brand is creative and they use as much local produce as they can.
You will find the following flavour in our stores:

-Peanut Butter
-Honeycomb
-Milk Salted Caramel (Love)
-Dark Salted Caramel (lust)
-Espresso Martini

Mast is an American company, based in Brooklyn, created in 2007 by two passionate brothers: Rick and Michael Mast. Luckily for us, in 2015 they opened a chocolate shop/factory in Shoreditch, were our batches are made:

-Dark Chocolate 73%
-Almond butter Chocolate 70%
-Milk Chocolate 60%
-Coffee Chocolate 58%
-Sea Salt Chocolate 73%
-Mint chocolate 70%
-Goat milk Chocolate 60%
-Smoke Chocolate 70%

All these artisan chocolate makers have only one things in mind: Quality.
They are taking the best ingredients and turning them into 70g or 100g bars. To achieve this work of perfection it takes time and dedication.

So why not take a couple of minutes for a little “degustation”:

How to taste chocolate for beginners:

  • Unwrap the bar and let the chocolate aroma hit your nostrils, the smell should be complex and have a slightly sweet appeal (chemical or no smell is a bad sign)
  • The appearance has to be smooth (no bubbles, cracking or sign of blooming), even colour.
  • Take a piece and break it into two, the sound of the snap should be clean and sharp (crumbly or no noise, again, not a good sign, unless it is a raw chocolate)
  • Then let it melt on your tongue, notice the texture – is it smooth? Unrefined? Coarse? A good bar will take you on a journey like an expensive wine, the flavour will change, and a mouthful can last a few seconds to more than half hour.

The origin of the bean will determine the main notes or flavour. The way the farmers dry the beans after the fermentation will affect the end result. For example in Tanzania, because of the humid climate, the drying process is made over a fire, which gives a smokey flavour to the bar. Mast smoked Chocolate – only available on our Turnham green branch, is a good reflection of this process.

Then the maker itself adds their own mark, Pump street Bakery Chocolate -Madagascar Milk 58%, and Mast Milk Chocolate 60%, both used the beans from the same farm and those two bars have different texture and taste.

This is a very simple introduction to the complex world of chocolate.

We really hope you enjoyed it!

“Bonne degustation” 

Karen 

Store manager W4 – Chocolate Specialist