In recent years, there has been much more of a focus on artisan, locally produced goods. Of course Scotland is famous for whisky, tablet, and haggis, but I didn’t think that there was much of a market for Scottish chocolates! How wrong I was! For a list of chocolatiers in Scotland, see this list.
Over the summer the Inverness Chocolate Tour started up, taking tourists round chocolate/coffee shops who make or source local chocolate goodies (of course with the opportunity to taste a few samples as they went round). I haven’t done the tour myself, but I was already aware of a couple of different chocolate-y retailers in the city centre.
The Chocolate Place is one of these retailers on the Inverness Chocolate Tour, and they kindly provided me with some free chocolate to use in a recipe. I had a lovely chat with Andrew who explained how all of the belgian chocolates are made on site using some of the finest couverture chocolate. Of course I nibbled on a few samples too!
As well as the free 200g of milk (38% cocoa) chocolate chunks I also paid for a smaller back on dark (55% cocoa) chocolate, as well packs of the cherry and chilli mendiants and salted caramel truffles- which are still as untouched for future recipes (or let’s face it, treating myself in front of GBBO is much more likely!).
I debated whether to make a chocolate cake/cupcakes, but decided on a tart as I thought that would show the chocolate off more. I used this BBC Good Food recipe for a No Cook Chocolate Tart. I used Patersons Clotted Cream Shortbread, and honey with butter to make the base. While this was left to chill in the fridge, I got the chocolate filling in progress. As the chocolate was melting it was obvious that this was great quality, it had a lovely shine to it. After mixing it into the whipped cream (yes, definitely a tart for a treat occasion!) it was time to
lick the bowl smooth it into the tart tin. The tart requires a minimum setting time of 2 hours, I made it at 6pm on Saturday ready for a 2pm Sunday lunch which was ideal timing as the tart had set very well. The chocolate filling had now set with a delicious mousse-like texture, and paired with raspberries on the dessert plate it made a very satisfactory Sunday dessert!
Of course I could have bought chocolate from a local supermarket, but I think it is important to support local independent businesses wherever possible and I could definitely taste the difference (no pun intended there Sainsburys) of using a delicious Belgian couverture chocolate, so I was really glad to have bought an array of goods from the Chocolate Place and will return there when needing to buy good quality chocolate to use in my baking, as a treat, or as a gifts for family or friends
I received a free bag of chocolate from The Chocolate Place in return for a promotional blog post. All opinions are my own.