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2 Lawson Street
Byron Bay, NSW, 2481
Australia

+61 2 6685 7974

LOVE BYRON BAY ....SPECIALISTS IN INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL CHOCOLATE.

Love Byron Bay creperie and chocolate boutique is dedicated to sourcing, creating and sharing a quality chocolate experience from Byron Bay, Australia. We'll cultivate your understanding of cocoa, stimulate the palate with a discerning appreciation, fire the imagination with unique chocolate encounters and share the passion for this legendary food of the gods. Exceptional chocolate infused with delicious flavours, irresistible aromatic characteristics and high quality cocoa. 

Blog

Choc Recipes, Choc Facts, Choc Travels and our regular Chocoholic-not-so-Anonymous feature. All this and more in our weekly blog.

Chocoholic not-so-anonymous #11

Alison Campbell

My name is Yvonne.
I am a chocoholic.

 

Are you inordinately fond of chocolate?  
YES! I loooooove high quality raw vegan chocolate... It is part of my daily ritual... it makes me feel happy, calm, nurtured and loved... you can almost always bribe me with chocolate. As long as it is organic, vegan, raw, and sustainable.  

Chocolate. Incentive or reward? Or both?  
Definitely both. I love to nurture my being with chocolate...it must be the magnesium and antioxidants, right? 

When did you know you were a chocoholic?
From the moment I was born! lol. Honestly, while all my friends wanted cheap ice creams and lollies, I was already grabbing for the expensive chocolate and ice cream. And the more I delve into chocolate the more I love true hand-made chocolate.

White, milk or dark?
Now only ever dark. Vegan. 
Sugar free, organic and sustainable. 

Describe your favourite chocolate in three words.... 
Silky, smooth, love.

 

Tell us about your most memorable chocolate experience?
I'll have to share two. 
Firstly, a chocolate fountain on our Valentine's wedding day. Oh my goodness...dunking fresh strawberries, raspberries and all the summer fruits in the world into running pouring chocolate...it was literally heaven on a stick. Maybe I was high from our day too? 
And secondly, being in the Caribbean and having the opportunity to taste organic chocolate straight from the pod. The sweet white slippery fruity delight encasing the bitter cacao nib within just like nature intended.. totally balanced. It was a very special moment.. and I so wish I could have brought a big pod back to Australia with me. 

Where is your favourite place to indulge your choc-habit?
Anywhere, anytime.
After Kundalini yoga there is nothing more special then a raw chocolate with Christmas spirit, or freshest peppermint oil in it. 
Or in the Love Byron Bay Crêperie and Chocolate Boutique for an indulgence and chat with Alison, Aaron or the other friendly staff! 

Secretly solo or shared indulgence?
When I am out I always share. And I am forever giving Chow Cacao as gifts to my Oil Tribe all over the globe. 
Even to strangers when I am in Love Byron Bay Crêperie and Chocolate Boutique. 
At home.. at night about 11pm... totally solo! Totally happy. Totally satiated. 

Top choice-choc destination?
I thought it was France. 
But after going there last year... I was a little disappointed. Too much sugar and dairy for me.
So, now... anywhere with special friends or loved ones. 

Favourite product in the Love Byron Bay chocolate range?
Chow Cacao by Trudy. Locally made by a gorgeous friend of ours! It is organic, raw, vegan, no processed sugars
and is filled with delicious organic fruits, nuts, and the best essential oils in the world. What else could you ask for? 

Yvonne~Ongkardev Tribe is an advocate for  
long life, health and happiness, a Kundalini yoga teacher
and an independent distributor for Young Living Essential Oils.
longlifehealthandhappiness@hotmail.com
www.youngliving.com
 

 

Choc Travel : Lyon, France...home of Bernachon's Le Président

Alison Campbell

Lyon’s love affair with chocolate goes back to the seventeenth century, when two influential chocolate lovers, archbishop Alphonse de Richelieu and Anne of Austria, ensured a steady supply into the region. The archbishop relied on chocolate to relieve his bad moods, and the abundance of chocolatiers that have since flourished in Lyon might explain the even-tempered nature of the population.

Home to around 50 chocolatiers, including six winners of the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France (best French artisan) title for pastry and chocolate and one for chocolate alone, Lyon is not so much a creative hotbed of this craft as a keeper of traditions.

One of the city’s best-known chocolate shops, Bernachon, has been making bean-to-bar chocolate in its laboratory behind the shop since 1953: impressive considering that only a handful of chocolatiers in France do the same today. 

The first thing that strikes the visitor to Bernachon is a spectacular cake in the window, the pastry equivalent of an Elizabethan ruffle. Soaked with cherry alcohol, filled with hazelnut gianduja (chocolate-hazelnut paste) and topped with an explosion of chocolate, Le Président was created in 1975 for president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, with the original cake weighing 3 kg and serving 20 people. Now available in multiple sizes, it remains a signature pastry.

Though it houses a pastry shop and tea room, Bernachon is primarily a chocolaterie, producing its bars and filled chocolates by hand on the premises with beans that it imports mainly from Latin America. Founded in 1953 and still a family business, it has only one shop in Lyon and its chocolates are difficult to find elsewhere.

Two unique bars available here are the Jour et Nuit, with dark chocolate on one side and milk chocolate on the other, and the Kalouga, caramel-filled dark chocolate. Worth exploring too are their bite-sized chocolates, including the celebrated Palet d’or filled with dark ganache and topped with gold leaf, or the Pacha, an intense rum praline coated with dark chocolate. Freshness is key here, and the chocolates come with instructions to savour them quickly: not a problem for most. 

Source: itinerariesoftaste.sanpellegrino.com

Choc Boss: Trudy Cockroft, Chow Cacao

Alison Campbell

Jam packed with antioxidants, magnesium and a heap of goodness, Chow Cacao is a dark delicious and nutritious chocolate handmade in Byron Bay. The Chow Cacao magic started with two tropical ingredients - carefully sourced, organic and Fair-Trade raw cacao from Peru and coconut sugar from Indonesia. We talked to co-founder Trudy Cockroft.

What was your favourite chocolate treat as a child? 
The Whittakers 25g Dark Sante Bars… The really skinny chocolate bars! My mum always put one in my lunchbox as a treat.

How did you end up becoming a chocolatier?
I’ve always had a passion for food, and in the last 5 years have been obsessed with creating my own recipes and creations. I started making chocolate about 3 years ago, and fell in love with the process and creating my own version of chocolate with a healthy twist. I was fortunate to get a part time job at the Love Byron Bay Crêperie and Chocolate boutique when I moved to Byron Bay, and my chocolate journey continued there!

White, milk or dark?
Definitely dark! I love the high cacao content. The intense flavours and variety of aromas you can experience from different origin bars really interests me. 

Describe your favourite chocolate in three words....
Smooth, Rich & Aromatic

Tell us about your most memorable chocolate experience?
I was at a cacao plantation in Indonesia about 4 years ago and I tasted for the first time the fruity, nutrient dense pulp that surrounds the beans within the cacao pod, amazing! The funny thing is I didn’t know at this point I was going to be a chocolate maker

Where is your favourite place to indulge your choc-habit?
Any place that is quiet & cozy.

Secretly solo or shared indulgence?
A self indulgence is always great.

What's the most unusual chocolate you've ever tasted?
A chocolate covered sun-dried tomato…. very interesting, a puzzle for the palate.

What is the mark of an exceptional chocolatier?
I imagine they have inquisitive minds who like to push the boundaries with the thousands of flavours found in chocolate.
I’m no exceptional chocolatier… I’m still learning everyday, but I love it.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Just do it! I didn’t go to chocolating school. I taught myself and therefore I learn something new everyday. If you have the love for it then thats all you need.

Trudy Cockroft is co-founder of Chow Cacao (seen here with partner Will Heringer).
Chow Cacao's delicous range is available from our Love Byron Bay Boutique,
or from our online store... love-byronbay.com/chocstore.

Choc Recipe: Chocolate and Caramel Mousse Jars

Alison Campbell

This is the kind of chocolate dessert that dreams are made of. :) First, there is the chocolate cake. This cake is incredible on it’s own. But then it’s soaked with caramel syrup, and then covered with chocolate mousse. Which brings us to the second layer. The chocolate fluffy mousse goes right over the cake and gets topped with fresh whipped cream and then the whole thing gets drizzled with more syrup and chocolate cake crumbs. Oh my goodness.

You're welcome. :)

Ingredients

For the Cake
110g butter
½ cup chocolate chips
1 cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
⅓ cup sour cream
⅓ cup boiling water

For the Caramel Syrup
4 cups milk
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

 

For the Chocolate Mousse
1¾ cups milk chocolate chips
4 tbsp butter
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp sugar
3 cups thickened cream

Method

Preheat the oven to 375 F and line the baking sheet with slightly oversized parchment paper. 

To prepare the chocolate cake, melt the butter and chocolate chips over double boiler. Stir and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs with sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth and add the cooled butter/chocolate mixture. Whisk to combine and gradually add the flour mixture, then the sour cream. Be sure to mix until JUST combined (do not over mix) then quickly stir in the hot water. Pour the batter onto the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool, then crumble the cake with 2 forks.

To make the caramel syrup, stir together 4 cups milk, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in a heavy saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and thickened, about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

To make the chocolate mousse, melt the butter and chocolate chips over double boiler. Stir and set aside. In a small sauce pan whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and a few tablespoons of water. Place on the stove over medium low heat and stir constantly until the sauce thickens slightly and just coats the back of a spoon, about 3-4 minutes. Stir the melted chocolate into egg mixture until completely smooth. Place in the fridge while you whip the cream.

Place the cream in the bowl of a standing mixer and whip until stiff peaks form. Reserve a few tablespoons for topping and place in the fridge. Place half of the remaining whipped cream in to the cooled chocolate mousse mixture. Gently fold the cream into the chocolate until no more streaks remain. Add the remaining cream and gently fold into the mousse. Place in the fridge.

To assemble the dessert line up 4 mason jars or glasses. Drizzle the bottom of each jar with 1 tablespoon of the caramel syrup, then crumble in a layer of the cake. Drizzle that with another tablespoon or so of syrup, then add a layer of mouse. Repeat for another layer and finish with the layer of whipped cream. Then add crumbled cake to the top of the whipped cream and drizzle with more syrup. Refrigerate 2 hours or until ready to serve.

Source and photo's: gastrosenses.com

 

Choc God : Patrick Roger

Alison Campbell

Patrick Roger is more than just a chocolatier: he is a chocolate artist. Treating chocolate like a sculptor might his clay, he transforms it into his signature cocoa-based sculptures. 

It’s undeniable that Patrick Roger’s chocolates have taste. One bite of his signature chocolate, a shiny chartreuse orb filled with liquid lime caramel and packaged individually in a tiny turquoise case that could easily be mistaken for Tiffany’s ring box, confirms that his sweets have style and substance. There’s an attention to detail throughout the process, from how the ingredients are sourced and prepared to how the chocolates are presented (when Patrick Roger staff handle the merchandise, they put on black gloves to match the carefully designed interior). Roger’s studio in the suburb of Sceaux supplies his nine shops throughout Paris and Belgium with a wide variety of bonbons, truffles, bars, and whimsical, seasonal sculptures. His chocolates are some of the best looking and best tasting in the city. The exquisite chic treats make his shop a chocoholics dream.  After decades at the top of France’s chocolate scene, Roger is shaking up the art of chocolate-making. Whereas other chocolatiers aim for gloss, Roger may create a brushed effect on hens so realistic you almost expect them to lay (chocolate) eggs. The clean lines of Roger’s shop show off his bold style and playful displays. Contemporary flavours like lemongrass and Sichuan peppercorn mix with classic pralines, dark ganaches, and caramels. The zippy notes of fresh lime juice enlivens a cushion of ganache, smoky Earl Grey tea, and meltingly tender rum raisin-filled nuggets: all are examples of the masterful balance of flavours he works with. Rochers, square cubes of chocolate, flecked with little crackly-bits then dipped in chocolate couverture, or perfect squares of nougatine, a caramelized melange of crispy nuts and burnt sugar, ground together to a paste, formed into cubes and neatly enclosed in chocolat amer. Many of his customers either wander in,, lured by the simple, yet dramatic chocolate displays in the window and seem to walk around the shop in a daze, not sure of where to begin or what to taste. The other customers are food-savvy Parisians, who’ve stopped in to pick up a little sack of noisettes, wild hazelnuts dipped in crisp caramel on their way home. Make sure you add one of Patrick Rogers shops to your chocolate check list for Paris. Locations: 108 boulevard St Germain des Prés, 6e; 91 rue de Rennes, 6e; 199 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8e;45 avenue Victor Hugo, 16e; 12 cité Berryer, Village Royal, 8e. Source: davidlebovitz.com, .timeout.com and parisbymouth.com

It’s undeniable that Patrick Roger’s chocolates have taste. One bite of his signature chocolate, a shiny chartreuse orb filled with liquid lime caramel and packaged individually in a tiny turquoise case that could easily be mistaken for Tiffany’s ring box, confirms that his sweets have style and substance. There’s an attention to detail throughout the process, from how the ingredients are sourced and prepared to how the chocolates are presented (when Patrick Roger staff handle the merchandise, they put on black gloves to match the carefully designed interior).

Roger’s studio in the suburb of Sceaux supplies his nine shops throughout Paris and Belgium with a wide variety of bonbons, truffles, bars, and whimsical, seasonal sculptures. His chocolates are some of the best looking and best tasting in the city. The exquisite chic treats make his shop a chocoholics dream. 

After decades at the top of France’s chocolate scene, Roger is shaking up the art of chocolate-making. Whereas other chocolatiers aim for gloss, Roger may create a brushed effect on hens so realistic you almost expect them to lay (chocolate) eggs. The clean lines of Roger’s shop show off his bold style and playful displays. Contemporary flavours like lemongrass and Sichuan peppercorn mix with classic pralines, dark ganaches, and caramels. The zippy notes of fresh lime juice enlivens a cushion of ganache, smoky Earl Grey tea, and meltingly tender rum raisin-filled nuggets: all are examples of the masterful balance of flavours he works with. Rochers, square cubes of chocolate, flecked with little crackly-bits then dipped in chocolate couverture, or perfect squares of nougatine, a caramelized melange of crispy nuts and burnt sugar, ground together to a paste, formed into cubes and neatly enclosed in chocolat amer.

Many of his customers either wander in,, lured by the simple, yet dramatic chocolate displays in the window and seem to walk around the shop in a daze, not sure of where to begin or what to taste. The other customers are food-savvy Parisians, who’ve stopped in to pick up a little sack of noisettes, wild hazelnuts dipped in crisp caramel on their way home.

Make sure you add one of Patrick Rogers shops to your chocolate check list for Paris.

Locations: 108 boulevard St Germain des Prés, 6e; 91 rue de Rennes, 6e; 199 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8e;45 avenue Victor Hugo, 16e; 12 cité Berryer, Village Royal, 8e.


Source: davidlebovitz.com, .timeout.com and parisbymouth.com

Choc Boss: Thibault Fregoni, Daintree Estates

Alison Campbell

Daintree Estates is the world’s first commercially produced Australian origin chocolate made from cocoa grown
in the world famous Daintree region of Tropical Far North Queensland. Daintree Cocoa is 100% owned
and operated by Australians passionate about making the finest chocolate in the world. 

We chatted with Chief Chocolatier Thibault Fregoni. 

What was your favourite chocolate treat as a child? 
Incredibly when I was a kid you could buy chocolate cigarette packs! Very French indeed! The chocolate tasted like the paper it was wrapped in and was awful (probably compound) but it was lots of fun. It should have put me off chocolate but we also had some good quality dark 70% bars mum would buy at the supermarket to make cakes with. I remember it being wrapped in craft paper. It would look very hipster today!

How did you end up becoming a chocolatier?
I worked with a pastry chef when in Sydney 17 years ago and learned the basics of chocolate work. We worked with good quality chocolate and this was inspiring for me.   At the time very few people in Australia actually knew about chocolate and it has taken a long time for the industry to develop to where it is now. I remember Simon Johnson being the only place where you could find good imported Chocolate! (French obviously!) . I then set up Monsieur Truffe in Melbourne specializing in single origins bars and fresh truffles.

White, milk or dark?
Usually dark but I love a good milk with higher cocoa percentage like the one we produce
which has 45% cocoa in it instead of the usual 35% and I also don't mind white as
long as the fat in it is only cocoa butter. 

Describe your favourite chocolate in three words....
smooth, interesting, personality  

Tell us about your most memorable chocolate experience?
My work now involves more plantation and post harvest work than confectionery. The first day I spent on a plantation pruning cocoa trees with one of our farmers was very special indeed. And also the first ferment really blew my mind. Chocolate involves a lot of science which I am passionate about and keen to learn more about. I am very fortunate to be instrumental in all the steps of our process from plantation to plate.

Where is your favourite place to indulge your choc-habit?
Being in the tropics I am limited to where I can eat chocolate.
You certainly can't carry any on you so usually in our cool kitchen.

Secretly solo or shared indulgence?
Often solo I am afraid.

What's the most unusual chocolate you've ever tasted?
A high quality dark chocolate from a specific plantation was a revelation to me. I think it was a 62% from a Caribbean Island which was fruity, complex and long lasting. No other flavours were added but the cocoa itself.  Just like our Australian Single Origin bar, made with only two ingredients raw sugar and whole cocoa beans. I prefer a good Single Origin bar any time.

What is the mark of an exceptional chocolatier?
A good artisan master’s their instrument in order to create freely. An exceptional
chocolatier is like an artist. They need to have a strong personality and style to stand out.
I don’t consider myself as an exceptional chocolatier but I am happy to keep learning
which make my work so interesting.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
I haven't followed a traditional path so it would be hard for me to give any advice.
I am just following my passion. 

Thibault Regoni is Chief Chocolatier at Daintree Estates.
Daintree Estates' delicous range is available from our Love Byron Bay Boutique,
or from our online store... love-byronbay.com/chocstore.

Choc News : Indians develop a serious sweet tooth.

Alison Campbell

India consumed a whopping 228,000 tonne of chocolates in 2016, according to London-based global market firm Mintel, making it one of the world's fastest growing chocolate confectionery markets.

The amount of chocolate sold in India ballooned by 13% in 2016, with 42% of Indian consumers having eaten sweet or sugary snacks (other than biscuits) like chocolates and cakes in the past three months, rising to 53% of consumers aged 18 to 24. The amount of chocolate sold to Indians has nearly tripled over the past decade, leaving behind the United States, United Kingdom and China.

"India has shown a steady growth in the chocolate (confectionery) segment given the growing disposable income and young population's taste for indulgence," said Marcia Mogelonsky, a director at Mintel's food and drink division.

But there are other reasons for the growth in the nation of 1.3 billion. 

In India, chocolate has traditionally been seen as a treat for kids. But marketers are now specifically targeting adults -- and their efforts are paying off. Plus, 44% of Indian consumers think sweet or sugary snacks like chocolates and cakes, are healthy. These consumers say they appreciate the convenience of eating chocolate, and the energy it gives them, according to Mintel.

It's all helping to turn chocolate into a big business: Sales in rupee terms increased by 24.3% in 2016, and the volume of sales has surpassed that of China.

The most popular chocolates in India retail for about five to 10 rupees ($0.08 to $0.16). Chocolate manufacturers are under pressure to keep their prices down to encourage "impulse" purchases in India. But the rising price of ingredients means that they have to shrink the size of the chocolates every 12 to 18 months to keep inflation from eating into their profits. 

Our research indicates that consumers in India believe chocolate to be beneficial and convenient seemingly the key reasons behind the growth of the country's chocolate confectionery market both in value and volume, Mogelonsky said.

The trend makes India a major outlier: The amount of chocolate sold in most other countries has steadied or declined as consumers increasingly seek out healthier options.

Dark chocolate ....the acceptable snack for wannabe healthy eaters, along with speciality organic, fair trade, non GMO, raw, cacao and other chocolate products somewhat balances this decline.

Source: businesstoday.in and money.cnn.com
Image: travelandescape.ca

 

Choc Recipe: Raw Matcha, Choc and Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Alison Campbell

Matcha’s recent hype is well deserved! It detoxifies the body, fortifies the immune system, boosts metabolism, calms the mind, lower blood sugar, prevent against diseases, boosts memory and concentration, lowers cholesterol, and is rich in dietary fibre and antioxidants. Wow.

These raw treats with matcha cream, raspberry “cheesecake” filling and a chocolate cookie base are also raw, vegan and gluten free. What's not to love. :) Keep reading for the recipe!

Ingredients

1 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 cups dates, pitted and soaked overnight
3 cups raw cashews (soaked)
1 can of light coconut milk
1 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 cup matcha tea powder
Optional: additional frozen raspberries for garnish

Method

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with long strips of parchment paper.

For the base and decorative balls
Blend the almonds, cacao powder, shredded coconut, and dates until the pieces are finely ground and everything is thoroughly combined. Take a third of the mixture. Roll into small balls for decoration later. Press and flatten the rest of the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Set both aside in freezer.

For the raspberry “cheesecake” filling
Blend half of the soaked cashews with half the can of coconut milk, half of the maple syrup, and the raspberries until smooth. Pour, then spread the cheesecake layer out evenly on top of the chocolate base. Place back in freezer to allow layer to set.

For the matcha layer
Blend the remainder of the cashews with the matcha powder, as well as the remaining coconut milk and maple syrup, until smooth. Pour and flatten mixture overtop of the set raspberry layer.

Allow this to set in the freezer for 1-2 hours or even overnight before slicing. Thaw in fridge at least 1 hour before slicing. Top each cheesecake slice with a few almond balls and frozen raspberries. Serve chilled. Enjoy!

Makes approximately 10-12 slices.

Source: vegangirlfriend.com
Photos: Alexandra Courts

Choc Boss: Samanta Bakker, Monsieur Truffe

Alison Campbell

The very first Monsieur Truffe opened its doors in Prahran market, Melbourne in 2006.
Back then it was just a one-man operation. These days they stock over 80 retailers from their factory and store in Lygon Street, East Brunswick. We chatted with Head of Production and Chocolatier Samanta Baaker.

What was your favorite chocolate treat as a child? 
My favourite treat was a bar of Aguila dark chocolate
(an Argentinian chocolate company founded in 1880 by Abel Saint in Buenos Aires). 

How did you end up becoming a chocolatier?
I have loved chocolate since I was little. My grandparents used to have a bakery and I always felt that the love of food runs in my veins. I signed up for Food Engineering at university when I finished high school but I ended up studying at a Cookery and Patisserie School because I wanted to be more involve with food (get my hands dirty). When I moved to Melbourne I started working at Koko Black and became fascinated with chocolate. I did two Masters in Chocolate and many other training courses to get where I am right now.

White, milk or dark?
Doesn't matter as long as it is good quality chocolate with no added nasties. 

Describe your favourite chocolate in three words….
Great texture with good balance of flavour
(ed - that's seven words, but we don't mind!)

Tell us about your most memorable chocolate experience?
I have had many memorable chocolate experiences, but one of my favourite
was tasting Oriol Balaguer yuzu chocolate when I was in Barcelona.

Where is your favourite place to indulge your choc-habit?
My favorite place to indulge my choc-habit is at work.
We have such wonderful ingredients.
The best part is working on limited editions or developing custom bars for customers. 
But you know, for me chocolate is not an indulgence, chocolate is part of my everyday.
 I don't see chocolate like an item that you consume for especial occasions.
I think is part of a healthy diet.

Secretly solo or shared indulgence?
Both

What's the most unusual chocolate you've ever tasted?
One of the most unusual was a Cacao Sampaka cheese bonbon.

What is the mark of an exceptional chocolatier?
For me it is the ability to craft pieces of chocolate with outstanding flavour and texture.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
People often have this romantic idea about chocolate. While having a strong affinity for chocolate will help, there are many important aspects to master. You must be able to handle pressure and seemingly endless repetition and you must have the patience of a saint.
Read as much you can about chocolate, attend a culinary school or take as many specific chocolate courses you can. Once you have a chocolate education under your belt, find an apprenticeship at a great chocolate place and follow your dream.

Samantha Bakker is Head of Production and Chocolatier at Monsieur Truffe.
Monsieur Truffe's delicous range is available from our Love Byron Bay Boutique,
or from our online store... love-byronbay.com/chocstore.