The combination of chocolate and honey has always been one I loved and as the importance of these little pollinators is now much more on every one’s minds, it seemed about time we did our bit to support them! Keen to use only the best quality honey and from bees I knew were cared for, I sought out some local bee keepers to give me the low down on all things bee. The complexity of the social structure and life of bees is incredible and after chatting to Sue and Vince Bray who own Bray’s bees, I learnt the most important thing for me: that well looked after bees produce enough honey to keep themselves in good stock, as well as excess, which we can harvest without harming or depriving them. Armed with some jars of beautiful honey and a head buzzing with new knowledge, I set off back to the workshop to get making.
Our medium dark, dairy free 58% cocoa was the obvious choice for the base. Not overpowering in its depth like a dark and not too sweet like a milk chocolate, this happy medium was the perfect match to the delicately flavoured honey that runs through the centre of the bar. Now, how to actually make them?!
- Fill the mould with melted, tempered, chocolate. Hold on tight and flip the mould upside down to pour out all the excess and leave a layer of chocolate on what is essentially the ‘top’ of the bar (repeat with smaller bar moulds).
- Leave the mould and chocolate in the fridge till it is just set, take out and drizzle with a thin layer of honey, taking care to make sure there will be a little in each bite (again, repeat with smaller bars).
- Pour over another layer of chocolate, give it a few taps to settle the chocolate and push out any air bubbles, scrape off the excess and voila!
- Back to the fridge for 15 minutes then into the racks to fully set (up to 4 hours) and turn out the bars and wrap in our waxed paper as normal.
We are committed to working with local bee keepers and are trying out different honeys from all around Sussex and Kent. so far, we have worked with Bray’s Bees in Maidstone and Ela’s Beehive in Kent. Have a peek inside the wrapper for a business card from the company the honey is from and go check them out! The beauty of using a range of companies is that we get to try out all of their honey and so far, they are all delicious and we can’t wait to try more. The honey varies as much as the flowers it comes from, producing a slightly different flavour each time, far from worrying about this, we think it’s wonderful! In life, no two people are the same but we are all amazing in our uniqueness and this is how we feel about our bars. Artisan means handmade and each of our bars, the same as each of the jars of honey, is made with love.