Chocolate Basics ~ Chocolatier

Let’s talk about chocolatiers.  

Merriam-Webster says the meaning of chocolatier is a maker or seller of chocolate candy. Candy being key in that definition.

Chocolatiers are a person or company who make confections from chocolate. A confection is ‘food items that are rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Exact definitions are diffficult’ according to Wikipedia. Confections that use chocolate can include things like bonbons, chocolates, filled chocolate, truffles, filled bars, pastries, cakes, pies, and similar items.

Chocolates from last years trip to Paris from La Maison Du Chocolat.

In most cases, the chocolatier begins with a chocolate they did not make, made by a chocolate maker.

The chocolatier is trained, perhaps as a chocolatier, a baker, a pasty chef, a chef, and use their skills to create sweet treats. This takes a lot of skill, built up over time from practice mixed with a great sense of flavour pairings and an eye for pretty aesthetics.

Chocolates from The Chocolate Lab in Calgary, so bright and colourful.

Let’s talk about bonbons or chocolates and the work that goes into creating them. It may seem like a simple little treat, but bonbons can take a chocolatier or chef days to create. They have to decorate the mold with cocoa butter, make a shell out of tempered chocolate, make a filling for inside it, a filling that may include multiple layers, and then cap the bonbon, and while it is called capping as it is the last part of the process it actually turns into the base or bottom of the finished bonbon. Essentially, they work from top to bottom, adding decoration with coloured cocoa butters before the ‘case’ of the bonbon is put together. It’s really interesting and I think chocolatiers have a fun way at looking at things, as it can often be in a reverse order. Each time they want to make something they must reverse engineer it in order to build it from the top down and then flip it over.

Chocolatiers are often super creative with both the aesthetic of what they are creating as well as the flavours they use with chocolate.

Rococoa Chocolates from Alberta.

They can play and often switch up what they are offering based on season and holidays.

Some chocolatiers use bean to bar chocolate to create their confections as it can add a whole new level of flavour to a bonbon or cake.  Some chocolate makers make confections with their bean to bar chocolate, which makes them chocolatiers of sorts.  This is why it is easy to blur the two together, because occasionally (here in Canada anyways) they are both.

Filled chocolates (ganache) from L’instant Cacao in Paris last March, made with bean to bar chocolate made in the shop.

Stay tuned for the next part of this blog series next week to dive in a bit more.

Other articles in this series

Canadian Chocoholic
Canadian Chocoholic

Cyndi combines her two passions together as Canadian Chocoholic.  #ChocolateIsMyMuse is what inspires her to create unique products.  Using her expertise, education and knowledge of tasting, judging, enjoying, and curating chocolate to make art pieces with her creative background as a goldsmith to create a wide variety of chocolate themed accessories, jewellery, paper products, notebooks and fabric items.  Her current passion project is Happy Mail for Chocolate Lovers.  She loves talking about all things art and chocolate!  Reach out to her on Instagram or her blog anytime.

Published by Canadian Chocoholic

I’m exploring the world of chocolate one bite at a time. I live in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, though I have lived in many area of this wonderful country. Besides chocolate I love water, trees and all things handmade. I’m a creative artist and love making things with my hands which lead to my passion project Happy Mail for Chocolate Lovers.

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