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