This Easter, step away from the chain stores and enter the world of your local, independent chocolatiers. Their products are handmade, organic, scrumptious and, above all, one of a kind.
We interviewed five local chocolatiers. Watch the videos to find out how they make their chocolate, how they prepare for Easter and the seasonal treats they have in store.
Look out for fondant, ganache and caramel, plus exciting flavours such as lime and basil, mandarin and ginger, cardamom and coriander as well more standard seasonings such as salted caramel and hazelnut.
Online customers can pick the assortment of troffles they’re after and create either a box of nine for £7.50 or 18 for £12.50 (plus p&p).
It is owned by Chris Bloor who makes the chocolates in his kitchen in West Kensington and has been selling his products at the market, as well as online, for a year and a half.
ELL spoke to Bloor’s sister in law, Verity Macdonald, about the company’s intriguing circular, brightly coloured chocolates.
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Owned by Anthony Ferguson, originally from San Francisco, USA, Niko.B organic chocolates are all handmade in Stoke Newington.
Expect not only exotically flavoured chocolates with seasonal ingredients, but also exotic truffles, caramelised nuts, candied fruits, fresh nougats and decadent, ganache filled, liqueur-soaked figs.
ELL visited Ferguson during his weekly Saturday stint at Stoke Newington Farmer’s Market (10am to 2.30pm) but the chocolates are also available at Alexandra Palace Farmers’ Market on Sundays. The Springfield Park Cafe in Clapton and La Duchesse café in Stoke-Newington also stock his products.
For more information, or to schedule a tasting, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07505 783 275.
Belinda Urwin is the force behind Belinda's Kitchen. A self-taught chocolatier, she hand-makes her chocolates, macaroons and dipped confectionary in her own kitchen.
ELL found her at Broadway Market in the schoolyard on a Saturday morning where she told us all about the delicious Easter eggs she has on offer this year.
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The team at Marron Brulé are three Romans: Federico Tevar, Claudio Fazio and Gianluca Barzellotti and they bring with them a true taste of Italy, although the chocolate itself comes from Madagascar.
They are at Old Spitalfields Market every day proffering a selection of truffles, sbriciolata, cakes, pastries and candied fruits.
Although not strictly in the ELL boroughs, Melange Chocolate (both a shop and a café) is easily accessible, a few minutes walk from Peckham Rye station on Bellenden Road.
Specialities include thick, spicy hot chocolate, brownies, truffles and signature chocolate strips that come in a variety of flavours from lavender and lemon, and orange and chilli, to coriander and grapefruit, and coconut and vanilla.
Owned by artisan chocolatier Isabelle Alaya, who hails from Paris, the shop opened in 2008 and is now open Thursday and Friday from 12.30pm to 6.30pm as well as Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm.
Isabelle also hosts monthly chocolate and wine tasting events as well a chocolate making workshops.
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Words by Harriet Mallinson