We sat down with Kelsey, the genius behind our brand Kacao to delve into all things chocolate.
Take a read to hear all about the every day life of being a talented chocolatier, the inspiration behind those magnificent flavours and even those kitchen catastrophes, including a suspicious sounding curry truffle!
What is your favourite flavour combination to date?
I love them all! But I do get asked this question a lot…. I would say Ginger and Fennel Truffles are a great combination and not one you would find everywhere. Second would be the Orange and Honeycomb, it might sound simple but these two flavours work a treat!
Are you working on any new products?
We are always thinking and talking about new products as we take inspiration from lots of places, including our lovely customers. Currently I am working on one of the most exciting projects yet with quality ingredients and exciting flavours…. Everything to be revealed soon!
We often relate tastes to memories, are there any that are sentimental to you?
I think the most sentimental for me is chocolate with hazelnuts. As the biggest chocoholic myself, when I was younger I would always be bought a box of Ferrero Rocher for my birthday… it wasn’t a birthday without a box or two! And it still stands as a guilty pleasure of mine.
Which is your bestselling flavour?
I know you love to use fresh ingredients, can you tell us how you source these amazing ingredients?
A quality ingredient will always lead to a quality finished product. I use organic cream and butter from Acorn Dairy for all of our Truffles. Where we need a longer shelf life we use freeze dried fruit so it contains only natural ingredients and creates the most realistic feel when being eaten.
Where do you see Kacao in 5 years time?
Kacao is my baby and dream come to life so I only see the business going from strength to strength. I love to go with the flow and take the direction and opportunities which present themselves but I would like Kacao to be seen across the country in many more independent retailers and for everyone out there to try our wonderful creations.
Putting together interesting and complimentary flavours is a talent! Have you found you have become more confident in experimenting with new blends?
Thank you! Well when I first started to create chocolates I was incredibly experimental – Madras truffles were a particularly bad flavour combo! I then had to focus on what flavours my customers would enjoy and that’s where nearly all my flavours originate from. Now I like to experiment all the time but not all of them make it to production – no more curry truffle though!
Have you ever had any kitchen calamities?
I think the worst I have ever had all involve caramel, if you have ever watched The Great British Bake Off you will see how much they struggle. If you take your eyes off the pan for 2 seconds you risk burning hot caramel all over the hob and trust me it is a nightmare to clean!
What has been your biggest challenge working with chocolate, other than being tempted to eat it all?!
I think the biggest challenge is the hot weather… chocolate is all about temperature control so when you are all enjoying the summer months I have to fight with melting chocolate!
Has chocolate always been a passion of yours?
Eating chocolate has most definitely always been one of my biggest passions since I was a little girl! Possibly a little too much! I have tried various things in the past with the biggest focus on travelling and helping disadvantaged children. I hope one day I can combine these 2 things and work directly with communities in cacao growing areas to help bring better education, water and nutrition. I hope to have my own production of cacao which I can bring right the way through the process to the beautiful finished products we sell today.