Charlotte and the chocolate factory

A heady mix of Scotland’s natural flavours combined with a ladleful of indulgence make Charlotte Flower’s chocolates something very special indeed.

A quaint cottage just a few steps from the banks of Loch Tay may not be somewhere that you would expect to find a chocolate factory.

But then Charlotte Flower, like Willy Wonka, doesn’t make chocolate the way you might expect. Her handmade chocolates are infused with flavours from the particularly lovely natural landscape by which she is surrounded and the flavours are dictated by whatever is in season.

Charlotte has been making chocolate for around eight years, but the enterprise is ever expanding and in order to prevent her kitchen becoming regularly ‘covered in chocolate from ceiling to floor’ she has created a chocolate workshop.

Some of her most popular creations are made using Hebridean sea salt and caramel, Scots pine and meadowsweet.

Her meadowsweet thins have recently won Product of the Year at the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Award.

If all of this sounds just too tempting to resist then you can join one of Charlotte’s workshops which will guide you through the chocolate making process from foraging to the delicious finished product.

On a recent visit to her workshop, Charlotte and I donned our wellies and headed to the shores of the loch on a foraging expedition. This is a regular activity for Charlotte who admits to being ‘constantly on the lookout for new flavours for my chocolate, I do it everywhere I go.’

On returning to her kitchen, the process of finding out how best to infuse her chocolate, or the soft fillings for chocolates, with the flavour of any interesting botanicals begins.

This can be a lengthy process of trial and error to ensure that the taste and aroma of the plant isn’t lost in the process. But as I found out first hand, the finished product is well worth waiting for.

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