How do you create new chocolate flavours?

I am often asked where I get my inspiration from. Well, most of my flavours are from foods that I love: pecan, cardamom, raspberries, to name but a very few. Occasionally, I will include the odd trendy flavour or fulfil a specific customer demand. For example, I’m not a fan of chili in chocolate – but I highly recommend chocolate in chili con carne… But above all, I delight in conjuring new flavours that are deeply personal to me. In 2018, I premiered a flavour very dear to my heart: fig and red wine caramel. This Christmassy treat was inspired by a trip to Paris 10 years previously. Whilst filling time before boarding the Eurostar, a colleague took me to a quintessential Parisian bistro, Chez Michel, near the gare du nord. It was a lovely meal, but the most memorable part was the dessert: poached figs in red wine. It brought tears to my eyes and left the indelible sensual memory of smells and flavour. It became my mission to replicate these flavours within a chocolate and share with fellow chocolate lovers! It took over a year of experimentation and flavour alchemy – but the results are so worth it! I selected some lovely, succulent fresh figs and a characterful, perfectly blended red wine that would not get lost in the figs.  A crucial nostalgic element was the spice flavours of the original dessert; this called for lots of adventures in spice! After perfecting the caramel, all that was left was to select the chocolate for the shell. So Deputy Chief Taster (husband!) and I tasted the caramel with eight chocolate options – some milk and some dark – before happily finding the perfect match: a luxurious rich dark chocolate. I am proud to offer you the sensational result: my fig and red wine caramel.