Beautiful Handmade Chocolate Made From The Finest Real Ingredients.
The Creation of AuBel
The Creation of AuBel
I specialise in the art of fine chocolate making. After many years of working with one of the country’s leading chocolate companies, I wanted to create a more refined and exquisite chocolate; and so Aubel was born.
Aubel chocolates are beautiful and indulgent created using just raw ingredients and some of the finest chocolate available. All the flavours are derived from the ingredients themselves and no artificial flavour aids are added.
The chocolates are carefully hand made using the finest ingredients to deliver the best tasting chocolates using everyday and some unusual ingredient and flavour combinations.
It all started when I left my job as a Technical Project Manager and had my two children. I missed chocolate and most importantly I missed great tasting, unpretentious chocolate. I decided I was going to create a product which was full of flavour and made from responsibly sourced ingredients. Although I know all things chocolate, the art of chocolate making required some training. In the build-up of my business I have attended a few courses with Chocolate Masters such as Mark Tilling and Keith Hurdman. The courses inspired me further and from that Aubel was created to present a special box of chocolates that was aesthetically pleasing as well as meeting its expectations organoleptically.
During the past year I managed to finally fulfil my life-long ambition to make chocolate from scratch i.e. from cacao beans. I have been lucky enough to acquire some of the finest cacao beans: Madagascar (Single Estate Akesson Estate), Venezuela (Sur de lago, Occumare, Carenero superior – Single Origin) and a recent addition of Nicaragua (Nicalizo – Single Variety Nueva Guinea).
I am very proud to be a micro chocolate producer, making bean to bar chocolate in Surrey. The cacao bean suppliers have a direct and sustainable relationship with cocoa planters, which fits in perfectly with my philosophy. I believe that fine chocolates should be accessible and available to all, not just the connoisseurs. As much as we feel entitled to enjoy this amazing luxury, we also need to make sure that the cocoa is sourced ethically and it’s sustainable. The demand for chocolate is growing rapidly and consuming small amounts of high-quality chocolate would go some way to help prolong the sustainability of cocoa.
I have absolute and total control on the flavour and what goes in my chocolate, be it Dark 70%, 85% or Milk 45%. There should only be three to four ingredients, dark chocolate: cacao beans or cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter and in the case of milk chocolate: cacao beans or cocoa mass, milk powder, sugar, cocoa butter. Anything else such as lecithins and other chemicals such as Polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR), E476 do not contribute to the chocolate flavour or taste. These emulsifiers are primarily added to aid with the fluidity of the chocolate, something that can be attained by just adding extra cocoa butter but unfortunately that is expensive.
The chocolate made by AuBel from cacao beans or cocoa mass is lecithin free. The only chocolate that has lecithin is the truffles as this is bought in chocolate shells containing lecithin. These truffles are used to make the sea salt caramel and coconut caramel gift bags. My mission is to replace these with lecithin free shells as soon as they become available.
The use of food colouring is widely used in the chocolate industry to enhance its appearance and entice us with our eyes. However, I try my best to keep the use of colours in my chocolates to the absolute minimum, even though only natural food colouring is used.
Below is a bit more information on some of the cocoa beans currently being used to make some bars:
- Madagascar – Akesson – Single Estate Akesson Estate
Madagascar labelled “Fine Cocoa” by the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO). It is one of the finest cocoa in the Sambirano valley in Northwest Madagascar. The farmers are paid premium prices which depend on the quality of the rare cocoa beans harvested. The cacao is mainly Forastero and Trinitario (Hybrid: Criollo – aromatic, full of flavour & Forastero- strength & productivity hybrid).
Tasting Note: Red fruit, bright citrus, nutty & woody
- Venezuela – Carenero superior – Single Origin
Cocoa from Barleben, the central region of Venezuela, nearby Caracas. Carenero refers to name of the export harbour from where the cocoa was shipped in ancient times. This cocoa is fermented very intensively which contributes to its excellent flavour and aroma. This cacao is well fermented Trinitario but has the character of a Criollo.
Tasting Notes: Cherries, tobacco, cocoa, nuts. Has interesting bitterness & acidity with a light astringency
- Nicaragua – Nicalizo – Single Variety Nueva Guinea
One of the fine cocoa varieties is Nicalizo, which in late 2015 was the first Nicaraguan cacao to be awarded Heirloom Cacao status by the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative (HCP), through a combination of genetics, terroir and post-harvest processing (fermenting and drying) has an extraordinary or unique flavour. Ingmann Fine Cacao – Collect the cacao from 400 farmers and pay 25% above the New York commodity cacao price. The cacao is the Trinitario variety.
Tasting Notes: Grapes, raisin, cocoa, smooth, woody
Meet the Team
Chocolate is my passion. I have worked with chocolate since 1996 when I joined one of the UK’s favourite chocolate manufacturers. After leaving work a few years ago to have my two wonderful children I decided to set up my own chocolate company.
The desire to create my own chocolates was driven by a real love for chocolate and flavours and the passion to create a selection box that showed true variety in taste and appearance. I have created a varied range which I intend to expand by continually developing more recipes.
Natasha Sutton, Founder and Chocolatier