Helen Buff Handmade Chocolates
An afternoon spent with a neighbour, who was employed in the chocolate industry, led to Helen Buff setting up her own handmade chocolate business. She was inspired by the quality of the chocolate and the creative opportunities offered by the myriad moulds. She has now extended her range to include wedding favours, birthday presents, corporate gifts and packaged chocolate for shops – and anything else her customers want, in whatever shape they want it.
Helen hand-makes every chocolate using quality moulds and Callebaut chocolate – the brand used by many master chocolate makers and pastry chefs worldwide. As well as plain, dark, milk and white, she uses coloured and flavoured chocolate including strawberry, lemon, honey and caramel. Lustre powders can be added, as well as edible cocoa butters for logos and pictures – ideal for gifts.
Helen prides herself on her versatility, using any type of chocolate to make virtually any chocolate object her customers want. She supplies chocolate horseshoes to Oakham castle and museum gift shops, chocolate bars to local shops and has made hearts, crickets bats, owls, handbags and gift boxes. We particularly like the chocolate sprouts!
Not all of Helen’s chocolate is made using novelty moulds – the mini taster pack contains small bars of all the chocolate types, flavoured with fruit and beautifully packaged.
The process of converting the “Callets” (Callebaut chocolate pieces) into molten chocolate ready for the mould requires precision and accuracy. All chocolate is tempered at 45 degrees and then the heat is adjusted according to type (cooler for white, hotter for dark). The snap and shine of the finished chocolate piece depends on temperature, so to avoid a dull finish or lack of snap, the heat has to be carefully controlled. Finished chocolates are kept in a special cooler (a fridge is too cold) before delivery.
Helen has a vast range of moulds already and will endeavour to make anything you want. So if you are after quality chocolate, presented in a creative way, Helen Buff is the lady to call.
By Anna Forgaard, Rutland & north Northants editor
Free 75g bag of handmade buttons with every order over £5. Please mention you are a member when ordering and show your membership card.