Gourmet ap­petite for choco­late

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - REXINE HAWES

Her goal to be­come a gourmet choco­late maker is re­cent but her love af­fair with with the de­lec­ta­ble treat is long stand­ing.

Young Mata­mata mum Sandy Mas­caren­has has de­cided to turn her hand from eat­ing choco­late to mak­ing it, and is hope­ful it will be­come a prof­itable ca­reer.

‘‘I was look­ing for some­thing to do at home, be­cause child­care is ex­pen­sive. My hus­band said he knew some­one whose wife was mak­ing money from cre­at­ing gourmet choco­lates.’’

She started or­der­ing bags of the high qual­ity milk and dark choco­late Equagold and be­gan ex­per­i­ment­ing with flavours.

‘‘I think about what flavours I like and whether they would go well with choco­late.

‘‘I am try­ing to be more dar­ing so I’m ac­tu­ally go­ing to tar­get flavours like laven­der and lime, things that may or may not go to­gether. It’s all about try­ing it out and see­ing what works. I’m not go­ing for your clas­sics.’’

She made a few batches and posted on Neigh­bourly, the free pri­vate on­line com­mu­nity ser­vice pro­vided by Fair­fax Me­dia, search­ing for choco­late tasters.

Within less than a day, she had mul­ti­ple of­fers from peo­ple in Mata­mata, Ti­rau and Pu­taruru in­clud­ing a chef who spe­cialised in French cui­sine and a cheese and dairy judge.

‘‘I con­sult peo­ple around me, what they like. I’m re­ally in­ter­ested in what peo­ple want and their favourite flavour com­bi­na­tions cause at the end of the day it’s not about me, it’s about what they want. There are a lot of dif­fer­ent flavours that peo­ple like, so it’s good to get ad­vice and lots of opin­ions.

‘‘Mainly I just want to get it out there and get peo­ple try­ing it.’’

She is pre­pared to do what it takes to be­come the best gourmet choco­late maker.

She has plans to take classes in Auck­land, where she will learn the ba­sics and head into the more com­pli­cated arts of choco­late mak­ing.

To meet re­quire­ments by the Min­istry of Pri­mary In­dus­tries, she is also in the process of hav­ing an au­di­tor assess her kitchen and food safety plan.

‘‘It’s not an in­dus­try where you make money straight away.

‘‘It’s all about try­ing things and putting all your ef­forts into get­ting things right.

‘‘But for me it’s pas­sion be­cause I love choco­late.’’

REXINE HAWES

Sandy Mas­caren­has is keen to turn her new-found love for choco­late into a busi­ness and ca­reer.

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