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