The Chocolate Quarter, situated in the historic Jewellery Quarter, opened its doors in February 2015 and although being open for just shy of a year they have already established an international reputation taking orders from as far as Australia. Maninder, Kempes and Jay, the friendly faces behind this family-run boutique chocolaterie, craft the confectionaries by hand and are attempting to restore Birmingham to its former glory of being world-renowned for chocolate.
I was invited to hear about the shop’s offerings, try one of their chocolate experiences and taste their christmas chocolate selection. We started off the evening by drowning ourselves in Aztec drinking hot chocolate; rich and creamy as hot chocolate should be. It comes in solid blocks as the cacao butter is retained; the secret ingredient for giving it that extra chocolatey kick (often depleted in mass-produced hot chocolate). Surprising given just how creamy the texture was, this hot chocolate is made traditionally with water rather than milk and can be found brewing on a stove in-store.
Following this, we had a go at creating chocolate bars from cacao nibs using cocoa butter and icing sugar (the bean to bar chocolate experience). This involved using a mortar and pestle to grind the cacao nibs to a paste, seemingly impossible at first, before adding the final ingredients as well as cocoa butter powder to temper the chocolate. The liquid was then poured into a mould to set and once ready, professionally wrapped. To reward ourselves for the hard work whilst our handmade chocolate bars were setting, we indulged in the most exquisite chocolate fondue accompanied by shortbread, honeycomb pieces and delicious fruit.
We were also offered the opportunity to try the christmas chocolate selection. The Chocolate Quarter have created imaginative christmassy chocolate flavours including Gingerbread, Hot Butter Gin, Christmas Pudding and Mulled Wine as well as classics such as Baileys and Marc de Champagne. These chocolates are honestly delicious! My absolute favourites being the Gingerbread and Mulled Wine.
The Chocolate Quarter do a range of gifts ideal for Christmas and also cater to dietary needs having created a ‘free-from’ range. These truffles are free from dairy, gluten and alcohol and include flavours such as Peppermint, Coconut Passion, Chilli & Lime, Rose Cream and Violet Cream. They also offer private bean to bar experiences and chocolate truffle masterclasses. Why not book yourself in for a chocolate experience?
The Chocolate Quarter, 1A Spencer Street, Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, B18 6DD. Tel: 07438347864