Tag Archives: handmade chocolates

BBC Good Food Show Bursary Awards

I’m very excited to announce that I have been lucky enough to win a BBC Bursary Award. The award means I will be given a stand at the BBC Good Food Winter show (28th November and the 2nd December) for free. This is a huge recognition for the quality of my chocolates. I’m really excited about the opportunity and it’s given me a huge boost in confidence.

I will also be giving talks each day at the BBC Good Food Show, which I’m looking forward to. I enjoy giving talks and sampling chocolates with people and seeing what they think about my chocolates.

Here’s some information from the official press release

BBC Good Food Shows announce Bursary Award Winners

Having scoured the country for the last 6 months and after a lengthy and competitive application process culminating in a tasting sessions at the Good Food Test Kitchens, the winners of the BBC Good Food Show Bursary Awards have now been announced.

The Bursary Awards enable BBC Haymarket Exhibitions to reward passionate, dedicated and outstanding artisan producers. Winners are provided with a free of charge stand at one of the three Shows this autumn and given the opportunity to put their products in front of tens of thousands of food fans.

Gillian Carter, Editor Good Food Magazine, said…“I am so happy with this year’s pick of Bursary Award Winners. We tasted over 60 products altogether and these really stood out for their overall quality – and we think our visitors will love them! It’s great to be able to support outstanding fledgling producers and we can’t wait for the visitors to see the produce”

 

If you would like to buy tickets please click here, and please check out Katy Truss’s blog from BBC Haymarket who wrote about the Bursary Awards and Judging.


Chocolate Week 2012: 8th-14th October

It’s that time of year again when all Chocolate lovers can embrace Chocolate in all its glory. Chocolatiers up and down the country will be launching new products, holding special events and celebrating why we all love chocolate.

Currently I have lots in the pipeline; on Tuesday and Wednesday of Chocolate Week I will be holding special tastings in my shop. Customers will be able to try the different single origin chocolate I use as well as selected flavours from the counter.

On Friday and Saturday things will spice up with our much loved Hot Chocolates launching for the Autumn/Winter season, they will be available to take way. Packs containing all the ingredients and our recipe will be available, so customers can enjoy the Hot Chocolates at home.

We will also be making and sampling Chocolate Cocktails through Friday and Saturday. I’m currently sifting through lots of recipes trying to find an exciting mixture of delicious cocktails to tickle your taste buds!

I am also working on several new chocolates for our Shropshire Chocolates range and these will be unveiled throughout Chocolate Week.

To add a little more sparkle to Chocolate Week I will be offering 10% off all Christmas pre-orders, and any customers spending over £10 between the 8th and 14th of October will receive a small box of chocolate inspired macaroons handmade by Julia.

If you would like any more information about the events I am planning to celebrate Chocolate Week or you’d like to book a group talk/ presentation please contact Julia on 07814113156 or email julia@tootsweetschocolates.co.uk


Welsh Food Festival 2012

For the 4th year in a row I spent the 1st weekend of September in the beautiful location of Glansevern Hall near Welshpool. The Welsh Food Festival has been going for 7 years, and I was lucky enough to be invited for the 1st time 4 years ago. The festival takes place surrounded by beautiful gardens and a large lake.

The Welsh Food Festival is one of my favourite festivals; partly because of the location, but also because the volunteers and organisers are so lovely. The atmosphere is always so welcoming and there’s always a great mix of exhibitors. This year I was next to Bings Heath Smokery (delicious smoked garlic, fish, meat etc) and the guys from Welsh Brew who kept me topped up with tea for the whole weekend.

I had a really successful weekend with my range of Shropshire Chocolates, selling out of Violet Creams by midday on the Saturday. I had to call for more to be brought from the shop. My handmade Turkish Delight and the delicious Italian Nougat also proved very popular with several customers commenting on how they’d come back for more (after buying from my stall last year 🙂 ).


Whitchurch Farmers Market

I have just started regularly attending the Whitchurch Farmers Market which is held on the 1st Saturday of every month from 9am till 2pm. The Farmers Market is based near the Bull Ring, which is in the very centre of town.

I will be selling a mixture of my handmade Shropshire Chocolates and Truffles, as well as gifts like the Chocolate Shoes, Bars and Hearts. Homemade Cinder Toffee, Turkish Delight and Nougat will also be on offer, and I’m looking forward to meeting lots of new customers and finding out what the people of Whitchurch like.

Here are some pictures from this month’s Farmers Market and a press cutting taken as part of the Jubilee Celebrations in Whitchurch


The perfect cuppa for your loved one

Recently I have joined forces with the lovely Jo from Grandmas’ Attic to come up with the perfect cuppa, so perfect it will be our featured product for Valentine’s Day and Mothers day which is in a few weeks on Sunday 18th March 2012.

Jo at Grandmas’ Attic seeks out the best in Vintage accessories for your home, including beautiful cups and saucers. The cups and saucers are now available filled with a delicious selection of chocolates and truffles of your choice. The cups can also be filled with chocolate buttons, a vanilla pod and some honey comb chunks so you can make your very own Hot Chocolate…yum!


Flavours of Shropshire

This evening while working on a few bits for the shop I started to think about local food. This weekend I will be attending the Welsh Food Festival, which is a fantastic festival highlighting great producers from Wales and many from Shropshire and the surrounding borders. Next weekend the Ludlow Food Festival will also take place, so this is partly why I’ve got the subject of local food in my mind.

I’m really passionate about locally produced and sourced food; having worked within Food retail for nearly 10 years, and producing my own chocolates for the last 2 years it’s something in my blood which I automatically look out for. I love finding out the history behind locally produced food, and do personally believe you can tell the difference when sampling food and drink which has been carefully produced within the area you live. Firstly the quality is usually better as it’s been grown or made in small batches; secondly each area has its own individual flavours. I know the UK is pretty small compared to other countries, so some produce and recipes do spread across
the nation, but all regions have their own way of making and serving.

I decided to ask my followers on twitter what flavour they thought best represented Shropshire, and I had several fantastic responses. I have decided to produce a poll, so I can tweet about this further and hopefully get some votes and comments. I would really appreciate any comments especially as I found tonight that several items featured highly on peoples tweets; these included Honey, Beer and Shropshire Blue.

Interestingly and pointed out by @ShrpshirePrune, Shropshire Blue doesn’t actually originate from Shropshire. After doing a little bit of research I found out that Shropshire Blue originates from Castle Stuart Dairies in Inverness, please click here to find out more. It’s now made in Nottinghamshire, and produced by Ludlow Food Centre. After a little more research and help on Twitter I have found out that Shropshire Cheese Company also make Shropshire Blue and have won several awards from the Heart of Fine Foods. @ShrpshirePrune also noticed no one mentioned Fidget Pie; the pie has been around for over 400 years and really is one of the unique recipes to come out of Shropshire. I can only presume Fidget Pie wasn’t mentioned because it’s not that popular. It’s definitely not as widely available as it probably should be.

I personally associate fruity flavours with Shropshire, but since asking the question on twitter I have started to think about all the other flavours, including the varieties of game we have on offer.

So if you have any comments of what flavour you think best represents Shropshire please let me know and if your suggestion isn’t already on the poll please add to it. I will be revisiting this topic regularly 🙂


Salted Caramels

Have you tired our delicious Salted Caramels? After months of experimenting with different recipes and types of sugar I have finally found
the perfect caramel! The salted caramels have been on sale for the last 2 months and so far I’m getting lots of great feedback from people. I’ve now
started to experiment with different flavoured caramels, and so far I’ve introduced Basil and Violet Caramels to the new caramel range. The Basil
Caramels have a delicious sweet herby flavour, with under tones of aniseed from the Basil.

So if you pop into the shop you might be asked to try a new flavour and give us feedback!

Update: I’ve just started selling Salted Caramel Cupcakes and they are going down a storm 🙂


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