Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Guess What's Back In Store...?

I think this product needs no introduction, as it is one of our most popular items...the chocolate mobile phone! For those of you who have had the opportunity to visit our store or perhaps received one of these unique handmade creations, they are a delight for both the young and the young at heart!

The good news is the Nutpatch Chocolatier has been busy working away this week to produce these wonderful chocolate phones for all to enjoy.

So, for the phone that won't let you down, drain its battery or need a system update and is sure to leave you satified, why not try one today?!

The Gift for the Person who has Everything!

Too Hot to Write about Chocolate!

For those of you who happened to be in Tasmania last weekend, you couldn't help but notice the hot weather! Lets face was HOT! Its not often we have such hot days, let alone two in a row! Anyone who lives anywhere other than Tasmania probably wouldn't understand the unique climate we have here...basically it can be four seasons in one day type of weather! So to have two days when the weather was above 30, was quite remarkable! The good news is the chocolate shop is air conditioned and the climate inside was a lovely 19 degrees, a far cry from the temperature outside!

Anyway the weather this week has been more manageable and we are back to talk chocolate treats once more!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Good Old Fashion Service!

Today I had the opportunity to be a customer...Not in our chocolate shop but in a coffee shop in the city. Now as you all know the coffee industry is huge and there is almost not a street corner you will come across in down town Hobart without coffee! I know we have spoken about coffee before and we may talk about it again after today, because lets face it chocolate and coffee are pretty much best friends.

I had been to this place once or twice before but today I was truly touched when the girl not only remembered my name, but asked about my day and how I enjoyed my last coffee. Today I tried the hot chocolate...predictable, well yes and when I am away from the chocolate shop I do sometimes get chocolate withdraw! So to keep my chocolate level high enough to survive the trip back to Kettering I had a lovely hot chocolate. I am rating it up there with good hot chocolates, and if you get the chance to try Pilgrim Coffee in Argyle Street I would reccommend it. It was hot, creamy and chocolate balance was perfect without being too sweet and sugary.

But why I chose to talk about this tonight, is the customer service that I experienced today buying my hot chocolate. The welcoming, caring, nothing is a problem service, which in my opinion is not always easy to find in today's busy society. At Nutpatch we strive to always provide our customers with a unique experience and premium service. Its not just about purchasing chocolate, its about spending a few moments in your perhaps busy day, being made to feel special.

I love working in our chocolate shop, I love seeing our regular customers return with so much excitement about trying something new. I love greeting them by name and sometimes even knowing what they will select. I love the screams of joy from children as they are given a chocolate animal to eat, or the couple who care so much about each other they just know what to select for each other.

I think chocolate is a language of its own. It brings people together. It shows love and caring. I am so pleased the love and care that goes into making our chocolate and other products can give others a uplifting experience. So if ever you are in the area drop in, say hi, have a chat and a sample of our chocolate and maybe we can make you smile.

White Chocolate Chick...always smiling!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Yes we do cakes

It's been a big week in the kitchen this week making and baking cakes for all sorts of occasions. The finishes, shapes, colours are endless but of course our favourite cakes are white or dark chocolate mud cakes especially when filled with our own hazlenut cream. Of course we are heavily influenced by our own Cake Boss who is famous for his traditional Italian twelve layer torte. 

Make sure to give us your thoughts for your celebration or event, anything from classic to contemporary, kids to big kids.  Below is just a sample of some of our cakes.

Hazelnut Roasting on a Foggy Day!

Ever wondered how to roast the perfect hazelnuts? Ever wondered how to get that perfect crunch when you take the first bite of the nut? Well wonder no longer because all will be revealed.

Lets face it the weather today is a little on the gloomy side, with fog dancing up and down the hills in Kettering and most of Southern Tasmania, but why waste a perfectly good indoor day? I have roasted hazelnuts is all sorts of weather over the years, from 40 degree days (and lets face it that not that often in Tassie) to days where snow has fallen. There is something quite comforting about the smell of roasting nuts in the oven, particularly on a cold day. Their aroma permeates all corners of the house making it feel warm and inviting. It has often been said that baking bread creates this atmosphere particularly if selling a house, well I think the same could be said for roasting hazelnuts!

Firstly lets talk about the hazelnut and its parts. You may ask why this is important, but time will tell! Of course there is the hard brown shell which needs to be cracked and removed first. We have a cracking machine to do this in larger quantities but for home use a nutcracker will suffice. Once the shell is removed you will see a fine brown layer covering the hazelnut, this is the pellicle and to remove this easily you will need to roast the nut. We slow roast our hazelnuts for our desired finish. 

For hazelnuts that have been picked fresh we recommend pre-drying the nuts in shell by the fire or air drying in shell for a few weeks. Once this has been achieved,  preheat your oven on fan-forced to 150 degrees Celsius. Place hazelnuts on baking trays and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. For hazelnuts that are supermarket brought this should be adequate, however if you have new season freshly picked and dried hazelnuts you may need to extend your roasting time to 40 minutes. The same technique can be used for almonds. Once the nuts have roasted allow to cool in a bowl. Then you have the task of removing the pellicle to reveal the golden hazelnut underneath! We have tried many things over the years to remove pellicle, you can place the hazelnuts on a cake rack and rub them and the pellicle should fall off. A old onion bag is useful, simply placing the nuts inside and then running them over a cake rack or you can just rub the nuts together in your hands in the bowl. Sometimes it is not possible to remove all the pellicle and some nuts will not part with their outer coat no matter what you do to them...this is OK, you can still eat the nut. That's pretty much it, your roasted nuts are ready for use in anyway you like!

Awaiting Harvesting

Roasted Hazelnuts With Pellicle

Roasted Hazelnuts Pellicle Removed

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Signs Go Up!

Anyone who has driven along the channel highway in Kettering over the last few months has probably noticed a car parked on the side of the road. This car has some very understated signs attached to it, simply stating 'Handmade Fine Chocolate' and 'Open', with an arrow pointing in the direction of our chocolate shop. Well finally our new signs have arrived and they are looking lovely. We are still considering additional signs on the shop front, but for now our chocolate coloured shop looks a bit like a giant chocolate bar! The paint is such a delicious colour, it really does look edible!

The inside of the shop has undergone a few changes as well, with the lettering on the wall behind the counter now finished. The feature wall is now looking fantastic and really adds to the ambiance of the chocolate shop.

From this...

...To this!

The Feature Wall!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Coffee a stay stay!

The start to the morning is not complete for most of us without a coffee. Like it or not our society is driven on coffee. There are very few places you can go where you won't find a coffee shop and Kettering is no exception. Just a stones throw from our chocolate shop you will find Coffee A Go Go or 'Briggy's Cafe' as we like to call it. You can't miss the Go Go Girls and their brilliant red outfits on the building and if you think you are entering the chocolate Kingdom when entering our shop, you are definitely entering the Coffee Capital at A Go Go. The coffee is brilliant and will not disappoint, voted recently by our visiting Italian mate some of the best coffee he has ever had, and lets face it, our Italian Traveller Peiro has tired some coffee in his life time! Of course coffee may not be your thing and that's OK because you will also find the most AMAZING cookies! Now I know a thing or two about cookies, I love making, baking and taking them to friends and family, but my friend Briggs has really cracked the ultimate in chocolate cookie heaven. Known as the 'The Earthquake Cookie' it won't disappoint. Its full of chocolate yumminess and nougat flecks and believe me when I say one is not enough. They are exceedingly good value at just $1 and compliment any coffee experience. So if you are in the need of excellent coffee be sure to stop in at Coffee A Go Go, but be warned...sometimes Briggs won't be there as indicated by a small handwritten sign on the door, in which case you can find her most times chatting with us at the chocolate shop!

Cookies...Earthquake cookie, gingernuts and jam filled! A treat to be enjoyed!

More cookies to select from!

Monday, 6 February 2012

A Moment In Time

It is often the small things in life we forget to appreciate, particularly in this ever busy world we live in. Sometimes something as simple as a smile can change the shape of your whole day. Or watching as the Master Chocolatier reveals a new chocolate to an admiring audience. The gasps of joy, the sincere gratitude and the facial expressions that tell you the chocolate sample has been truly enjoyed. Or friends that have known each other for decades and buy a little somthing extra just to show they care. Chocolate is a language of its own, I can't describe just how much a gesture of chocolate can mean, but it brings a smile to my face when I see how much better you can make a persons day, simply by placing a delicate ribbon on a box of hand selected chocolates, or by letting them try a new creation. Just for those few moments, nothing else in the world could be more important and its for that reason it is wonderful to be a part of the Nutpatch experience.

Chocolate Bars

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Rain, the Park and the Chocolate Shop!

There are many joys of having a chocolate shop, for example when you go walking early on a Sunday morning, the sun is shining when you leave the house and so you assume naturally its going to be a nice day...Anyone who has lived in Tasmania long enough would know that is not the correct assumption to make...EVER, about the weather! 3km out from home the heavens open and it begins to rain. Ordinarily this would be annoying, but alas no, we have gone prepared with the key to the shop (and on a side note it is awesome to stop in a get a treat while exercising, even if it may counteract the walk), and so enter the chocolate kingdom. Here we waste no time setting to work and filling the cabinet for the days trade. It is one of my favourite things looking at all these little works of art, aligned perfectly on their white plates just waiting to make someones day. And so our morning walk is saved, the rain passes and our cabinet is once again ready for all to see.

Choices and Decisions...

A Precious New Creation

To Celebrate the birth of little baby Neve in Launceston this week, Nutpatch has released a limited edition specialty chocolate. Named after this precious bundle of joy Neve is a true delight. A double layered chocolate square with a layer of Vanilla Bourbon Ganache and a layer of Rosewater Ganache, delicately enrobed in dark Belgium Premium chocolate and a dainty dried rose petal to finish. It is a sensation for the taste buds and a pleasure for the eyes!


A Dainty Rose Petal To Finish

Double Layered Ganache

Friday, 3 February 2012

Valentine's Day

Its nearly that time of the year again...Valentine's Day. The Nutpatch Chocolatiers ensure a treat this year with a whole new range of delights created especially for this special day. Whether you like heart shaped rocky-road or a fine handmade heart shaped box filled with a premium selection of our chocolates, you are sure to find something for the love of your life. Beware though, these chocolate treats are so satisfying you may not want to share! I suggest buy two and avoid the disappointment.

Forget the Tree of Life, this is the Tree of Love!
Delicate white chocolate hearts with a light fruity ganache

Heart Shaped Chocolate Boxes
No waste with packaging, as you can eat the whole box!

Amore, Adele and Limoncello
The perfect chocolate companions