A REDDITCH man with a sweet tooth has realised his dreams of becoming a chocolatier – after launching his idea just two months ago.
Clayton James, who lives and works in Greenlands, has always had a passion for food, but very recently he turned his hand to creating chocolate.
In a bid to share his vision with other chocaholics in the area, Mr James began creating handmade chocolates from his own kitchen in an array of fruity and classic flavours. As a result, in September, Black Forest Chocolates was born.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but it doesn’t just happen overnight,” said the 40-year-old.
“It’s a long process – not just developing flavours and techniques, but making sure the whole package is perfect.”
Each chocolate is made in a silicon mould, and each variety takes around 24 hours to make and set.
Working from his Greenlands kitchen, Mr James has recently secured a deal with Webbs of Wychbold and now his glossy, colourful chocolates are available to taste and buy from their foodhall.
Mr James, who grew up in Redditch and attended college in the town, had a 20-year-long career working in restaurants and hotels before taking a course in chocolate-making last year.
“I thought I knew a lot about chocolate – but I know so much more now,” he said.
“I think my background as a chef has certainly informed my flavours – with things like raspberry and balsamic pairing with dark chocolate, yuzu (Japanese citrus fruit) and mandarin. But we’re still discovering new combinations and techniques.
“I love meeting people at tasting sessions too – seeing their reactions and getting feedback is all part of it.”
For more information visit Black Forest Chocolates at https://www.blackforestchocolates.co.uk/