There really is something quite nice about the thought of being a businessman. Not a businessman like the yuppie with the low fat latte going, “yah yah, 300 units… yah,” into his smug little cordless cell phone whilst power walking his way down the highstreet, but a businessman like the kind of tycoons I want to believe lived in the US at the begining of the last century. I suppose they did more or less the same thing, but they did it so much more stylishly and they got to smoke big cigars and didn’t know the meaning of the words “low fat”.

I think I’m just getting a taste for the feeling that I’m going to be CEO of a real company. Or at least that I will be as soon as I can be bothered to fill in all the paperwork it needs… ah the fate of the post-modern tycoon. It’s all come about after registering my business, sorting out some tax stuff and trying to sort out a supplier for my chocolatey needs. The last day or so’s been spent looking at chocolate (it’s been great) and I’ve got it narrowed down to 5 possible suppliers. So, this afternoon I composed a hopefully very businessy email and sent it off to each of them, with a bit of luck someone will actually agree to sell me stuff at a good price and not just think I’m some sort of madman who has a 2kg a day chocolate addiction. Unfortunately I’d completely forgotten it was Saturday and so sat by the computer all day waiting for a response which isn’t going to be here for another two days. I even missed a call by someone I was meant to be catering for, crap. On the plus side I did have a big chat with my dad about the possibility that he might invest some money into this whole thing to help me get started. Feel my tycoony powers as I leach money off my parents for the rest of my life… alright!!!

There’s always a chance that lots of these suppliers will realise the awesomeness of the chocolate I could make with their stuff and I might have to make a choice about supplier, I’m kind of hoping for anything at the moment, but just in case I’ve got a list of the different chocolates and how much I like the idea of working with them…

1. Valrhona is probably my favourite chocolate you can buy in a supermarket, it’s super declicious, seriously dark and for the most part the beans are sourced in one or two plantations so you can really really pick and choose from their range to get the perfect taste. Just looking through their website gives me a chocolate rush. They also stock 100% cocoa pate, cocoa butter and cocoa nibs and I would so so love to work with that stuff. On the downside it tends to be a little bit horribly expensive.

2. Callebaut is king of drinking chocolate fountains and generally considered the best widely distributed couverture for cooking, which makes it pretty damn tasty. Although you don’t really see it in shops cooks love the stuff and the one time I did manage to get my hands on some I was really impressed. Again, a little bit expensive.

3. Bonnat is a very good chocolatier, but what really sets it apart is its 100% cocoa solid bars . I’ve had one of these and I have to say that it was very very very good. I’ve never used it to cook with since the bar I bought lasted all of about an ten minutes, but it is very intense so I might be able to blend in more other ingredients and still have the amazing chocolateynes come through. It’s also sugar free and the less sugar there is in a dark truffle, generally, the better it is. On the downside it is very smooth and doesn’t taste as strong as some other high cocoa bars out there… which of course makes it a very good chocolate to eat on its own, but I really think I need to give it a go in truffles before ordering 50 kilos of it.

4. Everyone loves Green & Black’s and their cooking chocolate is very tasty. It doesn’t quite measure up in awesomeness to the three chocolates before, but it is cheaper and more importantly it’s fairtrade and organic. The big chocolatiers have lots of estates which more or less depend entirely on them for their wellbeing. The chocolate business does a pretty good job of exploiting its cocoa producers and for that reason alone it seems that Green & Blacks are worth considering. Valrhona do have an organic fairtrade bar, but clearly if I went with a Valrhona supplier I wouldn’t be able to resist the HUGE range of other products they have for the sake of my principles; they’re very very weak compared to my cravings for taste.

5. Or I could turn completely to the dark side and use Menier (subsidiary of Nestle) because it’s much much cheaper than any of the others and still tastes good. The supermarket price on this stuff is still cheaper than the wholesale on the others. If you’ve had one of my chocolates then almost certainly it was made using this. The white ones get made with Green and Black’s and I’ve made one or two batches using Sainsbury’s cooking chocolate, Meiji Dark, Valrhona, Cadbury’s, l’artisan du chocolat and other ones I can’t remember, but I’ve found that the Menier is just fantastic value for money…

anybody got any thoughts?

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