As you savour the taste of a House of Dorchester hand finished chocolate or bar, you might want to think about the incredible journey each of the ingredients has taken before it is lovingly made at our factory in Dorchester into what you are enjoying now...

Equatorial origins

Cocoa trees are found around the world but at 20 degrees North and South of the equator the ideal warm and humid growing conditions favoured by the cocoa tree are to be found. Ripe cocoa pods are picked from the cocoa trees and cut open with machetes to allow the beans and their surrounding pulp to be extracted.

In West Africa, the cocoa beans destined for House of Dorchester are placed under banana leaves and left to ferment for 5-7 days during which time the beans change from a white to dark brown colour. The fermented beans are then spread out to dry in the hot sun for about 6 days. The beans are collected, checked for quality, then graded and packed for transport to us in the UK.

Great British chocolates

When they get to the UK the cocoa beans are cleaned, dried and roasted. The shells are removed by winnowing to reveal the nibs which are ground to produce cocoa liquor or cocoa mass, the basic ingredient for all cocoa and chocolate products. It is then pressed, mixed, refined and conched before being tempered to ensure it has the perfect consistency for us to make our delicious British chocolates.

Handmade Chocolates

To make our award-winning violet fondant cremes, for example, our Dorset based chocolatiers use small batch kettles to heat the fondant mixture and combine this with the distinct perfumed flavour of violets. Our chocolatiers carefully pump the mixture by hand into moulds and allow the mixture to set. The violet fondant cremes are then double coated in our unique recipe 70% dark chocolate and hand decorated with crystallised flower petals.