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Behind The Scenes of Creating the New 45's With Our Chocolatier and Food Technologist

With the launch of our tasty new Pocket 45 range, we thought you’d like a peek behind the curtain into how we create the flavours that end up in your hot little hands! Emil Kroll, originally from Denmark, is our Food Technologist and native Frenchman Thibault Fregoni is our Head Chocolatier. They both have a flair for creating magic in the kitchen and here’s what they had to say about Loving Earth’s newest creations.

What do you do at Loving Earth?

EK: I’m Emil and I’m the Food Technologist and Product Development Manager

TF: And I’m Thibault, Loving Earth’s Head Chocolatier and Planning & Development Manager

How did you end up in those roles?

EK: I studied a Masters of Food Innovation & Health at the University of Copenhagen (graduated 2017), before that I’d worked for 7 years as a chef. During my studies I co-founded a natural cider company in 2015, and on the back of my master’s thesis I co-founded Circular Food Technology, a food-tech startup upcycling a brewery by-product into nutritious, aromatic flour in 2018.

TF: I landed in Sydney in 1999 after extensive travels, as you do when young and free, I fell in love with the country and decided to settle for a while...  now 22 years and counting!

I fell into chocolate by chance through a French pastry chef friend in the early 2000s and we set up a small business making handmade chocolates at a time when chocolate offerings were very basic in Australia. The 80's style imported Belgium chocolates were still a reference! We made simple products highlighting quality single origin couvertures produced by top manufacturers (a novelty at the time) and the experience was very formative.

I then moved to Melbourne and set up my brand called Monsieur truffe, starting with a stall at the Prahran Market and them moving into a shop on Smith St, Collingwood.  The next logical progression for me was to move into making chocolate directly from cocoa beans rather than using chocolate made by other manufacturers so I started a brand called Matale, named after a Sri Lankan town I was sourcing cocoa from, and this led to meeting the owner of an Australian company called Daintree Estates, Barry Kitchen, who at the time was lobbying the government to study the feasibility of growing cocoa in Australia.

Barry offered me a position near Port Douglas looking after the post-harvest of the company's operations which was a truly fantastic experience, it has led me to collaborate with interesting projects overseas helping farmer co-ops to improve their farming and post-harvest practices to, hopefully, increase their cocoa quality and income, something I would love to keep doing in the future. And now I’m here in Melbourne at Loving Earth!

What do you love about chocolate and what was the process behind creating the new range?

EK: Food is a very emotional thing we all know the feeling of panic when we don’t know where to eat on a holiday; how the mood sinks through the floorboards if the food is bad; or the ecstasy a great meal can bring. To me, working with chocolate and confectionary is not just about putting something sweet in people’s mouth, but about delivering bite-sized positivity to people.

TF: Chocolate is a fantastic medium which opens doors to, not only amazing flavors, but also to geography, history and is obviously a great ingredient for artistic expression.

EK: We had a great base to work from and didn’t need to do much to the firm favourite Caramel Swayzee Our take on Turkish Delight is the Dirty Rose, the base chocolate is our Cashew Mylk, and blending this velvety mylk chocolate with the floral rose accentuates the base’s strengths, and the tangy cranberries balances the sweetness out. The hazelnut mylk chocolate is such a strong base on its own, that we only needed to accompany it with some hard roasted hazelnuts to create the ultimate nutty choccie hit.

TF: Cookies and Cream has become a modern classic, but usually winds up being very sweet. We have given the Cream & Cookies a bit more edge by working with lots of textures, there are brittle chocolate biscuits and crunchy nibs, all covered in our super smooth white chocolate with world-class vanilla and a hint of salt.

What kind of factors influence the products/recipes?

EK: All of Loving Earth’s chocolates are vegan and organic and there are several ways to switch out the milk solids that are used in conventional chocolate with other ingredients. Loving Earth has pioneered the use of nuts as a creamy base ingredient to create an animal-free version of milk chocolate.

TF: We have a diverse group of people working at Loving Earth, not just vegans. I am not personally vegan, but I truly believe that our food systems should become less dependent on feeding off animals. This is probably the way a lot of great inventions have come about; by having constraints and challenges that needed to be overcome, and then finding new and possibly better ways.

If you had to choose one, which is your favourite flavour?

EK: The Caramel Swayzee has been with us for a while, and in the new version it is still one of my favourites. But the Double Hazey is also hard to keep my hands off.

TF: I really enjoy our new White which has a beautiful texture, is not overly sweet and makes for a great flavour carrier so lots of potential…

You can find the whole new range here.

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