This chocolatier is selling salted caramel baubles for Christmas
- Credit: Archant
Former military chef Aaron Kerry had a change of career this year and now turns out some of the tastiest truffles in Suffolk.
Precision. Dedication. Skill. All qualities any military employee is expected to possess. But, handily, they're also transferrable to the world of food and drink, which is why Aaron Kenny, who served for seven years as a chef in the military, including the Royal Airforce, has found transitioning into his new business familiar territory.
Medically discharged earlier this year, Aaron says he was wondering what to do with himself. "Being a chef there was only so much I could do, but I knew I wanted to be self-employed. I loved doing chocolate work so thought making chocolates could be a good opportunity."
Cocoa Cave was created by the chef six months ago, and has already become a regular and popular fixture on the monthly Bury St Edmunds Farmers' Market, with shops and other businesses now approaching Aaron (originally from Peterborough) to stock his goodies.
Everything is carefully handmade, using cocoa traced chocolate (currently from Vietnam) and the finest ingredients and natural flavourings he can find.
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You can sample them at Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre (he'll be at the event on Thursday, November 21) or at the next farmers' market on December 7, with Aaron showcasing his beautiful new range of festive chocolate baubles, in flavours such as salted caramel.
These sit alongside prosecco and elderflower truffles, salted caramel, intense espresso, coconut and vanilla, fudge, and charred orange. "People love that. I char the zest of the orange and leave it to sit in the chocolate for about a day. That gives a really intense flavour.
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"I started out with filled chocolates," the entrepreneur says, "and that was going really well so I thought I'd expand to bars to see how it went. And it went really really well! I now have six in the range."
In addition to charred orange and honeycomb in bar form, Aaron makes a bar of Arabica coffee ganache coated in 53% chocolate, a 35% milk bar swirled with homemade caramel, and three other rather special selections.
"One is made with Yucatan flower honey. The honey's from a company in London I work with. They travel and bring back all different types of honey. This one, from Mexico, has a bit of peppery twang to it and goes really well in 70% chocolate.
"For the honey roasted almond bar I roast the almonds in honey and let them infuse in the chocolate for about a day before I crush the almonds and put them through the bars.
"And I'm about to replace the coconut and vanilla white chocolate bar with strawberry crème brulee, which has freeze dried strawberries and candied sugar pieces through it."
All chocolates are available in pre-filled boxes, handmade and packaged by Aaron, or you can make your own choice at the stall, with lots of options ready for Christmas as he works through a period which he says has been "non-stop".
"It's been great. And I've been amazed. My plan was, until Christmas, to just do farmers' markets and see what people like and what worked and what didn't, then in the New Year to move into a new unit and hit the shops. But I had so much interest I've started selling in shops and elsewhere already. I have so many regular customers!"
As well as the market, you can currently buy Cocoa Cave chocolates at The Handmade Shop and Gallery on St John's Street, and The Coffee House at Moreton Hall and Fornham All Saints, in Bury St Edmunds, and the Cocoa Cave website, where you can order online, is to be launched shortly.