In the spirit of all things Valentine’s Day Hayley O’Keeffe met up with Bedford’s own chocolatier Per Norrgren to find out how to make a romantic sweet treat.
Per, who lives in Castle Road, set up his online business Bella Cacao after falling in love with chocolate making on a fun course. And before coming to Bedford the Swedish chef plyed his trade in Rio De Janero.
He said: “My ex wife had a habit of sending me on training courses because I was working so hard in the IT industry. Whever she wanted something done she would send me on a course in how to do it and I got to have a bit of relaxation too. I’ve done bricklaying and ceramics and all kinds of things that we needed for the house.
“But one year she needed some chocolate so she sent me on a chocolate making course. I spent the weekend in Bolton with a chocolate and learned the first part of making chocolate, I got really smitten and loved it, I went on more courses and the rest is history.”
Per now hopes that his chocolate will become more widely available in Bedford. He is alreday selling special sweet treats in Andaluz, on Castle Road and is is in talks with more shops. On March 2 and 3 he will set up a stall at the Milton Keynes handmade and vintage market, along with a number of other Bedford-based sellers.
He said: “I got the opportunity to close the door on what I was doing. I resigned from work, packed my bags and set of for Australia. At first we tried to open a shop in Sydney but we couldn’t find the right premises. So we said ‘lets try Rio, because it’s still nice and warm in Rio.’
“I think chocolate is magical. It has all kinds of substances that make you drawn to it and there are chemicals in chocolate which make you want it more, from chocolate you get a warm and fuzzy feeling, how can you not adore it?”
To find out more about Per and his delicious chocolates visit www.bellacacao.co.uk
My experience of chocolate making, by Hayley O’Keeffe
Sometimes being a reporter is challenging, sometimes it is sad, but sometimes it blooming rocks!
Being given the ‘oh-so-difficult’ assignment of meeting a real-life chocolatier and making some delicious sweet treats was most certainly in the latter category.
On the day we made pralines coated in milk chocolate. It was my job to dip the handmade pralines in the thick chocolate and add a nut for decoration.
And it’s not as easy as Per made it look, the chocolate swirls about in the tempering machine quite quickly and getting an even coating, tapping it and straightening off the bottom of each one is a challenge.
But I think I did ok, and even if I’ll never be a chocolatier I certainly enjoyed the fruits of my labour that evening.
To see a video of my chocolate making experience visit www.bedfordtoday.co.uk
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Weather for Bedford
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 18 C
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Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 12 C to 19 C
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