Little-known chocolate secrets from Nestlé – including three-week taste rule

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The Mirror’s Courtney Pochin went behind the scenes in Nestlé’s chocolate kitchen in York to learn all about how they make their most iconic products, including Quality Street

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Nestle employee shares how to make Quality Street sweets

Over the last few days, as time has become meaningless between Christmas and New Year’s, many of us will have consumed more chocolate than we may have thought humanly possible. No judgement here, ’tis the season after all.

However, it turns out there’s a lot about chocolate that many people don’t know – including the science that goes into making it and just how tricky it can be to come up with new flavour ideas that will actually work.

We recently visited the test kitchen at the Nestlé factory in York to learn all about how chocolate is made, how they brainstorm new products and general secrets about the sweet stuff.

Lead confectioner Vikki Geall, who has been working for the band for 15 years, was on hand to share all the facts and little-known tidbits.







Vikki Geall shared chocolate-making secrets
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Image:

Andy Commins / Daily Mirror)

The most surprising thing she shared was a three-week rule, which is all to do with flavoured chocolates, such as Quality Streets, MatchMakers or mint Aero bars.

During the visit we had a go at making our own Strawberry Delight Quality Street sweets as well as Matchmakers and I was unsurprisingly keen to get stuck in with tasting them as soon as possible when they were complete.

However, Vikki was quick to warn that they wouldn’t be at their best at this point as the flavour would be too strong.

It’s not until around three weeks after the product has been made that the flavour will ‘drop’ and become ‘more level’. Only then will the chocolate taste the way you’d expect it to taste when you buy it from the shops.







The team had lots of good ideas for new KitKat flavours – and we wish they’d make some
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Image:

Andy Commins / Daily Mirror)

During the visit Vikki also let us peek inside a ‘secret’ flavour cabinet full of different experimental flavourings, from pineapple flavour to birthday cake and red velvet.

The possibilities are endless when creating chocolate, as was highlighted by a board next to the cabinet featuring ideas from a brainstorming session for a new flavour of KitKat.

The list included amaretto, croissant and pumpkin spice latte. None of these exists, but they definitely all 100 percent should.

However, it seems the difficulty is that not all of the above would actually be as tasty as we’d hope.

“Sometimes flavours sound fun, but when you break it down into its components, it’s not actually as interesting,” explained Vikki.

For instance, red velvet is simply chocolate with red colouring in it, while birthday cake would break down into vanilla for the sponge and then either strawberry or raspberry for the jam filling.

And the final fun fact Vikki shared was all to do with Aero bars.

Circling back to that three-week rule, the confectioner confessed that a freshly-made Aero bar tastes “almost fizzy” due to the carbon dioxide used to make the iconic bubbles inside the chocolate.

Give it three to four weeks and the carbon dioxide will dissipate, meaning the chocolate tastes more normal.

Interesting!

Do you have a chocolate story to share? We want to hear all about it. Email us at yourmirror@mirror.co.uk

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