Using all-natural, seasonal ingredients, chocolatier Angela Anderton is busy preparing for the festive season
Christmas is coming… and tucked away in the pretty village of Slaidburn is a chocolatier who is set to make the festive season all the more sweet.
Angela Anderton is devising chocolates flavoured with seasonal fruit and herbs, her latest include blackberry and vanilla, plum and cinnamon and passion fruit and honey – not forgetting the Christmas collection that features Bailey’s, cognac, amaretto and cherry bourbon!
“Our Boozy Boxes are always popular at Christmas,” says Angela, who retired following three decades in the civil service, to pursue her dream of becoming a chocolate maker.
“As a gift I was given a one-day course at Slattery’s in Manchester,” recalls Angela, who has now been making chocolates for more than a decade.
“I enjoyed it so much that I saved up so I could go on a week-long course. I then started making chocolates for friends and it went from there.”
Seven years ago she and her husband Dave took on a shop, Vanilla Angel, in Slaidburn and Angela went on to set up the Bowland Chocolate Company.
“I was still working in Manchester at the time and was commuting three days a week and making chocolates the rest of the time,” says Angela, who retired last year.
“I am now doing it almost full time but it’s still a hobby for me – a hobby that makes a bit of money, which is great!”
With her chocolate-making unit in the village, Angela makes everything by hand including all the fillings and she uses premium chocolate including Veliche Gourmet and Callebaut from Belgium and Casa Luker from South America.
“Truffles and praline are some of our most popular,” says Angela. “I also make moulded and hand-dipped chocolates as well as chocolate bars. Our salted caramel truffles are super-popular!”
Making all her own jam from seasonal fruit for the fillings, Angela features more than 15 different flavours in the shop and she also devises specially commissioned flavours for corporate clients and hotels who want something exclusive.
Angela also makes party and wedding favours as well as chocolates for bespoke hampers.
Over the past few months Angela has been keeping busy with special orders and while she was unable to attend events over the summer, she is hoping to have a presence at a number of local Christmas markets.
“While we couldn’t attend events during lockdown, over the last few months there have been a good number of visitors to the Ribble Valley eager to support local businesses.”
“I also do a lot of social media, including Instagram and Facebook, which is good. If we have any new flavours, we let everyone know.”
Like other chocolatiers and chefs, Angela likes trying out new flavours and recipes, but at heart she admits she is a traditionalist: “I don’t tend to go with trends like chilli flavoured chocolate, I like the good old favourites.
“I also haven’t gone down the route of using lots of fancy colours and moulds like many others. I like to make hand-made and hand dipped chocolates and fudge using traditional methods.”
“I also try to keep it seasonal using local fruit and I also use fresh cream from a nearby dairy – all the ingredients are natural, fresh and where possible, locally sourced.”
With Christmas on the horizon, Angela is now making chocolate Christmas trees and Christmas lollies for children – and for the adults of course are the ever-popular Boozy Boxes!