The Ultimate Chocolatier's Guide
Posted: 09 Feb 2024
The Definitive Resource List for Artisan Chocolatiers
Supporting and inspiring chocolatiers is what we do at Keylink. When we’re not packaging your chocolate ingredient orders and answering your questions about the benefits of one method of tempering over another, we like to spend time putting together resources to help you in your chocolate business. Whether that’s by creating video tutorials on shelf life, testing new recipes, or writing articles on the latest legislation in the food industry, we’re always sharing something new to give everyone working with chocolate a helping hand.
To make your lives even easier, we decided to put together our definitive resource list for artisan chocolatiers. Bookmark this page and come back to it whenever you need a spark of inspiration or have a technical question.
How To Guides and Top Tips
If you’re in need of advice and instructional videos, then you’re in luck. We’ve collated our most popular articles, guides and YouTube tutorials on the basics and not-so-basics of chocolate making, from melting and tempering to dipping and decorating your creations. With guidance from experienced master chocolatiers, as well as advice on pricing your products and managing the business side of chocolatiering, these resources have everything you need to start or grow your chocolate business.
For the budding chocolatier:
Getting Started: An Introduction to Chocolate & Tempering – a brief education on the what, why and how of tempering chocolate. With troubleshooting tips and photos of common issues it’s the perfect starting point for any new chocolatier.
Melting and Tempering: A Guide to Temperatures – an in-depth guide to melting different chocolates for perfect tempering, with guidance on microwave versus chocolate machinery, and storage tips for tempered chocolate.
From the Vault Video Playlist – the perfect playlist for a chocolatier looking to develop your skills and learn new tricks of the trade. Featuring fillings and flavourings, freestyle piping, layered pralines and packaging, these videos are a must watch.
For the growing chocolate business:
Costs & Pricing: A Beginners’ Guide – learn how to calculate your costs, understand your productivity and capacity, and set your prices for a successful, profitable business.
Shelf Life in Chocolate Work – Keylink and Chocolate Academy UK & Ireland – in this video, Julie Sharp and Clare England from Callebaut’s Chocolate Academy explain the factors that affect the shelf life of your chocolates, how to calculate shelf life and adapt recipes to extend shelf life. You can also download the accompanying pdf with tips and recipes.
A Guide to Sugars and Gelling Agents – discover how to use additives like sugars and gelling agents to keep your bonbon centres soft, extend their shelf life and thin or thicken your liquid-based ingredients.
Working with Chocolate Video Playlist – these videos tell you everything you need to know about working with tabletop melting tanks and guitar cutters to create perfectly dipped pralines.
Chocolatiering Courses for All Levels
Ready to take the next step in your chocolate journey? We can highly recommend the following chocolate courses and academies, having tried and tested them ourselves. If you’re looking for some formal training and qualifications to take your chocolatiering to the next level, you’ll find the perfect course for you at one of these highly regarded catering schools:
The Chocolate Academy UK & Ireland – Banbury, Oxfordshire
The Yorkshire Academy of Chocolate & Patisserie – Scarborough, Yorkshire
Cocoa Black Chocolate & Pastry School – Peebles, Scotland
Hunters Chocolate – Fakenham, Norfolk
Recipes and Inspiration
Whether you’re just starting out on your chocolate adventure, or you’re looking for new recipes to expand your existing range, we’ve got a wealth of resources for you to choose from. Take a look at our full collection of chocolate and bonbon recipes in the Resources Hub, or try a few of our favourites:
Chocolate Bar Recipes
Legal and Regulatory Info
Working in the food and beverage industry comes with its fair share of legislation and regulations, it can be difficult to keep track of what you need to do to stay compliant and operate legally. We do the hard work of staying up to date for you, so all you need to do is read our collection of articles on Legislation and Guidelines, and check back regularly for any new updates or announcements. Here are the key rules and regs every chocolatier needs to observe:
New Food Labelling Requirements – Natasha’s Law came into effect on 1 Oct 2021, introducing new rules for prepacked for direct sale food (PPDS), including highlighting allergens clearly on your packaging.
A Guide to Working with Food Colours in the UK – brush up on which food colourants you can use in the UK, how much and on which products. After reading this article you’ll know your AZO from your E171.
Regulations Governing the Production and Packaging of Chocolate Products – keep this summary of relevant regulations handy, featuring the Food Safety Act 1990, the Cocoa and Chocolate Products (England) Regulations 2003, and more.
Selling Fairtrade Products – find out how to become registered as a Fairtrade product retailer, and what the certification means to you, your suppliers and your customers.
Confectionery Copyright – can you protect your chocolate creations? – We looked into the legalities of creativity, copyright and culinary creations to find out whether your designs can be protected. Give our article a read to find out the finer points of the UK legal system and how it applies to chocolate.
And for Everything Else You Need...
If you’re looking to add a tempering machine to your chocolate making process, our sister company KeyChoc is a British manufacturer of chocolate machinery including tempering machines, melting tanks and moulding lines. They also sell accessories such as cooling trolleys and vibrating tables that take some of the weight off your shoulders during the chocolate making process, giving you more time and space to create more products or move on to the next stage of your production.
We hope this definitive list of resources for the artisan chocolatier has been useful, bookmark this page and come back to it whenever you need some advice or inspiration. If there are any other resources you’d like to see, let us know, we’re always at the end of a phone, email or live chat.