In the past year, since our first meeting with The Chocolatier - Aneesh Popat has gone from strength to strength and is now in high demand from chocolate lovers all over the world. And what keeps the business growing, aside from his infectious personality, endless energy and total passion for chocolate is his refusal to rest on what he has already achieved. Every time we have met him he has brought together more flavour combinations and is always working on something new.
Voted amongst the 1000 most influential Londoners 2013, Aneesh Popat has showcased his creations at Michelin starred restaurants and to royalty. Born in Britain and Indian by heritage, Aneesh has fused his mastery of Eastern spices with Western influences, as reflected in his chocolate creations, which range from rose and cinnamon ganache to his famous chilli and lime truffle. He studies ingredients, looking at their flavour components to match them on a chemical level, so no matter how 'out-there' they may sound, your brain has no option but to tell you that 'it works!'
He works with a water ganache for his truffles and by doing so not only creates a chocolate that is clean on the palate, allowing the flavours and spices to co-exist and combine but also reduces the amount of calories and fat to that of half the equivalent found in similar creamy creations.
"Lactose based fats coat your palate. Using cream and butter in a ganache means you are creating some barrier between the chocolate and your ability to taste it to its fullest. Due to this I have opted to use water in place of the cream and butter. Now, water plus chocolate does not sound appetizing at all - immediately you assume it is going to be bitter and almost soil like.
I want to remind people it is not cocoa and water we are mixing but it is chocolate and water. We simply want to make the cleanest tasting truffles in the World. So we do use all types of chocolate - dark, milk and white. Our method of mixing chocolate and water ensures you still get a truffle that is velvety and smooth in texture.
For the science geeks out there - it is a suspension of chocolate particles in water, where the particles of chocolate are too small for the texture receptors on your tongue to sense them so your brains cannot detect them. As a result your body assumes it to be creamy.
What do you taste? Just chocolate, as water is flavourless. How many calories do you get? 40-50% less! The dark truffles also being dairy free and vegan.
We are not aiming at making dairy free, vegan or healthy chocolate - it is just a convenient happening through the pursuit for purity.