The purpose of Continuum Conceits, is to create the healthiest and tastiest confectionery possible, and to make most of what I can achieve, using fresh ingredients.
I guess you love good food like I do; and I favour food to be grown the most naturally possible, so it can be healthier, contain a higher content of nutrients and a nicer energy, and be more respectful to the planet we live on. Therefore, our ingredients are 80% organic, and of the highest quality.
Continuum is not accredited organic but I can easily show proof of the ingredients origin (when organic) to anyone interested. It is just nice to support the farming done harmoniously with Nature. What is the point of buying fair-trade when the farmers have been paid a bigger wage to have contact with or inhale harmful chemicals so they can buy medicine for the symptoms it will bring them?…
The organic chocolate I work with is grown in the Dominican republic, which is is the half island near Central America, the other half being Haiti. (I am adding that information in case you didn’t know where it was, like I!!) This cacao is then processed in Belgium, by the chocolate company Belcolade, and they make it into various chocolate products, including the callets I work with. The organic sugar they add to their chocolate is from Paraguay and their organic vanilla from Madagascar.
Their dark chocolate has 74% cocoa solids, while the milk chocolate has 39% cocoa contents which makes it a slightly less sweet, darker milk chocolate than the traditional kind. The white chocolate has 32% cocoa butter. No soy or sunflower lecithins are added to their organic chocolate, which is very unusual of chocolate manufacturers. However, when I work with the chocolate, I do add extra cocoa butter which raises the cocoa contents to 76% for the dark, 42% for the milk (which always is a darker milk as dark chocolate is also added to every milk batch!) and about 34% for the white chocolate.
Fruit and berries: I like to select perfectly ripe produce, for the flavour to be at its best. Sourced locally from growers, or from local shops. The soft fruit are bought from Tillington farm, near Canon Pyon, Herefordshire, not labelled organic but are unsprayed; or from the Grapevine, High street, Kington – a small family greengrocers who also sell organic citrus fruit used to make my own candied citrus peel, organic ginger and other organic produce we do use in our confectionery. I do favour produce from small producers and small shops as I enjoy the camaraderie, the contact and enjoy supporting the local community.
Honey and bee pollen: The raw, high quality honey used in all the confections is from M.J Fletcher, beekeeper in Presteigne, Powys. I also use bee pollen from J. King, Felhampton, Shropshire.
Nuts: The only almonds now used are the organic Spanish Almonds, (due to a scare on conventional Californian almonds being gassed”fumigated” with some harmful chemical) and I buy organic Turkish hazelnuts . One of my favoured suppliers is Survival Wholefood, Weobley, who have a large array of organic and fair-trade products.
Dairy: The ganaches and caramel sauce all contain dairy products: organic butter, from Netherend farm, and at last, some non-homogenised organic cream was sourced, from the Jess Ladies in Gloucestershire. This cream is the best found so far. It is extra-thick thick, and ever so tasty. However, it is sometimes hard to get and in this case we have to recourse to ordinary organic cream.
Pruneaux d’Agen: The Agen prunes used are pasteurised and do not contain preservatives. They are directly imported from Penne d’Agenais, in Lot-et-Garonne, from my cousin’s cooperative.
Other ingredients: organic agave syrup, organic sugar from Columbia, Organic dates from Tunisia . Xilytol extract is from Birch trees. There are very few ingredients which are not labelled organic, and they are barberries, xilytol, some spices, Agen prunes, freeze-dried raspberries, pistachios, cardamom, alcohols, salt, and some of the green raisins - though they are free from preservative and are washed and dried before using.
No artificial flavours, colours, preservatives (other than alcohol) or artificial sweeteners are used in the confectionery - l do add a very small amount of sorbitol to the ganaches that do not contain alcohol which is of a natural source (sorbitol is present in prunes naturally!)
If you have any questions regarding ingredients, Please get in touch!
Organic 74% dark chocolate