Updated: Oct 11, 2022
l wanted to treat you to new flavours for ages but they have taken a long time to be born: l cannot keep saying it is because of the review that l am coming so late with my new flavour rose and apple, so l will say instead that it is because of the dog. It's the dog's fault. It is NOT because l have been lazying around eating frozen pizza ice-cream while watching Coronation on the TV, or lying flat like the young people are doing in China. Not at all. Rose is one of the favourite flavours of human kind, and also was one of Her late Majesty, according to what l read on the internet from Charbonnel the chocolatiers; She loved flavours like rose, and any flowery flavours, in very dark chocolate. In her memory and honour, as l did enjoy thinking about Her person and the monarch, this tablette is available in very unusual for Continuum Conceits, white chocolate. It has been many years l have not had a white chocolate tablette. And, of course, it is also made in my customers's favourite 76% dark chocolate.
The apples are of the Red Windsor variety (coincidence, as l bought them and dehydrated them before She passed...) and as l like to support my local producers, they come from a neighbour near Canon Pyon and were collected from Marcus' at the Canon Pyon post office stores.
The Red Windsor were apparently developed in 1985 in Worcestershire, a neighbouring county to Herefordshire. It is nowhere near Windsor. They were probably trying to attract the attention of Her Majesty for Her to visit their orchards by giving the apple variety its name.
l had asked Marcus a few weeks before which apple variety he could get this year from our lovely neighbour farmer, for my new Rose and Apple tablettes. Marcus had replied l could have Discovery apples or if l waited a bit, Red Windsor apples. He didn't offer any other varieties, except for Bramley which would take an experiment to dry to see what they are like. Teeth wrenching or not? Needless to say l wasn't tempted by his offer of Discoveries apples, l don't like buying them for eating, never mind for drying: they taste pretty boring to me and aren't even pretty to look at. (it is just my opinion, please don't take offense if they are your favourite apple ever). Red Windsor apples in comparison (as l have already said on the product page) have more flavour, not as much as Coxes or other older varieties, but very nicer nevertheless than Discoveries. The many kilos of apples were taken home from Marcus' shop, washed and dried, then sliced and dehydrated.
Those apples are very flavoursome when dried, and delicious. It was hard not to eat most of the stock and think of another combination for the rose bars instead. l refrained, and kept them away from Barry, who wanted to keep doing quality control.
The rose essence cuts through in the dark chocolate, and comes out stronger with the apple: being plants of the same family, it was nice to put them together.
The finished tablettes and bars were going to be decorated in the beautiful Macintosh style roses fabric which l had used before and loved,
but when l realised there wouldn't be enough for all the stock's paper sleeves, we dropped the chocolate making we were doing with Barry, and went to Dougties in Hereford. By the entrance, l noticed this crown fabric, but decided it wasn't rosey enough as l had set my mind to find roses and hopefully not pink ones as my last 2 tablettes have pink fabric. (new Fruit and Nuts Dark has pink fabric) We went through the whole shop, upstairs and downstairs and round again, and l selected about 3 different rose fabrics, but eventually decided it was boring to have a rose chocolate tablette decorated with old fashioned rose fabric, and went back to where we came in, selecting one of the crown fabrics as my fabric of choice. There were several types of crown fabrics, and the others were more crowny-like, more like what you see on mugs from Windsor's Gifts and Souvenirs shop. l thought those crowns weren't as interesting as those bright golden ones, they were a bit grey and bland and would be better to make cushions for the expensive sofas in Farrow-and-Ball-painted houses, but not my new rose tablettes. The sort that (what is that shop called) Fortnum and Mason l think has on some of their products. Instead, this beautiful yellow golden crowns fabric was so attractive, warmed my heart, and as Barry said, they were more like the crowns of fairy tales.. If l had followed my intuition, l wouldn't have wasted time selecting mostly pink, unsuitable rosey fabrics .
As l was told later, of course, to choose a crown fabric to be on the rose bar made so much sense, because of the "rose and crown" which are so often associated. Being a culture-ignorant, l didn't know that it was the reason why may pubs were called the Rose and Crown, nor that they were associated at all. Barry who is very educated and instructed reminded me of the War of the Roses. l don't remember when it happened, l need a refreshing lecture again.
The artist pretending it is her doing all the work.
l haven't got anything witty to tell you now, except it is bedtime as tomorrow Barry and l are making the white version of the chocolate rose and apple: the ones on the photos are prototypes which were made just for the photoshoot at Richard's studio. If you order the white, they will be posted before the end of the week. Thank you all for reading! Good night! Alexandra PS: As the review in the Observer magazine and Guardian's website is next Sunday 16th, and l only have so much stock of the tablettes and won't have time before Christmas to make some of the more unusual bars/tablettes again, l would recommend anyone who needs them as presents to buy them before the review comes out, just in case we had an avalanche. There will be a much more limited choice of tablettes in a month time and for the Christmas stock: l should be able to keep the Fig pistachio and cardamom, fruit and nuts, ginger, lavender, Albi, and maybe the caramel if there is time to make some. For Christmas, l am planning to make the Apostles camembert boxes, some boxes of 16 chocolates (not many) and boxes of 6 chocolates. There will be Agen prunes with Armagnac prune puree, some prune assortments in boxes of 6 and 12, and maybe some flat prunes if l have time to make them.