As far as awesome job titles go, I think ‘Chocolatier’ sits pretty highly on the fantasy list. Whether it invokes thoughts of working as a maverick Wonka-esque character, or as a precise traditional artisan, the thought of spending your days enrobed in chocolate sounds pretty tempting. Well, Edward & Irwyn are bright young stars on the Edinburgh confectionery scene, and it just so happens that their world is perfectly balanced between left-side of the brain creativity and mastered skills.
First off, let’s introduce Edward & Irwyn, or Edda and Kirsty. Edda, an experienced chocolatier learned her craft at Valhrona’s Chocolate School in Lyon France and Kirsty comes from a background in arts festivals. They met whilst working on a project a few years ago, and quickly bonded over a shared obsession with bees. a wish to start an urban honey project, and that the honey would be incorporated into chocolate creations.
Five years on, and their business has found its wings. Edda is Master Chocolatier and Kirsty her apprentice. I was lucky to get a sneak peak into their recently opened Chocolate Kitchen in Morningside. A handwritten sign with the words ‘Constant Vigilance’ is pinned to the wall, and this mantra underpins the attention to detail required of any chocolatier.
All the chocolate used in their creations earned its place following a rigorous (and I’m presuming a quite delicious) process of blind tasting. Tempering the small batches of chocolate on marble is the traditional artisanal method, and this the skill Edda is now passing on to Kirsty. It’s a science, working the chocolate to exact temperatures to achieve chocolate with the perfect shine and with the perfect ‘snap’.
Coming up with phenomenal flavour combinations doesn’t seem to be challenging the two of them too much though. From Scandinavian-influenced flavours like juniper, Scots pine and smoked salt, to variations on a theme of their beloved honey, your brain and senses engage excitedly as the chocolate melts in your mouth.
The Chocolate Kitchen isn’t generally open, however they do plan to organise pop-up shopping events and to have the kitchen open for purchases a couple of times per week. In the meantime, you can find their chocolates in Vino and Villeneuve wine shops, and taste their rich aromatic hot chocolate at Brew Lab.
For info, including details of pop-up shop events, go to www.edwardandirwyn.wordpress.com