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February 20, 2015updated 29 Jan 2016 7:14pm

We can't believe it's nut butter (and other culinary delights)

By Spear's

Emily Rookwood samples some rather special bean-to-bar chocolates and nut butters. Yes, nut butters

The biggest joy of working in food journalism is being able to try lots of new things. A few products have landed on my desk over the past few weeks that I feel are worth mentioning – Willie’s Cacao and Pip&Nut.

If you combined the two – chocolate and nut butter – I think you’d be looking at a complete winner. Perhaps there is a recipe to be found in the combination this weekend. I will report back.

Willie’s Cacao is great and not only because the name makes me giggle. Willie Harcourt-Cooze is a well known and highly skilled chocolatier, who specialises in bean-to-bar chocolates: he sources single-estate beans directly from the farmers, then turns them into chocolate in small batches in his factory in Devon.

Only the best natural ingredients are used and additional flavours are avoided to allow the notes of the beans to come through. The chocolate coating on their salted caramel chocolates is so rich and fruity it genuinely tastes of raisins. Delicious. They also produce 100 per cent cacao blocks and chefs drops for cooking as well as single estate bars. I am not a big chocolate lover but this I really did enjoy.

I found Pip&Nut as a result of an accent-based accident discussing nut butter and not butter. I shan’t go in to it now but I’m glad I discovered these – peanut, almond and coconut-and-almond nut butters. All natural and made without palm oil, these beat your usual breakfast toast toppings hands down. I’ve used a spoon or two in cooking everything from curries to smoothies and the flavour really is lovely. The branding is also cute – a great way to get a little extra protein to children (grown-up ones included).

Pippa Murray started the company from her kitchen table and after winning a competition with Escape The City (a company that helps you switch dull jobs for more fulfilling ones) she moved from a table to a shed in her garden, cutting costs while the business developed. Her products are now stocked in Selfridges – much like the great story of the Uuni, which we featured a while back – this is a start up success story and a very tasty one at that.


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