Ms Peacock Fine Chocolates is a Highlands newcomer worth salivating over. Creator and artisan Lisa Morley talks tasting, testing and how chocolate classics can be improved upon.
Q: Being a chocolatier sounds so glamorous. What’s the difference between a chocolatier and a chocolate maker?
A: Doesn’t it sound glamorous?! The key difference is a chocolate maker makes the actual chocolate from the cacao bean, which is an involved process requiring expensive machinery, and chocolatiers use that chocolate to create chocolate and confectionery products. I source my chocolate from some of the oldest makers in the world in France. Everything is done by hand. I don’t have machines because I don’t want to lose touch with the chocolate, and for it to become a process. It would be like an artist putting down her paint brush to create digital prints.
Q: Is it amazing to go to work and create chocolates all day?
A: Yes. I really LOVE what I do! Being a perfectionist helps but chocolate making allows you to explore your creative side too.
Q: Do you come from a chocolate lineage?
A: No. In my late 20s, I decided to take a break from corporate life. I enrolled to study commercial cookery and then moved to patisserie, and it was there I discovered chocolate making. I fell in love with the process. It’s quite romantic. But I call on many of the corporate skills I acquired previously, like time and workflow management, and discipline.
Q: Love the name. Where did it come from?
When I first thought of launching my chocolate business in 2014 I was keen on all the brightly coloured chocolate creations on trend then, so the name comes from the brightly coloured beautiful peacock. But, in my journey I’ve discovered what I truly love is the flavour, the texture, the natural colours you get from different chocolates. Today I don’t use colours a lot but the name has stuck.
Q: Why the Highlands?
We moved from Sydney late last year. It’s a wine and food region we love, and we wanted to give Penelope, our daughter, the opportunity to grow up in a smaller, more community focused place. Also, the climate is ideal for chocolate, which loves the cool, and dislikes heat and humidity.
Q: Is your shop a bit like Willy Wonka’s?
A: I make all my product on site in an open kitchen with a viewing window so people can watch the magic from the street. We’ve had a brilliant year online, and my goal was always to have a bricks and mortar store. We opened in August, so I’m pretty thrilled.
Q: What sets Ms Peacock Fine Chocolates apart?
A: People tell me it’s the combinations I come up with. I’m inspired by what I love to eat. Sometimes classics can be improved upon, like my Pseudo Snickers Bar. Other times I emulate a delicious dessert. My favourite product, the Desire Bar, was created after tasting a fun dessert by Gelato Messina. I came up with layers of caramel, orange and vanilla bean ganache and almond crunch brushed with French marmalade in a dark chocolate shell. Using premium ingredients is always important. The absolute best products that I can get my hands go into my creations.
Q: And finally, one of the perks must be tasting the product. How do you ever stop?
A: As the creative director and chief taste tester it can be hard, let me tell you! Making chocolate is romantic and delicious and all consuming.