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Gateau d'Amour's Anthony Heurtier talks Wedding Cakes, Chocolate Truffles and building 'The Chocolate Empire'.

Gateau d’Amour began in 2005 in Brighton, stemming from a desire to create beautiful French cakes and chocolates which were made from organic and locally sourced products.

Following lengthy training in the French region of Mayenne, where I won a prestigious bakery/patisserie award, I spent time working in Paris before moving to Brighton in 2000. Having worked as head pastry chef at the Real Patisserie gave me the confidence to set up on my own, it showed me that there was a market for fine French products and that customers in the Sussex are discerning and want good quality, original products.

The ethos that I work to is still very simple, creating good quality, fine products for people to enjoy. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to deliver a beautiful wedding cake and really make someone’s special day perfect.

I specialise in ‘Croque en Bouche’ the traditional French wedding cake. These are a towering pile of pastry cream filled choux buns surrounded by caramel often decorated with nougatine and fresh or sugar flowers. I also make bespoke chocolate cakes for weddings. These are often tiered cakes, decorated with hand made chocolate curls, fresh or chocolate flowers and/or fruit. I am always very happy to accommodate any special flavour or style and decoration. I always have great fun inventing new wedding and celebration cakes to suit the customer. Recently I was asked by a bride, who is a fan of my dark chocolate and basil truffles, to recreate the taste for her wedding cake this spring! This season, amongst others, white chocolate and raspberry ‘black forest’ and forest fruits with 70% dark chocolate curls have been popular wedding cakes.

All the cakes are made with organic ingredients and locally sourced fruit, eggs and cream. Prices start from £2.50 a head.

As well as wedding and celebration cakes, Gateau d‘ Amour is known for the fine handmade truffles I make and supply to shops and businesses in and around Sussex, England. Chocolate wedding favours have become more and more popular and brides seem to like the flexibility and originality that these offer. For example you can give one truffle in a pretty individual gift-box for each guest and present small selection boxes of chocolates to the bride’s maids and parents, or, have small bars of chocolate personalised for each guest and use as place settings.

This Autumn, I am launching ‘The Chocolate Empire’ which will be dedicated exclusively to creating hand made organic chocolates. I will shortly be receiving my certification from the Soil Association and am exhibiting at the Fine Food Fair at Olympia, London in September.

Put simply, I love chocolate! I am passionate about discovering new combinations, trying out new recipes and bringing them to the public so they can enjoy them and share my passion. I use a special single origin chocolate called ‘San Domingo’ from the Dominican Republic. It has a much higher cocoa content and tastes wonderful. My milk chocolate, for example has 44% cocoa compared with 34% usually (Green & Blacks, Montezums’a etc). My dark chocolate is 70% and white is 38% which is very high cocoa content for white chocolate.

In line with the launch of the new company I have new products, several of which have already become personal favourites of mine (and my family’s!). These include a new ‘baton’ shaped truffle, giant slabs of chocolate, hand dipped organic brazil nuts in 70% dark chocolate and hand made chocolate curls, flavoured with natural spices to make decadent hot chocolate!

'The Chocolate Empire' will be selling the new range, in its more environmentally-friendly packaging, from September 2006. When I set up Gateau d’ Amour I was aware that I wanted to use local and sustainable products where possible. I want to make as little impact on the environment as possible and my long term aim is that all paper and packaging I use will be fully recycled and recyclable. Currently, I have had ‘tea-caddy’ style tins designed to pack my chocolate, not only are they made up of more than 60% recycled aluminium but can be reused as pretty decorative of storage tins once the customer has eaten the chocolate.

Click here to view Gateau d'Amour organic and diabetic chocolates >>

Contact The Natural Store on 01273 746781 if you are interested in Gateau d'Amour's Organic Wedding Cakes and Croque en Bouche.
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