January sale on now! Click here to view.


  • Craft Chocolate Lava Cake (vegan!)

    Craft Chocolate Lava Cake (vegan!)

    Elena Kalmykova is a talented pastry chef from Paris who also happens to be a customer of ours (her parents live in NZ). Elena has kindly created this delicious recipe for our blog - a vegan chocolate lave cake made with Foundry Chocolate's Colombia 70%.   

    If you haven't yet discovered the joys of baking with craft chocolate, this could be a great place to start...


    45g apple purée (to make it at home, bake apples in the oven until tender)
    60g unsweetened almond milk 
    ½ tsp vinegar or lemon juice 
    30g organic cane sugar 
    15g melted coconut oil
    ¼ tsp vanilla extract 
    ⅓ tsp baking powder
    Pinch sea salt
    15g unsweetened cocoa powder 
    35g wholegrain flour (or gluten-free flour mix)
    15g Foundry Colombia 70% + 4 extra pieces for the middle
    Coconut cream to serve


    1. Grease two standard size muffin tins/silicone moulds with coconut oil and coat with cocoa powder, shake out excess. Preheat oven to 190 °C (375 °F).

    2. Melt the chocolate on a water bath/in the microwave.

    3. Pour the almond milk and vinegar in a small mixing bowl and mix. Let set for a few minutes to activate.

    3. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla, and apple puree to the bowl. Then add the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, salt and melted chocolate. Mix until no large lumps remain.

    4. Divide the batter evenly between the two muffin tins - it should come up to about 4/5 of the tin. Put 2 squares of the dark chocolate in the middle of each cake. Bake for 13 minutes, or until the edges have pulled away slightly and the top no longer appears wet. It should feel a little fudgy in the middle.

    5. Let rest in the pan for a few minutes before removing. Then gently loosen the edges with a butter knife, top with a cutting board or plate and carefully flip it over. Gently transfer to serving plates.

    6. Immediately top each cake with another square of dark chocolate. Serve with whipped coconut cream and a sprinkling of icing sugar.

    7. Enjoy!

    vegan chocolate lava cake

    Thanks so much to Elena for creating this amazing recipe for us. Be sure to give her a follow on Instagram - @elena__kalmykova

  • Coconut and Kaffir Lime Hot Chocolate

    Coconut and Kaffir Lime Hot Chocolate

    This vibrant hot chocolate is inspired by the flavours of South-East Asia. It makes the perfect afternoon treat or a quick and easy dessert, and you could also chill it and serve over ice in the summer.

    This recipe is designed to be served in small cups, in the style of French sipping chocolate. It's nice and thick, so you could eat it with a teaspoon if you prefer.

    Ingredients (serves two)

    300ml coconut milk (from the carton or bottle, not tinned)

    60g drinking chocolate

    4 kaffir lime leaves 

    Toasted dessicated coconut to garnish 


    1. Put the kaffir lime leaves and coconut milk into a saucepan and heat the milk until it starts to bubble. Turn the heat down very low, place the lid on the pan and leave to simmer for one hour. Stir every ten minutes or so.

    2. Remove the kaffir lime leaves from the milk and then tip the drinking chocolate into the pan. Give it a quick stir and then replace the lid of the pan. Leave to simmer for five minutes.

    3. Once the chocolate is warmed up, stir vigorously until it is fully dissolved into the milk. This will take a couple of minutes. Alternatively, you could use a stick blender to mix it together. 

    4. Serve in small cups and garnish with some toasted desiccated coconut (optional).


    This recipe is designed to be served in small, intense doses. If you'd prefer a larger cup of less intense hot chocolate, simply add a bit more milk.

  • How to Taste Fine Chocolate

    How to Taste Fine Chocolate

    Here's a little video I made about how to taste chocolate, how we judge at the NZ Chocolate Awards, and why the Foundry Chocolate India 70% bar won the Supreme Award this year. Enjoy!

  • How to Pair Gin and Chocolate

    How to Pair Gin and Chocolate

    Last year I did a lot of exploration and experimenting with pairing gin and chocolate. It’s something I had previously avoided as it’s really not easy find a good match, mostly because the strength and powerful flavour of gin can easily overpower the subtlety of single origin chocolate. Also, if you add a cold and fizzy mixer to the gin, that can make it even less compatible with deep and rich chocolate. I really convinced myself that the two things were never going to match.

    Then I met Frankie from Southward Distilling in Wellington, and I was so excited about her unique approach to gin that I decided to ask her about hosting some tasting sessions. We did a lot of testing - it was REALLY hard work - and over time we discovered that some things worked beautifully together.

    southward distilling

    When you’re pairing gin and chocolate, I recommend starting with a sip of gin and then waiting at least ten seconds before tasting the chocolate. If you put both things in your mouth at once, it won’t end well. As for the chocolate, be sure to taste slowly, letting the chocolate warm up in your mouth and experiencing the flavour journey as it melts. I usually chew a few times and then move it around my mouth as it melts. You can find more in-depth chocolate tasting advice in my Chocolate Tasting Notebook.

    As some of you already know, The Chocolate Bar specialises in high quality craft chocolate made in small batches with rare types of cacao. The chocolate we sell is complex and nuanced like fine wine, and some of that subtlety can be lost when pairing with gin. We found that flavoured bars are much easier to pair with gin than plain single origin bars. That’s not to say that the base flavour of the cacao isn’t important - it absolutely is - but added flavours are usually more of an equal match to the gin botanicals, and create a more harmonious pairing.

    gin and chocolate tasting

    I’ve put together these pairing suggestions for you, using a handful of bars from our collection. I’ve recommended a style of gin, rather than a specific product, as everyone will have access to different shops and distilleries. I recommend sipping the gins neat but if you do want to add a little mixer, I’ve given you a suggestion for each gin. 

    1. Traditional juniper-forward gin with Shirl + Moss Hazelnut, Orange & Sea Salt

    Dry and juniper-forward gins are generally the hardest to pair chocolate with. I recommend something not too dark, with a big added citrus flavour. The Shirl + Moss Hazelnut, Orange & Sea Salt bar is perfect - the orange flavour is really bold and the hazelnuts, which are ground up with the cacao, make it really light and creamy.

    Suggested gin: Southward Distilling Wave or The Botanist Islay Dry

    Suggested mixer: East Imperial Old World Tonic

    2. NZ native botanicals gin with Juan Choconat Unroasted 76%

    We’re starting to see more and more New Zealand distilleries using native plants to infuse their gins. With its refreshing peppery flavour, kawakawa is particularly perfect for making distinctly Kiwi gins. Kawakawa pairs really well with zingy flavours like citrus, passionfruit or raspberry. The Juan Choconat Unroasted 76% is a plain dark chocolate made with unroasted cacao, but you won’t believe how bright and juicy it is. Flavour notes of lemon and raspberry make it a great chocolate to pair with NZ native gin. 

    Suggested gin: Reid + Reid Native Gin or The Bond Store Kawakawa Gin

    Suggested mixer: East Imperial Yuzu Tonic

    gin chocolate new zealand

    3. Citrus-infused gin with Marou Kumquat 68%

    Citrus-infused gins seem to be very popular at the moment and there are some amazing creations out there. It’s an obvious suggestion but I recommend pairing a citrus gin with the Marou Kumquat bar, which contains dried kumquats and a fruity Vietnamese cacao. It’s a mouthwatering chocolate and perfect to nibble alongside a nice cold sipping gin.

    Suggested gin: Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla or Malfy Arancia (Blood Orange) Gin

    Suggested mixer: Six Barrel Soda Lemonade (just a dash)

    4. Barrel-aged gin with Wellington Chocolate Factory Raspberry Milk Chocolate

    Barrel-aged gins tend to be a little more mellow, deep and rich. The type of barrel that’s doing the ageing will dramatically affect the flavour, and this pairing suggestion is for something like a Pinot Noir barrel. The Wellington Chocolate Factory Raspberry Milk Chocolate is perfect for this, with a huge raspberry flavour and a fruity Peruvian cacao to back it up. The caramel note from the added milk tends to complement the depth from the barrel ageing. 

    Suggested gin: Reid + Reid Barrel Aged gin or The Source (Cardrona Distillery) 'Pink'

    Suggested mixer: Earl Grey tea (thanks to Frankie for introducing me to this!) 

    gin and chocolate match nz

    5. Red fruit infused gin with Miann Strawberry White Chocolate

    White chocolate is usually easier to pair with gin as it’s not so deep and rich. A bright and tangy bar like the Miann Strawberry White Chocolate is absolutely perfect, and you’ll find this chocolate matches well with a lot of different gins. It’s particularly delicious with red/summer fruit infused gins, of which there seem to be a million options these days!

    Suggested gin: Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin or Blush Rhubarb Gin

    Suggested mixer: East Imperial Grapefruit Tonic

    6. Sloe gin with Foundry Chocolate Kilombero Valley, Tanzania 70%

    Sloe gin is an absolute dream to pair with dark chocolate. The lower alcohol content and increased sweetness make it much easier to find a perfect match. Most plain, single origin dark chocolates will taste pretty good alongside sloe gin, but I strongly recommend you try the Foundry Chocolate Tanzania 70%. This bright and fruity bar, made with cacao from Kokoa Kamili in the Kilombero Valley, is one of the best single origin bars being made in New Zealand. The fruitiness is really elevated when you taste it with a good quality sloe gin, and in turn the chocolate adds some depth and richness to the gin. Super yummy!

    Suggested gin: Hayman’s Sloe Gin or Sipsmith Sloe Gin

    Suggested mixer: just sip this one neat. Trust me.

    gin and chocolate tasting

    Lastly, if you prefer your gin and chocolate all in one, I highly recommend you check out the new Limited Edition Cacao Gin from Islands Gin, which is infused with cacao from Miann Chocolate Factory.

    I hope you find this blog piece interesting and useful. It is intended as a loose guide - play around at home and see what great pairings you can discover. It’s a great way to share delicious things with friends!

    Photos 3 and 6 courtesy of Du'plessis Kirifi (@thefirstset)

  • NZ Chocolate Awards 2020

    NZ Chocolate Awards 2020

    The results are in for the NZ Chocolate Awards 2020 and New Zealand's bean-to-bar chocolate makers have taken home a record number of medals. Foundry Chocolate did particularly well, taking home seven gold medals, five silvers and the overall Supreme Award for their Anamalai, India 70%. It was great to see the Supreme Award go to a straight single origin bar for the first time.

    foundry chocolate supreme winner

    There were also gold medals for Hogarth Chocolate, Miann, Shirl + Moss and Wellington Chocolate Factory. It's so great to see the high standard of New Zealand's craft chocolate getting recognised.

    To celebrate this, I've put together a special NZ Chocolate Awards Gift Box, featuring four of the gold medal winners, including the Supreme Winner. 

    nz chocolate awards gift box

    I was honoured to be a judge at the awards again this year, along with many of New Zealand’s leading chocolate and patisserie professionals. You can see the full list of results here, but below I've listed all of the bean-to-bar winners. As you may already be aware, we choose to focus on the bean-to-bar craft chocolate industry.

    nz chocolate awards

    Bean-to-Bar - Chocolate Bar Plain




    Foundry Chocolate Anamalai Estate, India 70% (Supreme Winner)
    Foundry Chocolate Kilombero Valley, Tanzania 100%
    Foundry Chocolate Kulkul, Karkar Island, Papua New Guinea 70%
    Foundry Chocolate Kulkul, Karkar Island, Papua New Guinea 90%
    Foundry Chocolate Ucayali River, Peru 70%
    Foundry Chocolate Soconusco, Chiapas, Mexico 70%
    Foundry Chocolate Kilombero Valley, Tanzania 70%
    Hogarth Chocolate Porcelana
    Shirl & Moss Single Estate 70% Dark Chocolate Bar - Fazenda Camboa / Brazil

    Wellington Chocolate Factory Peru Chocolate Bar




    Foundry Chocolate Tumaco, Colombia 100%

    Foundry Chocolate Tumaco, Colombia 70%

    Foundry Chocolate Ucayali River, Peru 90%

    Foundry Chocolate Masidau Farm, Vanuatu 70%

    Hogarth Chocolate Guatemala Single Origin 64%




    Miann Chocolate Factory Chiapas, Mexico 70% Chocolate Bar

    Miann Chocolate Maya Mountain, Belize 70% Chocolate Bar

    Miann Chocolate Factory India, Anamalai 70% Chocolate
    She Universe Solomon Cathliro 5 Village Blend

    Bean-to Bar - Chocolate bar with flavours and/or inclusions




    Hogarth Chocolate Maple & Walnut (Joint category winner)
    Shirl & Moss Hazelnut Orange & Sea Salt 52%
    Wellington Chocolate Factory Raspberry Milk Chocolate Bar 
    (Joint category winner)




    Hogarth Chocolate Espresso Coffee

    Miann Chocolate Factory Dulce De Leche Gingerbread Bar

    Shirl & Moss Stoneground Espresso 67% Dark Chocolate Bar - Fazenda Camboa

    Wellington Chocolate Factory Star Anise Milk Chocolate




    Baron Hasselhoff's Frida's Almond Mole Bar
    Hogarth Chocolate Kumara - Milk Chocolate
    Shirl & Moss Fig & Nib 70% Dark Chocolate - Fazenda Camboa / Brazil


    There was also a gold medal for Miann's Half Dozen Chocolate Eggs, a silver for OCHO's Hot Cross Bun Bar and a silver medal for Foundry Chocolate's Vanuatu 70% Drinking Chocolate.

  • Iced Chocolate Milk Recipe

    Iced Chocolate Milk Recipe

    Is there anything better than iced chocolate milk in the summer?! I love it, especially when it's made with high quality craft chocolate. You won't find that at the shops but you can easily make it at home using any of your favourite bars. Here's a little recipe I put together...

    iced chocolate milk

    Ingredients (serves 1)

    30g of Hogarth Chocolate Rose & Vanilla Tea bar

    175ml of oat milk*

    Handful of frozen blueberries

    Fresh strawberry to garnish


    Essentially you're making a hot chocolate and then cooling it down.

    1. Finely chop the chocolate and then add it to a pan with the milk.

    2. Put the pan on the stove on a low heat, being careful not to boil the milk. Warm the mixture and stir it well, until the chocolate has completely dissolved into the milk. This will take five or ten minutes.

    iced chocolate milk recipe

    3. Pour the chocolate milk into a jug/jar and cool in the fridge for 90 minutes.

    4. Put a handful of frozen blueberries in a glass and pour the chilled chocolate milk over the top.

    5. Garnish with chocolate shavings and a piece of fresh strawberry.

    6. Drink!

    *You can use any kind of milk you like, but I find that oat milk tastes best with chocolate.

    chocolate shavings craft new zealand