Ancient Cocoa Quest

Tasmanian chocolatier Igor Van Gerwen has long believed that the future of great chocolate lies in its past
By ABC Northern Tasmania | Anvers Confectionery
ABC Northern Tasmania: Sarah Abbott

Igor Van Gerwen is on a lifelong quest to improve chocolate by discovering its oldest secrets, and here are some of the highlights… squashed into 3 minutes.

One chocolatier’s lifelong quest to discover chocolate’s oldest secrets (ABC Northern Tasmania: Sarah Abbott)

Latrobe based Anvers Confectionery, Tasmania’s oldest and premier artisan chocolaterie, started as a cottage industry business by Belgian born and trained chocolatier, Igor Van Gerwen, in 1989.

Have you heard Igor’s story? 

Igor’s chocolate journey began in Belgium as a 12 year old earning pocket money in a patisserie on weekends before starting his education at the Institute for Food, Antwerp. This six-year full-time college course covered bread, pastries, ice-cream, gateaux, sugarwork, marzipan and…. chocolate.

Igor fell in love with Tasmania when he came here in 1986 and eventually set up a business named after his native city: Anvers. The Anvers range of chocolates these days is significant and many products are available.

What sets Anvers artisan chocolates apart is the highest quality ingredients including rich cream from Ashgrove Farm, ripe berries from Tasmanian Berries, award-winning whiskey from Hellyer Road and walnuts from Walnuts Australia. Igor travels the world to source flavoursome heirloom varieties of cacao. These varieties are ethically sourced through direct trade with the farmer co-operatives and are grown using sustainable methods.

The ultimate in heirloom cacao is the Fortunato No4. This cacao is not only the most sought after by some of the world’s most famous chocolatiers, but it is also proven to be the purest Peruvian Nacional variety (DNA tested by the USDA). The Fortunato No4 is identical to the original cacao as it would have been enjoyed by the Inca’s in the upper Amazon basin a 1000 years ago. Try the Fortunato No4 for yourself, impress someone with this special gift or create Igor’s Tasmanian dessert recipe below for the special occasion.

Yoghurt, Raspberry and Honey Mousse with Chocolate Decoration

Serves 8 | 10 min prep | 10 min cooking time

Ingregients:

Mousse
50g Blue Hills Meadow Honey
25g Tas. Honey Co. Leatherwood
300g Tamar Valley Greek Yoghurt
200ml Ashgrove Cream
1 Gelatine sheet soaked in cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla paste

Coulis
300g fresh or frozen raspberries
300ml Spreyton apple juice
2 Gelatine sheets soaked in cold water

Decoration
100 g Anvers Fortunato No4 couverture dark chocolate
Fresh raspberries
Icing sugar

How do I make it?
1. For the Mousse, melt the gelatine on low heat and whisk in the honeys, after fold in the yoghurt and vanilla.
2. Whisk the cream to soft peaks and fold into the mixture scoop by scoop.
3. For the Coulis, simmer apple juice and berries for 20 minutes to reduce.
4. Melt the gelatine into the mixture then leave it to cool.
5. Layer the mousse and coulis in martini glasses and let them set in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
6. Once set, decorate with broken chocolate, raspberries and a dusting of icing sugar, ready to serve.

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