Roast and Conch Leeds


There is a magical place in Leeds that’s made out of chocolate…..

Well maybe ‘made’  is the wrong term  but it may surprise you to learn that they do indeed make their own chocolate on site.

it's all about cocoa

Roast and Conch is a new concept from Hotel Chocolat, as cocoa growers as well as chocolate makers the new cafe aims to take a bit of the mystery out of chocolate production and show customers the side they never get to see.

cafe exe

For those just wanting a chocolate fix on the go, there is a Hotel Chocolat store on the side of the cafe .

I met up with Dan, the resident Chocolatier at Roast and Conch to find out a bit more about what they are trying to do.

Dan

‘Chocolate making is such a visual process, it’s great to interact with people and show them all the time and effort that goes into making chocolate.

‘The beans used here in Leeds are single estate and single origin, so you’ve got all the different nuances and personalities of the beans coming through in the chocolate we make here on site.’

Plantation to plate

The chocolate made on site is used in a selection of delights served in the cafe and restaurant upstairs. It is also used in the Made in Leeds hot chocolate, Dan’s favourite.

truffles

As soon as you enter Roast and Conch the smell of chocolate is so mesmerising, you can’t help but have a look at the machines whirling around  in the corner. But what are they doing? Dan explains:

‘The raw beans first go into the roaster, this develops more of a choclatey flavour and it also sterilises the beans.

Machine 1

After that we  need to split the shell from the inside of the bean, this is called the nib, we have a machine that breaks the bean to get the nibs out.

We then have to sieve the beans which can be a bit laborious but is still fun. There is a then a fan that separates the lighter shell and the heavier nib.

Whilst we want the nib we keep the shell because there is quite a lot of flavour within it.
The nibs then go in the conch a spinning machine with a granite base with two granite rollers.

Conch

This machine has two jobs – it reduces the particle size of the cocoa and the sugar to smaller than you can actually detect so the process makes the chocolate super smooth, it also mellows out the chocolate.

The idea is to strike the right balance between producing a really nice chocolate but not conching away too much of the personality of the beans.

The conch times can vary from around 35 hours up to 50.

Once the beans have come out of the conch the chcocolate just needs tempering so that it sets and produces a chocolate that is glossy,crisp and snaps nicely.’

Sweets at roast and conch leeds

As Rost and Conch is just around the corner from work I have been so many times in a last few weeks and even the Other Half has ventured in a there a couple of times too.

It is definitely worth a visit for a natter over a hot chocolate or afterwork drinks.

made in leeds hot chocolate

Roast and Conch Restaurant
55 Boar Lane
Leeds
LS1 5EL

http://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/chocolate-shops/leeds-restaurant

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  • Beth

    But did you try the food?

    • Rebecca

      Nope, should do I some point though. chocolates are very good as well.

  • Alison (@okayalison)

    Walked past & spotted this place today. Your hot choc photo looks tempting!

    • Rebecca

      Thanks Alison, you can also have them with fresh chocolate cream.