Armed with a love for dark chocolate and all its health benefits, Deanna Tilston set out on a personal journey to learn about and craft her own chocolate. What started out as a self-nourishing endeavour has ultimately ended up becoming an award-winning chocolate maker. It seems that every element of Tosier chocolate elicits reverence for cacao and chocolate, from sourcing its cacao beans to the reason behind the name. ‘Tosier’ dates back to the 18th century, where a man named Thomas Tosier had the privilege of being George I’s personal chocolate maker; Thomas, and his wife Grace Tosier, ran a very successful chocolate house on Chocolate Row in Greenwich in the 18th century.
Tosier crafts its chocolate in eight kilogram micro batches. This means that Tosier can only produce a limited number of bars from each harvest; however, producing batches on this sort of scale also means that Deanna is able to keep a very close eye on every step of the chocolate-making process. It also means that no single batch of chocolate Deanna makes will ever be quite the same. Each batch and harvest that Tosier receive will have different characteristics. We think that this variety is part of the beauty of craft chocolate.
Tosier sources its cacao from Belize and Haiti, via Uncommon Cacao. Uncommon Cacao, originally part of Taza, are a key partner for many emerging craft chocolate makers and they pride themselves on ensuring a high quality and transparent trade, as well as maintaining significant market access for smallholder cacao farmers. Working with Uncommon Cacao means Deanna is able to see the biodiversity of the cacao, that is, what grows amongst the cacao, be it bananas, avocados, citrus fruits.
Belize, a nation that lies West of the Caribbean Sea, has a deep history in cacao cultivation and production, with few experts suggesting cacao was first used here. Tosier sources its beans from Belize through Maya Mountain Cacao, who are pioneers in direct trade sourcing in Belize, being the first exporters in the country to produce high-quality, transparently-sourced, fine flavour cacao.
This bar won Gold in the Academy of Chocolate 2018. The flavour profile of this 2017 harvest is a bold and bountiful one. Rich caramel and honey trickle through bright, tangy, tropical fruits, with pineapples in the foreground. Deanna personally likes to pair this fruity chocolate with a classic, creamy Stilton.