2015 October Meeting
This months WI meeting was to be a demonstration of chocolate making by Ken Speckle. No, that is not correct, there is no Ken Speckle and for some of us this was our introduction to kenspeckle a word from the Northumberland dialect meaning distinctive, well defined or easily recognised.
A dynamic young lady called Dawn, from Kenspeckle, an independent artisan chocolate, fudge and toffee maker, was to guide us through the process of chocolate making.
Dawn asked for a volunteer and Shaun, one of our male visitors (this was an open meeting), took up the challenge. We were told the importance of having a shinny mould which directly affects the appearance of the finished chocolates. Shaun was given the job of shinning the mould. Then in true Generation Game style Dawn explained and demonstrated each process of chocolate making and Shaun gallantly followed, filling, tapping, tipping, making ganache, filling the shells and making the bottoms. Luckily no one was sitting in the chocolate fallout zone. The turning out of the chocolates would reveal the results of Shaun’s mould shinning, he had done a grand job!
Obviously there has to be setting time in this process and, wonderfully for us, this was filled with a guess the flavour of the fudge game, we did very well but, of course, needed to taste an extra piece just to confirm our first guess!
When the chocolates were turned out they were decorated with pink drizzle, we then all got to taste them - milk chocolate with strawberry and balsamic ganache - hmmm delicious.
Kenspeckle started as a social enterprise. It was part of a charitable resource centre set up by the council to help those furthest from the job market. As the cafe in the resource centre started to decline, it was decided that rather than loose jobs they would sell something - fudge. This expanded to toffee and chocolate.
This Lynemouth based company now provides products to Fortnum and Mason and Selfridges, notably their edible coal which is cinder toffee coated with black sugar.
A selection of Kenspeckle products were available to buy and many of us left laden with goodies, maybe as presents but more likely just to be able to savour the wonderful confectionary again
So were these chocolates truly kenspeckle in the Northumbria meaning - definitely
If you haven’t been kenspeckled yet they will be at Morpeth Farmers Market on 6th December.