Chocolate making with Paul A. Young

We admit it – when offered a home-made chocolate there’s no way we can resist! We’ve been fans of making your own for some time – you don’t need a lot of equipment or years of experience to produce fine confections you’ll be truly proud to share. However, a few hints and tips to help you hone your skills never go amiss, and that’s why we’re over the moon to be working with Paul A. Young.

 width=One of Britain’s Master Chocolatiers and a protégé of Marco Pierre White, Paul has been tempting people into his boutique London chocolate shops since 2006 where his unique creations have been flying off the shelves. A true artisan, he uses only the finest ingredients and creates everything by hand, resulting in simply exquisite chocolates that please the eye as well the taste buds.

Even if you’ve never attempted a truffle before, fear not! Paul has helped us put together a detailed book, How To Make Chocolates, especially for Lakeland customers, and it’s filled with simple step-by-step guides, hints, tips and inspiration to make it really fun, straight-forward and rewarding. He’s even shared his closely guarded sea-salted caramel recipe that’s been voted the best in the world!

We had the opportunity to spend a day with Paul as he showed us how to temper chocolate (easier than you think!), then mould, fill and decorate his ingenious creations. With a fresh, uncomplicated approach, it was all very easy and enjoyable – and we discovered that there’s so much more to home-made chocolates than melting some of the sweet stuff and setting it in a mould. We thoroughly enjoyed Paul’s visit to our Windermere headquarters too. He took over our test kitchen to give our staff a master class in chocolate making so now we can pass on our knowledge in store… and get to eat some fine artisan chocolates too!


California Prune and Porter Truffles

A recipe by Paul A. Young


For the ganache 

  • 250ml porter or fine quality stout
  • 225g prune purée*
  • 50g unrefined dark muscovado sugar
  • 300g 55% Duffy’s Venezuelan Ocumare milk chocolate or other high percentage milk chocolate
  • 15 California prunes, quartered

For the shell

  • 500g 67% St Dominique dark chocolate
  • Edible shimmer powders in copper and bronze

*For the prune puree 

  • 225g California stoned, ready-to-eat prunes and 90ml water
  • Using a liquidiser, blend the prunes with water until puréed
  • Makes 275g – leftover purée can be kept in the fridge for up to a week


  1. Bring the porter, prune purée and sugar to a very light simmer then immediately take off the heat and whisk until all the prune purée is incorporated.
  2. Pour onto the milk chocolate and whisk well. Allow to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare your mould by adding the metallic shimmer powder with a small paintbrush, tapping a small amount into each individual mould.
  4. Temper your chocolate (link to tempering step-by-step) and line your mould to create your shell then refrigerate the lined mould for 10 minutes.
  5. Place a quarter of prune into each mould.
  6. Fill your piping bag with the cooled and still liquid ganache and fill each mould, leaving a 2 to 3mm gap at the top.
  7. Leave the filled moulds overnight to set and crust. The crust is the top layer of the ganache which dries out, allowing you to cap off the chocolates.
  8. Temper a small amount of chocolate and cap off your chocolates to seal in the ganache.
  9. Refrigerate for 10 minutes before the exciting part of carefully turning your chocolates out and, of course, eating them.

Tip: Your finished chocolates will keep for 2 weeks in a cool, dry place.