- How should the chocolates be stored?
Chocolate is best stored in a dry, dark place at a temperature of 15°C to 24°C. It is best never to store chocolates in the fridge. Also avoid temperature shocks of more than 10°C: Never store chocolate alongside strong-smelling foodstuffs. Chocolate absorbs odours very easily and this could affect the sublime taste of your favourite treat. The best temperature to consume chocolate is at 18°C to 21°C. At this temperature, chocolate remains snappy, yet is ready to fully release all of its flavours and aromas in your mouth. So always give chocolate the time to acclimatise from its storing temperature to room temperature. If you must put your chocolate in the fridge, ensure it is in an airtight container and allow it to get back to room temperature for about 20-30 minutes once you remove it from the fridge before opening the container.
- What chocolates are dairy free?
The 70% cocoa chocolate is dairy free. We also have a new "Mylk" Vegan dairy free chocolate which contains rice flour instead of dairy.
- What chocolates are lactose free?
The 56% dark chocolate has a very minute amount of dairy in it which is lactose free. It is anhydrous milk fat –which is essentially dehydrated milk fat – which actually does not contain lactose.
- Are they gluten free (GF)?
Yes. Based on the Coeliac Australia guidelines the chocolates are GF. All chocolates except the licorice bullets. The chocolate on its own is GF. The ganache fillings do have Wheat based Glucose Syrup. This is considered GF as any Gluten is undetectable.
- Are they nut free?
The plain chocolate is nut free. However, we will not claim any of our chocolates are nut free as they are made on equipment that we also make chocolates with nuts in it. As people with nut allergies are often highly allergic, we will not take the risk to say they are nut free.
- What is in the ganache?
It is a secret recipe. However, essentially it is chocolate and either a fruit filling, nuts, alcohol or coffee. We use no preservatives. Coconut does have a preservative.
- Do you use Palm Oil?
There is no palm oil in the chocolate. Chocolates with a ganache filling do have a small amount of vegetable oil in them – including rapeseed and palm oil. The palm oil is from a certified sustainable source.
- Do you have chocolates for diabetics?
Yes we do. We have a range of No added sugar chocolate which contain Maltitol as a sweetener instead of sugar. Too much at once can have a laxative effect.
- What is Maltitol?
Maltitol is a reduced calorie bulk sweetener with sugar-like taste and sweetness. It is made from corn starch and is all natural although many claim it is artificial because it is highly processed. Maltitol does not promote tooth decay. It has a pleasant sweet taste, remarkably similar to sucrose. Maltitol is about 90% as sweet as sugar, significantly reduced in calories and slowly absorbed into the blood so suitable for diabetics. HOWEVER, it can cause temporary diarrhoea and gastro issues if too much is consumed (guidelines are no more than 50g per day but this varies by the person)
- What makes our chocolate better than the supermarket chocolate?
- Do you have organic chocolate?
- Are they expensive?
Our chocolates are very reasonably priced for the fact they are handmade by Australians and made in Australia with quality ingredients.
- Do you make them yourselves?
Yes we do, We have a chocolate factory in Beenleigh (QLD) where all of our chocolatiers work and hand-make them.
- What is the difference between couverture chocolate and compound chocolate?
Couverture is a fine quality, richly flavoured chocolate that is high in cocoa butter and cocoa mass. If used for coating, dipping or making chocolates and it needs to be tempered. If only being used for fillings or baking, then it does not need tempering.
Compound chocolate is a lesser quality chocolate which has had cocoa butter substituted by vegetable fats (sometimes palm oil) and often is made using cocoa powder instead of cocoa mass. Poppy’s Chocolate do not use Compound chocolate in any of their products.
- Why would people use compound chocolate then?
Compound is often used in cooking because it is much cheaper than couverture and also because it does not require tempering and is therefore easy to use. It also does not get cocoa bloom like couverture because there is no cocoa butter (sugar bloom can still occur though). Unfortunately, the trade off is taste!
- What is tempering?
Tempering is required when using couverture chocolate to make chocolate items or to dip things in chocolate (if you want it to set correctly). This is the simplified version of tempering: there are 6 different types of fats in cocoa butter that each melt at different temperatures. It is necessary to melt all of these, then recrystallise them in a particular way so that the chocolate crystallises back together correctly. The chocolate needs to be melted to about 45 degrees Celsius, then dropped down to 28 degrees, then back up to about 32 degrees. If you want to try tempering yourself, you need to get more detailed instructions from the internet as this is a basic description.
- If I don’t temper, what happens?
The chocolate will not form/crystallise together properly and will not set to be a firm chocolate with high gloss and a good snap when breaking. A well tempered chocolate will be shiny and have a good snap sound when breaking. The chocolate will also bloom. Don’t worry, you can melt it down and have another go!
- What is chocolate bloom and why does it happen? Why do my chocolates have white spots on them?
There are 2 types of chocolate bloom – cocoa bloom and sugar bloom. Cocoa Bloom can occur if a chocolate has been subject to heat of 26 degrees or more. Even though the chocolate may only have gone slightly soft, one or more of the fats in the cocoa butter can melt at this low temperature, changing the chemical structure of the chocolate. This cocoa butter, then sits on the outside of the chocolate, often as small white dots, and can actually be wiped off by your finger. Many people think it is mould but chocolate itself does not ever go mouldy unless it has been kept for a while in a fridge and subject to moisture. The chocolate is still edible and once melted in the mouth tastes exactly the same, but may have lost visual appeal and good snap. Don’t throw it out though - eat it or melt it down and use it in a cake or ganache if you don’t know how to re-temper it.
Sugar Bloom is what happens when chocolate is too cold or is in too humid an environment. Moisture will form on the outside of the chocolate which attracts the sugar to come out of the chocolate and crystallize on the outside. This may look similar to cocoa bloom or may just give the chocolate a very rough look and feel (you can sometimes feel the sugar on the outside). Again, the chocolate is still edible and will taste the same once in your mouth.
- My chocolate is bloomed, can I return it?
Generally, it is unlikely that the chocolate would have bloomed before you receive your chocolate due to our stringent packaging, freight and storage methods. Chocolate can bloom very quickly and if you have had the chocolates in an environment that is too warm or hot, too cold or too humid, they can bloom after just one short exposure to these conditions. It is still edible and has a minimal effect on quality. Please follow our guidelines on storage. If you are certain that the chocolate arrived like this, please email us.
- Can you make a chocolate figurine for me of my design?
We do not work with handmoulding chocolate as this actually requires a special type of chocolate that is not really edible or tasty and we are in the business of making chocolate to EAT! We do have a large variety of novelty moulds already which may suit your requirements. If you have a particular item you want made from chocolate, it may require you to pay for the purchase of the mould or may require a minimum order quantity but feel free to ask. We have access to all the largest producers of chocolate moulds in the world.
- How does Poppy’s Chocolate care for the Environment?
- Do you have HACCP?
Yes, we are HACCP certified since 2006. We follow best practice Food, Health and Safety Standards.
As part of these safety standards we do not wear disposable gloves as these are deemed a higher food safety risk than our procedures which involve regular and thorough handwashing. Disposable gloves are only ever used if someone has a hand injury but, in this rare instance, we would prefer to have that person on a difference task. We also prefer not to add to unnecessary waste. Our hair is also covered in chocolate production.
- What chocolate do you use?
We have our own chocolate made to our recipe in Australia. Our recipe is based on Belgian style chocolate and is very smooth with a delicious flavour. We also do use some Belgian chocolate for specific flavours.
- Where is your cocoa from?
- Who do you sell to?
We also wholesale to hotels, convention centres, airlines, retailers and boutique retail shops in addition to doing a significant amount of contract work for many large companies in Australia.
- Where does the name Poppy come from?
Poppy is the founder. Lynda Pedder’s, Nickname – her mum used to call her Lollipop when she was a child (because she liked lollies and chocolate) – then this was shortened to lol, lolly, pop, poppy. Friends started calling her Poppy after seeing her mum call her that and it just stuck.
- What is Poppy’s Mantra?
- Can I get a custom made chocolate shape?
We don’t hand mould chocolates – this can only be done using “moulding chocolate” which is not actually edible and we don’t make inedible chocolates. To have a custom shape requires a mould to be made – minimum cost for this is about $4500 for tooling and moulds. So, it is only an option for companies who want to create a chocolate that they will use many times.
- Are they Halal certified?
No. The plain chocolate is Halal certified (through the company that manufactures it for us) but our individual chocolates have not been certified. We do follow best practice management standards and keep alcohol ingredients separated from other ingredients, the same as we would treat allergens.