SP Flat Out Food: Saskatchewan’s most decadent, handmade chocolates | Saskatoon StarPhoenix
You may think you’ve tasted pure decadence, but one bite of a Coco + Muse truffle will change your mind.
Saskatoon chocolatier Saija Shearer creates the little “balls of bliss” (as she likes to call them — and they are pure bliss indeed) with ample time and patience.
Jenn Sharp /
The process takes about three days, from chopping semi-sweet Callebaut chocolate blocks to mixing, boiling and setting overnight, to weighing and rolling. After they chill out for a second night in the fridge, they get a dip in melted chocolate and a dusting of cocoa.
Then it’s home to a pretty little package tied up with a silk ribbon and one of Shearer’s custom poems. Opening these babies is a sensory experience in itself.
“A lot of love goes into the truffles,” she says.
Shearer got started on her entrepreneurial path early at age seven. She says “a red chair stole my heart.” Her desire for the luxurious piece of furniture kicked off her chocolatier path as she tried out recipes, selling her truffles to friends and family.
“To keep it short and sweet, I bought my red chair with the money that I made from my truffles, and still have it sitting in my living room.”
November is the perfect time to get your hands on a box of these truffles. She makes them only for holidays and special occasions (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas).
On Nov. 22 and 23, she’ll be selling at the Black Market Market in Saskatoon: blackmarketmarket.com.
Visit her website: cocoandmuse.com to place a custom order.
In Regina, Fancy Pants Kitchen’s artisanal chocolates are pretty much all you need to be happy.
It was a cancer diagnosis, with only a 30 per cent chance of survival, that set Karen Morley on the chocolate route. She had worked in high-tech software, making maps from aerial photography, a field that was impossible to return to after a year of sick leave.
While battling cancer, she took up sugar blowing and then got into chocolate — the chemistry of making it reeled her in. She soon realized that to make artisanal quality, she’d need further training.
“You have to understand about moisture migration, fat migration and crystallization. People don’t think of it that way — they think of the pretty stuff you decorate. But to me it was the confluence of those things that was pretty amazing,” says Morley, who attended Vancouver’s Ecole Chocolate and took a master-level course at the Chocolate Academy in Montreal.
She uses chocolate from Barry Callebaut, a company whose Forever Chocolate program targets 100 per cent sustainable chocolate by 2025.
“The big chocolate companies are just buying up stuff and the plantations are getting denuded,” Morley says.
Barry Callebaut works with farmers on becoming more sustainable, employing women in management positions, and doesn’t buy from plantations that use child labour.
Watch for Fancy Pants Kitchen pop-up events at Italian Star Deli or order via the website: fancypantskitchen.com.
For delicious raw chocolate in Saskatoon, head to Those Girls at the Market (their stall at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market or their new shop at 812 16th St. W.) And be sure to check out Faye Moffat’s River Layne Chocolate Couture at #39-1736 Quebec Ave. in Saskatoon.
Raw Karma’s chocolate bars are handmade in Weyburn and sold at the Local Market in Regina, The Wandering Market in Moose Jaw and SaskMade Marketplace in Saskatoon.
All three businesses also offer online ordering.
Jenn Sharp is a freelance writer in Saskatoon.Her first book, Flat Out Delicious: Your Guide to Saskatchewan’s Food Artisans, will be published by Touchwood Editions in 2020. Follow her on Twitter @JennKSharp, Instagram @flatoutfoodsk, and Facebook.
This content was originally published here.