I wasn’t trained as chocolate maker, but rather as a painter and sculptor, so my process for creating new pieces is a bit unusual I think. Often I find an example of the actual item I’m trying to replicate and then make a mould of it. For obvious reasons this is problematic in the case of a chocolate human heart. I’ve always been willing to break the rules to create something great, but murder and dissection is clearly across the line – I’m no Burke & Hare.
The nearest, best thing to reach for was right in my village. A pig’s heart. You’ll be relieved to know that I eschewed my typical DIY approach here and paid a visit to my local butcher. Apparently “nose to tail” eaters go for them, so I was able to acquire one easily. Here’s a picture of my lovely local butcher with my first prototype chocolate heart.
After selecting four of the best-looking hearts from the butcher’s freezer I began the work of making my own sculpture version. The pig’s hearts all had faults and were floppy, so I had to work on them with plaster, clay, wire, and plastic tubing to get them looking more presentable. Actually “presentable” might not be the right word, but I had to make them fit for moulding and then recreating that mould into a food-safe version for chocolate heart production. I wish I could say I got it right the first time. I wish I could say I got it right the third time. The truth is that I don’t recall how many attempts I made. At least four.