In 2019, when we set out to create the 'Legend' by Ashford Castle in partnership with Valrhona, it was very important to us that the chocolate we created would pair very well with ingredients we forage on the estate. During the development, we tasted the different cocoa beans with the pine oil being our predominant foraged Ingredient on the estate.
This week the 'pine tips' are just perfect to harvest. There are always three tips, we only pick one tip from each branch. It is important that we forage sustainably, allowing the tree to grow and flourish. We also only pick on a sunny morning when the aroma is at its best, never after rain. We then infuse the tips in rapeseed oil for six months to best capture the aroma.
The chocolates we have created are using the oil from 2019. We have carefully created a ganache filling with the oil and our 'Legend' chocolate. The aroma is delicate and refined with notes of citrus pairing with our legend chocolate. During this time we are developing recipes for our guests to enjoy when we reopen.