When my friend Emily introduced me to the hugely talented chocolatier and pâtissier, Kala King, back in February this year, little did I know that it would lead to the three of us spending a sunny Saturday in Kala’s workshop kitchen learning what a Mango Entremet is and then actually making one!
Kala King is the founder of Kala King Artisan Chocolate & Pastry and what she doesn’t know about either isn’t worth knowing! Working from her developmental kitchen in Hutton-le-Hole, a chocolate box village in the heart of the stunning North York Moors National Park, Kala works with clients all over the UK to bring their chocolate and patisserie dreams to life. She also runs a variety of successful chocolate and dessert workshops.
From weddings and birthday celebrations, to corporate events and dinner parties, Kala puts her heart and soul into everything she makes. Choose from exquisite hand-made chocolates, melt in the mouth éclairs, squishy, sticky brownies and chocolate centrepieces that your guests will be talking about forever.
And Kala uses only the very best quality, ethically-sourced ingredients, many of which are also sourced from local farmers and producers. No problem if you’re vegetarian or vegan either since Kala has perfected a whole host of delicious sweet treats you’ll never guess are dairy, egg and often gluten free.
So, back to that sunny Saturday. Arriving at Kala’s home, this is the scene I was greeted with. When I grow up, I want to live in a house like this!
Kala and Em, and baby E, Em’s daughter were already hard at work on the intricate Mango Entremet recipe. “What’s an entremet?” I had to ask. Well, it’s a ‘multi-layered mousse-based cake with a variety of complementary flavours and textures’, a bit of a step-up from the blueberry muffins and New York-baked cheesecake that I’m used to making!
Freshly-brewed coffee in hand, I did my best not to look fazed, rolled up my shirt sleeves and got stuck in. It was fascinating to watch Kala at work and understand the many different processes that go into making this type of dessert – it was like being in an episode of Masterchef – The Professionals. Cue Greg Wallace!
Huge hazelnuts roasted in a pan, added to a caramel then blitzed in a food processor to craft a nutty paste to make the first layer of the entremet. Cooking up a mango syrup and adding double cream to create a zingy, moreish mango mousse. Peeling and slicing fresh mangoes (yey, I was quite good at that bit!). Baking a perfectly light and airy Genoise sponge, and much more. Then, finally, building the entremet using a metal ring (phew!) to hold everything together until set.
I make it sound quite simple. It really wasn’t and I would never have attempted such a dessert on my own in my kitchen. However, having Kala right there to explain all the processes and then demonstrate them with such ease and passion was a fantastic experience – I loved every minute.
In the middle of all this, Kala also served up a homemade lamb tagine, rustled up a huge fresh salad with avocado and pomegranate seeds AND made Em and I a tiramisu dessert each. She really is a superwoman!
Time flies when you’re having fun and that is certainly the case in Kala’s kitchen. Almost six hours after I arrived, the entremet was setting in the fridge and Kala, Em and I had discussed a million different things and had the best girlie day I’ve had for ages. I’d also convinced baby E that there was a T-Rex roaming around the village and we kept having to nip outside to see if we could spot it…
If you love chocolate, desserts and patisserie, you have to take part in one of Kala’s workshops one day. Put in on your bucket list. Go with friends, surprise your mum for her birthday, make it a hen-do activity, reward your work colleagues for winning that big contract or simply make it part of a weekend away in this stunning part of the world with your partner or best friend. I promise you won’t regret. In fact, you’ll want to return again and again. So, what are we making next time Kala?