I grew up with chocolate. It was always there. There was a ‘secret’ drawer which was refilled weekly and often at a night time the whole family would get to choose a bar! So, chocolate was there! Always. I knew everything about chocolate – the adverts, the ingredients, the calories, even which coloured foil held which flavour chocolate in an assortment!
Then, horror of horrors… I became intolerant to dairy… then so did my son! So we made the simple decision and switched to dairy free chocolate. This was in 2010 and at that time there wasn’t so much choice. It didn’t taste good. It was grainy, tasteless, chalky, gritty, melted in your hands or so sweet it was like eating a spoonful of sugar.
Still wanting to eat chocolate, and not wanting to be defeated, we started experimenting with our own recipes. We tried cacao from Peru, Indonesia, the Philippines and Côte d'Ivoire. We tried adding different sugars; different dairy free milks; different flavourings and then realised what a difficult job it was to create something which resembled dairy chocolate. So we stopped trying. We ate the odd dairy chocolate and suffered the consequences.
Then, at the beginning of 2015 I decided to start following a plant-based diet for health reasons, cutting out all animal products, refined sugars, processed foods and gluten overnight. I missed chocolate! I was certain that there must have been others in the same situation and it was then that I discovered raw chocolate. I forgot to tell you – I don’t like dark chocolate! I needed sweet creamy chocolate.
I found a recipe online for chocolate using cacao butter, agave syrup and cacao powder. It made chocolate and it was quick and simple, but it melted if not refrigerated and it had a bitter taste unless you used loads of sweetener. I missed chocolate (did I say that already)! The experiments began again and eventually we created a recipe we were happy with! We perfected and honed our recipe. The rest is history! People tried it. People liked it. So at the end of 2016 we decided to wrap it up and sell it! Our products are all handmade in our kitchen in Suffolk (UK), packaged and labelled by us, by hand.
Our chocolate is always raw (we never heat our products over 42 degrees centigrade) and are made using only the finest Arriba Nacional cacao from Ecuador.
Our name ‘Dakin Delights’ is self-explanatory in that ‘Delights’ are what we create! The ‘Dakin’ part? Well, it was my Dad who had always bought me chocolate, so it only seemed fair to use his name ‘Dakin’. Sadly my Dad is no longer with us (Feb 2018) but he loved Dakin Delights chocolate and was happy to have it named after him. Love you Dad. x