Almond Board of California launches masterclass series

The Almond Board of California (ABC) has launched its Almond Butter and Chocolate Masterclass series, in collaboration with the renowned Ecole Chocolat Professional School of Chocolate Arts. This partnership aims to offer a unique educational experience, providing valuable insights and practical skills related to formulations, flavours, and texture considerations in confectionery.

The Almond Butter and Chocolate Masterclass series is led by master chocolatiers Isabel Garcia Nevett, Michelle Novosel, and T Lawrence-Simon. Their expertise will reveal how almond butter can be the ideal inclusion in chocolate products, sharing essential knowledge for creating delectable confections.

ABC and Ecole Chocolat have joined forces to inspire innovation with almond butter and chocolate, leveraging the expertise of these master chocolatiers. Ecole Chocolat is dedicated to elevating the craft of chocolate making by offering comprehensive education and support to aspiring chocolatiers and chocolate entrepreneurs. The series features Isabel Garcia Nevett, a Venezuelan chocolatier with over a decade of experience and co-owner of Garcia Nevett Chocolatier de Miami; Michelle Novosel, co-owner and executive chocolatier of Pizzelles Confections and an instructor at Ecole Chocolat; and T Lawrence-Simon, a chocolatier and pastry chef, owner of Cirque du Souffle and an Ecole Chocolat instructor, who has also appeared on various cooking competitions.

“Almond butter has the potential to elevate chocolate creations to new heights,” said Harbinder Maan, associate director of trade and marketing stewardship at the Almond Board of California. “Our hope is that this masterclass series will inspire food professionals to explore the possibilities of incorporating almond butter into their confections, resulting in delicious chocolate products. Given the various flavour profiles and textures you can create with almond butter, the possibilities are endless.”

Alysha Kropf, programme and marketing director at Ecole Chocolat, added, “Working with chocolate brings a world of creativity and exciting innovations, and adding almond butter to the mix only elevates the flavour and texture potential because of its versatility. We’re eager to see how this masterclass inspires chocolatiers and pastry chefs to expand their imagination when it comes to developing confections.”

Adding almond butter to chocolate products offers a variety of benefits, including enhanced flavour, captivating textures, and nutritional value. According to Innova Market Insights, the top product attribute influencing consumers when buying chocolate products is taste and flavour (59%). Furthermore, nearly one in four consumers globally are inclined to experiment with flavours in chocolate and chocolate confectionery. The masterclass will showcase how each chef applies these consumer preferences in their creations, ranging from a vegan pink peppercorn almond butter chocolate bar to a modern lighter black forest cake tarte.

Almond butter, with its fairly neutral taste, can be made with roasted or unroasted almonds, making it an ideal foundation for experimenting with various flavours. Its customizable texture, whether creamy or crunchy, adds richness and depth to confections, offering a delicious contrast to the sweetness of chocolate. The combination of these two exceptional ingredients appeals to the growing trend of healthy indulgence that consumers seek in their chocolate products. Almond butter can replace creaminess in vegan-friendly chocolates, serving as an excellent plant-based solution for chocolatiers to develop confections suited to different lifestyles. Almonds provide a well-rounded nutrient package, including fibre, protein, essential fatty acids, polyphenols, and antioxidant vitamin E, offering numerous health benefits.


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Hannah Larvin
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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