Selective Focus: Heidi Ash

This week’s Selective Focus subject is our most delicious one yet. Heidi Ash has made chocolate her medium of choice.

H.A.: My goal is to make life more beautiful and delicious one truffle at a time. I work with French chocolate, hand-made caramel sauces, and the best ingredients possible. What gets left out is just as important: preservatives, corn syrup and RBST from the whipping cream and butter.

185Chocolat is a culmination of passions. The 185 represents the number of my heart transplant at the Mayo Clinic, which not only saved my life but altered the quality of it for the better in ways I could not imagine.

Raspberry Silk Heart and Irish Caramel in back

Raspberry Silk Heart and Irish Caramel in back

From the beginning 185Chocolat has always been more than Truffles. I appreciate that people are willing to share their life stories with me. It has been a gift I was not anticipating and am grateful.

The business began because … well, it’s chocolates and just knew I could create beautiful truffles without the preservatives. In 2007 I bought a home tempering machine and started creating recipes. Started with a few pounds of chocolate and that grew into the grand adventure it is now.

I’m currently renting space in the How Sweet it Is Bakery at 207 W. Superior St. in Downtown Duluth.

Truffle assortment and gift boxes

Truffle assortment and gift boxes

Flavoring chocolate and playing with desserts started years before buying the tempering machine. I’ve lways been a fan of desserts. Legally — as in a legal kitchen, real wholesaler, licensed and insured — 185Chocolat, LLC started April 2008.

Hand-painting Mini Hearts

Hand-painting Mini Hearts

Time can be a challenge. Truffles and sauces are all made by me, and like most hand-made items they are labor intensive. Some of the truffles take three days to make. For example, raspberry silk gets painted with colored cocoa butter which then sets overnight before the tempered chocolate goes in to form the shell. This has to cool before I fill it with raspberry ganache. It is cooled, a bottom goes on. Chill, preferably overnight … and then release put in a pretty paper cup to be enjoyed. Repeat with another flavor.

Rewards completely outweigh the challenges.

– The joy of meeting new people and knowing that something I create will make their event, celebration, wedding, or “happy birthday” more special thrills me.

– Love the look on people’s faces at tastings. Talking about the flavors and the look. We eat with all of our senses and I want to honor that, especially with truffles.

– Knowing that as a company owner I have always given back from the beginning.

Truffle Walk (Luscious Lemon)

Truffle Walk (Luscious Lemon)
Facebook: 185Chocolat
Instagram: 185Chocolat

My work is ephemeral so it will never hang in a gallery, but I often do events. One that is coming up:

Ladies Night Out
March 23 5 to 9 p.m.
Cambria Gallery
400 S. Broadway
Rochester, MN 55904

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