New York City
Member Since 2011
Name: Håkan Mårtensson, Chocolatier
Location: New York City
Product: The Four Elements chocolates
“I like to twist ideas,” says chocolatier Håkan Mårtensson, whose creations can be tasted at New York City’s three Fika cafés. A case in point: His Four Elements chocolates, which are inspired by earth, wind, fire and water. From the Tabasco-tinged Fire to the sea salt-kissed Water, they’re a genuine taste sensation.
What inspired you to create the Four Elements Chocolates?
I’m always thinking about new ideas and ways to create a new experience. When I get a good idea, I try to develop it and figure out how I can make it. After that it’s all about trying to create it.
How were the chocolates made?
Once I had the idea, I started to write recipes for all of the elements. After this I tried to get the design right—i.e., what they should look like. When the recipes and the designs were ready, I started to produce the whole series. I hand-painted the shells, molded the praline shells, and made the truffles and caramel. Then I filled up the shells up and let them sit. Finally, I closed the pralines—it takes three days to make one praline.
What was the big aha! You had while creating this product:
It probably was when I got the tastes right. And how the Tabasco in the Fire chocolate really crawls down the throat.
What do you love about what you do?
The more I learn about my profession, the more interesting it becomes for me. There is always a new area to learn about. That’s why I love chocolate.
How would you sum up your aesthetic/design philosophy?
When we are talking about pralines, I want it to be eye teasing. Round smooth shapes, different kinds of techniques. The philosophy is that I want it to look like it belongs in a jewelry boutique. When I work with chocolate sculptures, I’m more into the fairytales, magical stories and a dark sense of humor.
What are you working on next?
My next project is to create a dinosaur egg out of chocolate, fill it up with small pralines, shaped as eggs, and fill them with a ganache made from duck and quail eggs. Easter is coming up, so it’s eggs, eggs, eggs.
What would you like to do other than your current occupation?
I don’t see my job as a job, I see it as my hobby, my passion. But if I should choose another one, I would be a fishing guide. Fishing is my other passion.