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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

WCA in Chocolate heaven


The Worshipful Company of Actuaries held a ‘Chocolate actuaries’ event on 29 November, another chance to share in the Master’s passions. So ensued an evening of fine chocolate, accompanied by well-matched wines.

The Master’s favourite chocolatier, William Curley, talked through the chocolate-making process from bean-to-bar. Cocoa pods and cocoa beans were passed around to tales of the Aztec King Montezuma drinking 50 cacao drinks a day. However, times have moved on and, unlike the Aztec’s rules, ladies are now permitted to participate in the enjoyment of cocoa products! 

The tastings progressed from cocoa nibs through to various chocolate blends created by William Curley’s preferred bean-to-bar artisan, Amedei, noting how the species of cacao tree and growing location affect the taste characteristics of the end product. William explained how certain events had changed the course of chocolate, leading to the product loved today – for example, Fry developing the first ever ‘bar’ of chocolate and Lindt’s conching process.

Onto the live action and William demonstrated the creation of two flavoured ganaches – a fresh cream and mint creation and a richer, dairy-free variety of dark chocolate and raspberry purée. He then progressed onto the star creation – a perfect sea-salt caramel. 

Attendees enjoyed a chocolate buffet of William Curley’s chocolates, including pairings such as delicate juniper and lavender, subtle heather and honey, as well as an unusual rosemary and olive oil creation. William finished with an insight into his career, starting with an apprenticeship at Gleneagles Hotel, right up to his numerous accolades, including four-times winner of ‘Britain’s Best Chocolatier by The Academy of Chocolate’ and ‘Master of Culinary Arts’.

William Curley’s chocolates can be purchased at Harrods.