Scotland’s answer to Willy Wonka is ready for Christmas

SCOTLAND’S own Willy Wonka, chocolatier and pastry chef Jack Coghill, is gearing up to unveil his latest collection of holiday desserts.

With an incredible 4000 plus luxury, handmade chocolates sold last year, Jack is continuing his sweet success with the launch of his new signature 2023 festive chocolates selection.

Chocolatier, pastry chef, and all-round head chef, he is the ‘Jack’ in Jack O’ Bryans Bar & Kitchen in Dunfermline, Fife.

Jack Coghill
Jack Coghill

Jack was trained as a pastry chef by one of the country’s finest, Mark Tilling, winner of BBC’S Bake off Creme de la Crème, and a two time winner of the UK Chocolate Masters.

Coghill is successfully combining his love of artisan chocolates with covering every section of the very busy and successful restaurant which he runs with dad Bryan.

All of the freshly prepared desserts at Jack ‘O’ Bryans have been devised by Jack, with one of the most popular choices proving to be his Sticky Toffee, a take on the classic pudding.

It consists of a sticky toffee choux bun, instead of the usual sponge, combined with date & treacle cream, Scottish tablet, clotted cream ice cream, candied pecans & toffee sauce. 

Jack’s latest festive dessert creation, only available in December, is his version of a Black Forrest Gateau.

It is a Callebaut chocolate & cherry mousse cake, with vanilla chantilly, fresh black cherry, morello cherry sweet, his own honey yogurt ice cream and fresh winter black truffle.

His handmade chocolates can be purchased in the restaurant, with customers choosing their own selections from a glass cabinet on the bar.

A choice of four or six of Jack’s handmade chocolates is combined with tea, coffee, or hot chocolate to round off a meal at Jack O’ Bryans in style.

Continuing to attend the country’s top chocolate courses on a regular basis, Jack is always widening his knowledge of the latest types of chocolate.

His latest training was at the Callebaut chocolate academy and factory in Banbury Oxfordshire.

He said: “I’ve very much enjoying spending three days with Julie Sharp, Clare England and Mark Tiling, all of whom are Chocolate Artisan experts at Callebaut.

“The knowledge and skillset of everything to do with chocolate that they possess is absolutely mind blowing.

“It’s such an honour and a pleasure to learn from the best in the industry. It was a fantastic three days, as I love to keep learning.

“I really enjoy the precision and skill required in creating delicate desserts and intricate chocolates. It is challenging for sure.

“You need plenty time to prepare ahead as a busy service can be hot and loud, pastry needs cool hands and a cool head! It is all about accuracy – it’s a science really.

“I love to receive customers feedback though, hearing what they think of my chocolates and desserts.”

An aim for Jack now is to emulate Mark’s TV success and break into programmes and live demos. 

Planning for the festive season signature chocolates begins in September, as he gets ahead of the game buy devising new combinations and sourcing ingredients.

He said: “We are delighted to have sold 4000 chocolates last year and it would be great to boost that figure for 2023.”

Featuring in Jack’s 2023 Festive Collection are rum & raisin, cherry cognac, cinnamon, Bailey’s hot chocolate, after dinner mint and the Dulce de Leche.

“Christmas is a time for being with family and friends, along with being a time for reflection.

“It’s also a time to celebrate with a sprinkling of indulgence, and there can be no better indulgence than chocolate and dessert.”