Ooh La La Artisan Confectionery


Spend R 7 500, or more collectively, in one day, at any one of the stores in our duty free mall and claim a coffee and chocolate hamper to the value of R 700.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a 500g chocolate bar from Ooh La La Artisan Confectionary that can be claimed in the prize hamper bag together with the coffee brand Kenya (3 different flavours).

A winner of the Zonnebloem Product Award, Ooh La La is the result of Karen Schneid-Lieberman’s love affair with all things food! A member of the Johannesburg Bar, she served as an Advocate for 20 years, before she found her outlet in creativity, cooking and travelling. A lover of the French culture – to not accept anything but the best – Ooh La La uses only the finest products. Entirely natural, with no artificial flavours, preservatives or colourants, Karen goes the extra mile to source only the best! Her vanilla is sourced from Madagascar. Manufactured in the traditional artisanal methods, Ooh La La confections are available for purchase in 25 outlets, countrywide.

Savour delicacies like Calissons – a traditional French sweetmeat from Aix – en – Provence, made of candied fruit and ground almonds and topped with a layer of royal icing, nougat, pebbles and marshmallows. Other delicacies include Spanish Turrón, a sweet inspired by the traditional Turrón (hard, crunchy nougat) usually only available in Spain at Christmas time. Ooh La La’s Spanish Turrón is made with the finest South African orange blossom honey, real Madagascan vanilla beans (which are carefully scraped out of the pod) and an abundance of roasted almonds. This heavenly mixture is carefully held together by two layers of edible rice paper made in the original torta shape and best of all, is available all year round!

Ooh La La Artisan Confectionary has created a chocolate taste exclusively for our DutyFree’licious campaign; using one ton of chocolate and about 200 kilos of pecan nuts, sourced in South Africa. Travelers and their taste buds will be tantalised and excited by this superior quality chocolate, which is made from the best and freshest ingredients.

We caught up with Ooh La La chocolatier and owner Karen, and she took us through their process of creating the highest quality confectionery. A creation that is absolutely to die for:


Chocolate. There are few foods that people feel as passionate about — a passion that goes beyond a love for the “sweetness” of most candies or desserts. Tell us about your chocolate passion?

My passion for chocolate started because of my fascination with where chocolate comes from – I find the source of chocolate very interesting and fascinating. The entire process that is involved with making chocolate is a fascination. Meeting real chocolate connoisseurs also inspired me.

One of my mentors is a lady who is very well known – she is so eclectic! She owns a shop in Montmartre, Paris, France. She is known to be the best chocolate taster in the world and has a tiny shop in Montmarte, that sees international visitors descend with the hopes of getting their hands on one of her heavenly creations. She taught me, blindfolded, how to taste chocolate and have a real palate for chocolate. She was a huge inspiration behind my love of chocolate.

You source the finest quality ingredients locally in South Africa and all over the world. What are some of the interesting places you’ve had to get ingredients from?

My ingredients are sourced from all over the world; and my passion started from all my travels!

–          The best Melons in the world are sourced from Cavaillon – which is known for their Melon festival. But I have found a place in CT that has equally good quality and delicious melons, which we candy ourselves and is use in our Calissons.

–          Fleur de sel (flour of the salt) – which is used in my salted caramel and pebbles – is prized, hand-harvested sea salt, collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of large salt pans. Traditional French “fleur de sel” is collected off the coast of Brittany, most notably in the town of Guérande (called Fleur de Sel de Guérande), but also in Noirmoutier, Île de Ré and Camargue. Fleur de sel has a very delicate saltiness. I have very good friends that live in Brittany, and this is how I started making the salted caramel and pebbles.

–          Rose water is from Bulgaria – My sister in law is Bulgarian, so this is where the influence came from.

–          Licorice root and marshmallow root is sourced from markets in France

–          The Saffron is sourced from Spain

–          Pistachios are sourced from Sicily

–          The Mint, is from a little farm in France

Locally, our Orange blossom is considered the best in the world; along with our figs, sourced from the Karoo; we source Pecan nuts that are harvested on a monthly basis and used immediately, so they are very fresh – and you can taste the difference.


Which is your favourite sweet in the range? Take us through the manufacturing process?

I make what I LOVE and want to eat – I love them all but they are like children: impossible to choose a favourite. If I had to choose, however, it would definitely be the Calissons, because this is where Ooh la la and my passion for confectionery all began. I was absolutely obsessed with Calissons.


CalissonCalissons are a traditional French candy consisting of candied fruit (melons and oranges) and ground almonds topped with a thin layer of royal icing. Candied fruit can be bought from Apt, France but in South Africa you cannot buy candied fruit so we have to make it, and the process is very involved. We need to make the candied melons months before we start the Calissons process. Then candy the oranges, this is a much simpler process, then ground almonds together. Once these processes are done, we combine all the ingredients. Making each “Calissons” is a very delicate process and much love and passion goes into it.

I also love my violet marshmallow.


You’ve created this chocolate especially for our DutyFree’licious campaign. How did you go about creating this unique taste?

Pecan pebbles are one of my favourites! People often say they don’t like pecans, but there is a big difference between store bought pecans and fresh pecans and we only use the freshest!!

I wanted to combine chocolate with one of my favorite confectionary’s and it was magic – and blended together beautifully.


Can you share your secret ingredient(s) with us?

That’s simple – My secret ingredient is my absolute passion.

What are your plans for the business?

Ooh la la will soon have its own home where people can come and see how everything is made and, importantly, be able to taste all our delicate and delicious products. We are also planning on having an online store.


10572106_738799946161765_4596820853483187705_oWhat is the story behind your whimsical characters?

I wanted to create a different character for each product – I have always had a love for French history and stories. There is an artist in America who’s work I absolutely loved! No one in SA could get the cheekiness of my characters across and someone said – why don’t you ask this person to do it for you and so I decided to ask him – he was very excited to be part of my project. Each one of my characters has their own story based on a serious story, but with a whimsical twist.

“Marshmallows are the new macaron”… Light and fluffy, moist and incredibly full flavoured, your marshmallows are different. Tell us about this difference?

Our marshmallows are not anything like store bought marshmallows – ours are all natural made with real marshmallow root – it is not like anything anyone has ever tasted.

I’m not a sweets person, but I tasted your creations and I was instantly transported to a confections heaven. Unlike common sweets, yours is not too sweet; what is your secret?

You taste the flavor – not just the sugar, and that’s the difference! Sugar is overpowering. With us, you taste the flavor and it is not your regular sweetness – mostly sugared with honey and natural sugars and the flavours come out strongly. Most people haven’t tasted such good confectionary, but once they have, they are head over heels in love and can never go back to sugary confections. You are spoiled for life.


To the lucky travelers that will have a chance to taste your creations; what would you like them to know?

It has been so lovely to be part of the Airport Company South Africa’s promotion, because tourists can see a product that is inspired by the world, but 100% made in SA!! And of course be transported, around the world, without having to step on a plane.