February 28, 2017
Brussels was fun! Here is an account of my visit to the Belgian capital for the judging.
As the Eurostar pulled out of Brussels Midi station I reflected back on four packed days in Belgium’s capital. I had been judging the Belgian round of The International Chocolate Awards 2017, the first heat of the year. 2016 was an exceptional year for the Awards, with record numbers of chocolate makers, chocolatiers and products entered. And boy were there wonderful things among them! [caption id="attachment_3428" align="alignnone" width="480"] As well as chocolate, there are waffles everywhere...Read more »
January 27, 2017
A chance to get your hands on seriously exclusive chocolates!
I hope you are all well, that you have had a good start to 2017. Forgive me if I repeat myself, but it is my job to remind you of the annual Chocs for Chance auction - which goes live today! Chocs for Chance is an auction of absolutely exclusive chocolates, in aid of Galvin's Chance charity. Galvin's Chance truly changes lives, by giving disadvantaged young people opportunities to train for a career in the hospitality industry....Read more »
January 4, 2017
I hope you have all had a chocolate filled festive season. Here's to 2017!
Happy New Year all! So 2016 is over. Forgive my belated post; before posting I needed a moment to ruminate on a year that has been challenging in many ways. But there were some wonderful things about last year, despite all the rest of it. And as we say goodbye to a challenging year, and look to 2017, let's also look back at some small but lovely pleasures from the last twelve months. As usual I...Read more »
November 29, 2016
Here are my recommendations from the hugely tempting array of Christmas chocolates on offer.
No more head scratching needed, my Christmas chocolate shopping recommendations will leave everyone you have to buy for feeling loved and satiated. There is something for everyone, and each year I thrill to the deliciousness and ingenuity of all the chocolate creations to be had! But before we look at gifts for others, what about advent calendars! You don't have very long until the start of December, and there is no more surefire way to brighten...Read more »
October 31, 2016
An update on the busiest weeks of my chocolate year!
Boy oh boy, the last few weeks have been full of chocolate happenings! And it all came to a head during Chocolate Week and The Chocolate Show at Olympia (14th-16th October). Please forgive my delay in writing it all up for you, I've had a technical glitch on the blog, but all fine now, fingers crossed. Chocolate Week always sees delicious happenings up and down the country. And The Chocolate Show, now in its 4th year,...Read more »
September 27, 2016
It's only a short hop to the Gourmet Chocolate Festival in Hannover, and lots of award winning chocolates!
Friday the 16th September saw me on a plane to Hannover, Germany. I was on my way to the third, annual Gourmet Chocolate Festival, which ran from the 16th to 18th. The awards ceremony for the 2016 German/Austrian/Swiss heat of the International Chocolate Awards was to be held that evening within the festival, and I was doing the honours along with Michaela Schupp, German partner of the awards and dynamo behind the festival. [caption id="attachment_3229" align="alignnone"...Read more »
August 30, 2016
I took time to visit Chris Attewell in his shiny new chocolate den, and was amply rewarded!
For my last post I brought you an interview with one of the new band of micro-batch bean to bar chocolate makers that are excitingly growing in number in the UK. Equally exciting to me is discovering chocolatiers and pastry chefs with understanding and sensitivity, who recognise chocolate’s full potential and are making the most of it. One such chocolatier is Chris Attewell, founder of The Winchester Cocoa Company. Chris launched his business in October 2014,...Read more »
July 26, 2016
Bean to bar chocolate in Manchester! Here is my interview with the lovely Isobel from Dormouse Chocolates.
Last month I attended the level 1 and level 2 courses run by The Institute of Chocolate Tasting, the brainchild of Martin Christy, Monica Meschini and Maricel Presilla (founding partners of The International Chocolate Awards). These courses are now officially accredited and an exceptional way to gain knowledge, as well as qualifications, in chocolate. I will write about them fully in a future post. I reference them here as the experience showed me what an...Read more »
I am a food writer, with special interest in, and huge enthusiasm for, chocolate! This blog is where I get to tell you about all the wonderful tastes, events, and people I come across in the world of chocolate.Find out more »
Desert Island Chocolate
I ask the great and the good which chocolate they couldn’t possibly live without…
“I love the single origin, the Madifirolo, the one from Cocoa Barry. I love it for its fruity, passion fruit and citrus flavour.”
Chocolate Master, Bake Off Creme Winner
“Paul A Young’s Sea Salt Caramel. Could die happy.”
“Duffy’s Mayan Red of course. And there are a few others coming out this year with our beans. I really like Patrick Roger, of Paris, also. And Domori. And Åkesson, Marou, and a whole lot of others, many of the makers and growers are good friends too. Luckily, most of us are having a good time on our journey. After all, we are the good guys.”
Founder of Xoco Gourmet Cacao
Things I'm loving
This new tasting pack combines four of the most interesting and delicious bars around.
A punchy bar combines spice and smoke with a fruity A. Morin chocolate.
This is rich yet delicate, dark chocolate, walnut and orange heaven from Germany’s Clement Chococult.
- More Things I'm loving »