All About Fine Chocolate by Cat Black

  • Barry Johnson, UK and Ireland Chocolate Master, creates his Or Noir competition chocolate

    October 25, 2018

    I hopped on the Eurostar to help reigning UK Chocolate Master Barry as he prepares for next week's World Chocolate Masters bid.

    Barry Johnson outside Cacao Barry Or Noir lab

    Good friend: “Would you come to Paris for the day with me to taste chocolate?” My answer: Well, what do you think my answer was! In this instance the good friend was none other than Barry Johnson, current reigning UK and Ireland Chocolate Master. And the trip had to do with his bid for the World Chocolate Masters title. The World Chocolate Masters, a competition that pits the regional masters from 20 countries against one another,...

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  • Fifth Dimension – a British chocolatier worth discovering.

    September 25, 2018

    Fifth Dimension's Albert & Russell answer my questions about how they make their wonderful chocolates and what inspires them.


    Fifth Dimension, multi award-winning British chocolatiers, create beautiful things. They use fresh well sourced and created flavours in their ganaches, and well matched fine couverture. Their diverse, sometimes surprising, but always interesting flavours, represent the eclectic well-travelled tastes of Albert Chau and Russell Pullan, collectively the brains and talent behind a brand well worth seeking out. I managed to grab a moment of their precious time to answer my questions. Albert and Russell, I have been...

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  • My Top Ten of 2017

    January 9, 2018

    What stood out for me last year?

    Ta daa!

    Happy New Year all! I hope 2018 has begun well for you, and that you are sufficiently far away from the excesses of Christmas to have regained a bit of appetite. You will be hungry after reading my list of the best of 2017. It was tough year globally, but a fine year for chocolate creativity. Perhaps the two are linked. I am sure we need the comfort and joy of chocolate more than ever. So...

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  • A seasonal chocolate roundup.

    December 6, 2017

    Chocolate news and recommendations for your Christmas shopping.

    1 Chococo Bauble

    It has been an exceptional year for chocolate. My top ten of the year will be posted in a few weeks, and never has it been harder to choose. At this time, I usually post a Christmas shopping guide. And that is what this post is, mostly. But I also wanted to let you know what has been happening during the 2017 chocolate season. Plus, as a little early Christmas present, I'm including a wonderful...

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  • Knoops of Rye – masterful hot chocolate

    October 31, 2017

    The nights are drawing in. You know you need hot chocolate!

    Knoops of Rye

    Over the past couple of years the name Knoops has been mentioned to me multiple times, commanding attention thanks to the hushed and reverential tones in which it was spoken. Down in Kent, where I live, and neighbouring East Sussex, where Knoops is located, this hot chocolate bar has been causing a happy kind of stir. When conversations turn to chocolate, which I find they often do, ‘Knoops’ is uttered like a prize secret. But...

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  • Zart Pralinen – Austria’s award winning bean to bar chocolate maker

    October 3, 2017

    Bringing you the very best in exciting new chocolate!

    Zart Pralinen bars

    I am not much of a traveller, preferring to keep my feet on the ground, and sleep in my own bed. I know, how dull! But even I can turn travel-hound when chocolate calls. And especially when I have a chance to meet, and taste the creations of, new and exciting makers. At last year's Hannover Chocolate Festival I met, and fell for the charms of, the wonderful Zart Pralinen. Partners in life, love of...

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  • Andrew Gravett’s Afternoon Tea at The Langham Hotel, London

    September 5, 2017

    There is a new captain at the helm of this fine afternoon tea spot. I went to investigate.

    Cake stand

    It is the beginning of September. There is no getting away from the fact that the holidays are over, and we begin the inexorable slide into colder, darker days. I say embrace it! And the way to do so is enjoy the city, enjoy the season of parties, treats and feasts. In that spirit there is no better time to take afternoon tea. With dark afternoons we want to feast earlier, and we want the...

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  • Mastering Chocolate – Mark Tilling

    July 4, 2017

    Here is my review of chocolate supremo Mark Tilling’s new book.


    There are recipe books aplenty hitting the shelves, but when a new one launches by Mark Tilling, entitled Mastering Chocolate, I prick up my ears. Mark has serious chocolate pedigree, as you will know if you read my account of attending one of his famous classes. He is a two time UK Chocolate Master, two time competitor at The World Chocolate Masters, ranking 7th on his second attempt, at the time the highest ever UK ranking....

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Cat Black

Cat BlackI 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.

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