All About Fine Chocolate by Cat Black

  • An Interview with Frank Homann of Xoco

    May 5, 2015

    The inspiring and determined fine flavour cacao champion sheds some light on the state of the world's cocoa farming.

    Frank Homann in the field.

    At The Chocolate Festival at the end of last year I was talking to Xoco founder Frank Homann, about the future of cacao and in particular fine flavour varieties. As always I found him passionate and eloquent about this little understood resource. He has made it his life’s work to try and identify and nurture fine and heritage cacao varieties, and provide them direct to chocolate makers. The results of his labour is now to...

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  • Rococo Chocolates – The Tasting Menu

    April 21, 2015

    If you needed any further reason to make Rococo your home from home, their new tasting menu is it!

    Rococo Tasting Menu

    At the back of that chocolate lovers paradise, Rococo Chocolates boutique on Motcomb street, is a small but perfectly formed café. It is the ideal excuse to stay longer, to contemplate your potential purchases, to breathe in the oh-so-tempting air. It is a lovely spot, if the weather is fine enough you can bask in the quirky beauty of the MaRococo secret garden, if not you can still enjoy the view of it from the...

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  • Easter Chocolate – 2015

    March 24, 2015

    What a well informed bunny will be delivering this Easter Sunday.

    Winchester Cocoa Company eggs

    Easter is almost upon us, and this year it is going to be an eggstravagansa!! (Forgive me). The finest chocolatiers in the land have been whipping up a veritable egg storm of truly delicious things for you. Or rather for the Easter bunny to gather and send in your direction. Just make sure the bunny gets a good look at your conveniently placed computer screen, open to this page. You don't want substandard Easter offerings. There are...

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  • A chocolate dessert pilgrimage with Andrew Blas at Hotel Cafe Royal.

    March 10, 2015

    Chocolate dessert research, it's a tough job.....

    The finished dessert. Profile 66 showcased to perfection!

    There isn’t really a downside to being invited into a top pastry kitchen and being fed chocolate dessert. But when that kitchen is that of Hotel Café Royal, the gloriously renovated centre of indulgence on London’s Regent Street, and when the chef is the warm and ebullient Andrew Blas, there are many upsides. Firstly, everything about this place feels like a treat. Of course not everyone gets to while away time in the louche decadence...

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  • The Big Chocolate Tea Party in aid of The Sick Children’s Trust

    February 24, 2015

    Block out the month of May in your diary! The Big Chocolate Tea Party needs you!

    edd paul sian, sign

    The setting was the glamorous Grosvenor House, the occasion a chocolate afternoon tea party hosted by Paul A Young and Sian Lloyd. What was not to like! It was indeed a heavenly afternoon of cakes and conversation. But the reason for the event, the message we were there to hear, has stayed with me far longer than the memory of those delicious freshly baked buttermilk scones slathered in clotted cream and Paul's salted caramel. And...

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  • Be My Valentine

    February 10, 2015

    A little round up of the chocolates you can send me if you want to win my heart.

    Paul A Young hamper

    I know we all have theme fatigue, but what is life without love, and what love doesn't thrive with the odd injection of a bit of frippery. Of course, for me chocolate is always a serious business, and I am not suggesting you go for anything other than the best. However, if you know that your beloved will prefer the unadulterated, the purer statement, then have a look at the selection I collaborated on in FOUR...

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  • Chocs4Chance – A uniquely worthwhile Valentines chocolate auction.

    January 26, 2015

    The bidding is open as a cast of culinary heavyweights have created special chocolates to auction for Galvin’s Chance.

    Chocs4Chance goodies

    In the divinely louche surroundings of Galvin at Windows restaurant, perched above London, with breathtaking views on all sides, a culinary dream team are getting serious. When the likes of Chris Galvin, Jose Pizarro, Paul A Young, Eric Lanlard, Duck & Waffle and The Hand & Flowers are gathered together I start to get very excited. When they are all directing their energies, along with another sixty odd top UK chefs, towards making chocolates, you...

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  • Alain Ducasse – Le Chocolat-Manufacture

    January 13, 2015

    In the heart of Paris a culinary giant is taking full control of his chocolate with bean to bar production.

    Doorway

    Entering into Le Chocolat-Manufacture de Alain Ducasse is to enter into a very special world indeed. A bean to bar chocolate maker in central Paris, where sacks of beans, their roasting, winnowing, conch, tempering and subsequent creation into a sublime range of bars, pralines and filled chocolates, is all on site. It is topped off by a boutique where the public can come and buy. Alain Ducasse’s many restaurants are supplied, as are the chocolates...

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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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