Posts Tagged ‘Artisan du Chocolat’

The Chocolate Festival – Christmas Treats!

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Bah! Humbug! I so nearly didn’t go to the conveniently timed pre christmas Chocolate Festival in London this year… but I am so glad I did. There is such a great selection of stalls and the festival is just full of quality chocolate goods and fun ideas for Christmas presents. I had been gauging how busy it was via my Twitter feed and thought it would be too much of a pain to battle my way through the crowds as this Festival seems to be an example of being spoilt by success. Maybe they will get more space next year based on just how popular an event this has become.  Fortunately I did manage to find a quiet time on the Sunday – I am not saying when exactly as that might spoil it for me next year.

As it was quieter I was able to chat with probably one of the busiest and well known Chocolatiers in the business Paul A Young.  Pauls session in the Chocolate Cookery Theatre was on Saturday so I was very surprised to spot him manning the stand on the Sunday, he was there just prior to making a tour of his London shops – it’s a hard life being a Chocolatier!  We spoke about the success of the festival and he told me that Saturday had been the busiest day that the festival had ever had. One of the reasons I think that this festival works so well is that it provides access to both new innovations and to some of the UKs world class Chocolatiers.  William Curley also had a stand and Duffy’s were there too, however I couldn’t get near their stand as it was busy even during the quiet time!

I tried a few samples as I worked my way around the stalls -  the highlights were Paul Wayne Gregory’s stand where they were pushing his new salted caramel flavour lollipops, a divine idea and Artisain du Chocolat where I tried their honeycomb and gingerbread chocolates, which are a tasty new seasonal addition.

Another stand that caught my eye was the rather glamorous looking Herzog one, showcasing Chocolatier Pâtissier Sven Herzogs wares. I was also rather impressed by the Chocmotif stand. I like the idea of chocolate greetings cards and they have a great selection, just think off all the paper Christmas cards you throw out after Christmas, isn’t eating them a much better idea?

Yes, Christmas is definitely a great time for Chocolate and like the Chocmotif cards, it’s not just for Christmas.

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Easter Chocolate Festival @ Southbank Centre – Hot Chocolate!

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

It’s Easter (well almost), so chocolate indulgence is a compulsory activity. Who needs boring shop bought Easter Eggs when you have the Chocolate Festival at the Southbank Centre.

The sun was out in force today but not enough to melt the chocolate fortunately.   As you would expect there was lots of Easter Eggs on display.  I photographed some of the prettiest ones and the largest one too, which apparently gets broken up and recycled after the event! – Chocolate is just so versatile ;)

This festival is growing but it’s not as large or as well attended yet as Chocolate Unwrapped.  The live chocolate themed demonstrations were free today. However they were very busy and it was definitely too hot to sit in a marquee, so I focused on the stalls outside.  Interesting ones included Miki’s a very artistic chocolate company who produce handcrafted Japanese inspired fair-trade organic chocolates. They make a lot of their own moulds, including Kamen (mask) shaped ones (photographed above).  Another stand I was drawn to was the Alice in Wonderland inspired Lucky’s -  I could not resist the Humpty Dumpty eggs, with creamy filing in the shell. I bought a couple of the chestnut puree ones,  hopefully I can keep Humpty safe until Easter.

Artisan du chocolat were there too, they had English Breakfast Eggs on display – white, dark and milk chocolate eggs flavoured with bacon, mushrooms and tomato. I was a bit dubious and would have liked to have tried them, but alas there were no samples. I did however try their fresh Moroccan Mint chocolates instead which were excellent.

Chocolate inspired drinks were also available at Chocy Woccy’s.  Snickers, Mars and Bounty milkshakes and some delicious sounding cocktails too, made with a lovely selection of ingredients, like Chilli, Mint, Vodka, Bailey’s, Rum, Butterscotch, Schnapps, Coffee liquor and Chocolate.

Another interesting find was the Cafe On stall which had a wonderful range of Loretta Liu’s macarons. They really had their act together using a small portable fridge to keep the macarons cool.  So okay, macarons are not chocolate but I was glad they were part of the festival.  I bought a few and will update this post later with my thoughts on them.  Timeout included them in its list of Londons best Macarons and put them in the illustrious company of Ladurée and Pierre Hermé, so I am really looking forward to trying them out.

:) HAPPY EASTER from No Expert :)

 

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UPDATE : Macaron Tasting – I finished off the Loretta Liu macarons today. They were all light, sweet and chewy. The Mango flavoured one I enjoyed the most. I found the Green Tea one was too strong and the Cointreau Vanilla one too subtle. I had trouble recognising the flavours for the remaining ones.  One of the Pink ones, which I believe was the Lychee Martini, was overly sweet. I guess you find the flavours you like and stick to them. Cafe On certainly have enough flavours to choose from. For my palette based on a selection of 5 macarons, I would give them 6 out 10. I still prefer Ladurée though, but they are double the price.