We went through to the kitchen for the chocolate demonstration, leaving the long table in the warehouse covered in an excitement of homemade chocolate offerings. The demonstration was technical with so many helpful tips, in the presence of this great expertise it was humbling to think that anyone would want to try the chocolate ideas I had brought along. While we watched and sampled, back in the warehouse the judges were busy tasting and deciding. And then it was time for the results of the challenge, there was a hush as Lucas Hollweg announced the winners in reverse order. In third place was candy cane mint bark from Jude at A Trifle Rushed using her own recipe. Second was a White Chocolate, Campari, Cherry and Orange Loaf from Laura at How to Cook Good Food with a Chantal Coady recipe, his description of the sophisticated balance of flavours was intriguing. When he announced the winner, it was me with my Bay Truffles, a novel experience and I couldn’t have been more surprised, it was thrilling realising my creation had been selected!
With a chocolate master class as my prize, I am looking forward to starting the new year learning to tame chocolate. And don’t think the excitement stopped there, so we can create more chocolate makes we were all given a selection of Rococo chocolates along with a signed copy of Chantal Coadys book Mastering the Art of Chocolate, a beautifully designed book, with wonderful detail. Dipping into it I can see there’s a deep seam of thoughtful creativity running through it. More than a catalogue of recipes, filled with insight and anecdotes, it promises to be an engaging read. I want to throw everything up, stop right now and settle down with it in front of the fire to read it cover to cover. But with all this Christmas preparation going on now isn’t the time. I‘ve promised myself, during the holiday break, I will indulge in a long session immersed between its pages, I cant wait.
And of course there was the gift swap, such a treat to come away with homemade chocolate delights. My booty was a chocolate salami from runner up Selina Periampillai and a bag of Warming Spice Cookies from Pigling Bland. The next day, taking them to a friends to share was a delicious way to kick start the Christmas season.