Chocolate Week - Salon Du Chocolat London!

Hi guys! Apologies, blog fail these last two weeks - it has been SO busy! Anyway, back on it now and lots to update you on!

We have just got back from a long weekend holiday in London, where we got up to all sorts of things, but one key part was attending Salon Du Chocolat for its first visit to London. 14th-20th October 2013 was Chocolate Week, and various establishments took part in the event by creating chocolate cocktails, running chocolate moulding lessons and chocolate tours. The big finale of the week is Salon Du Chocolat, which is the world's largest chocolate show, and it's clear why. The three-day event took place at Olympia National Hall in Kensington, London. On the Friday, there was a gala evening which even included a fashion show, where the dresses were made of chocolate (no, I don't know how they didn't melt either...)! We joined for the Sunday and got to take part in tastings, listen and watch demonstrations (including learning about the chocolate techniques used at The Fat Duck, Heston Blumenthal's restaurant - crazy, impressive stuff!) and also got lucky enough to take part in a free L'Atelier des Chefs artisan chocolate-making class. Below are a range of photos from our fab day out - if you can make it anywhere else in the world or in London next year, then definitely do. If nothing else, you get to munch on SO many delicious samples at all the stands..! Chocaholics UNITE.

Exhibition Theatre Stage Pre-Demos

So keen for the tasting!! Ours was with Toot Sweets, from Shropshire - we tried white chocolates with lavender, dark chocolates with cardamom and deep, smooth cocoa truffles. So interesting hearing how smaller artisan chocolatiers run their businesses and develop new ideas too.

Toot Sweets' outfit for the Gala Fashion Show

Gorgeous shift dress style by Mark Tilling with amazing detail


Thought this crown was the best piece in the show - autumnal and strong and covered in edible shimmer.

Yes. Chocolate Shoes. 

Every time I look at this nougat, the caramel dripping off the edge makes me drool. Tasted amazing, too. Traditional and from Provence.

They were enormous!

These Lauden chocolates blew my mind. I had to buy some. They have pure fruit in the middle and it's so intense. The green stripy ones are passionfruit and it's tangy and so so delicious. Best flavours we had at the whole exhibition I would have to say.

Absolutely amazing chocolate artistry - hard to believe these are all edible!

Fleur de Sel had some beautiful pieces on their stand - stunning cakes and the skull & antlers look crazily realistic.

The Fleur de Sel dark chocolate cake - so delicate!

A bath of chocolate. There are no words. 

Apologies for the poor quality - Chantelle & Barry from Rococo did a brilliant demo of how to make caramel, passionfruit & rosemary chocolates - and we got to taste them too (below!).

Hideko Kawa, executive pastry chef of the Fat Duck restaurant, and Heston's bezzie pal. She drew enormous crowds and was genius. Perhaps not the most expert presenter/public speaker but created utter magic and we were all whooping and cheering by the end! We were shown hard boiled eggs on nests, which were incredible triple layer chocolate shells sprayed with flecks to look completely realistic, filled with verjus, vanilla pannacotta and something with coffee too then laid on a nest made of biscuit, orange marmalade jelly, candied orange peel and various other things I can't even remember..! 

Tasters of the eggs - so realistic and the flavours all together were incredible.

Nouvelle Cuisine = Liquid Nitrogen! Girl got to go up and crack the eggshell. Little did she know she would also get asked to blow out the candle, AND THEN EAT THE EDIBLE CANDLE! 

And then the icing on the cake - you could also eat the plate! So impressive.

The next Fat Duck trick was edible Queen of Hearts playing cards. Wafer thin layers of white chocolate, biscuit and raspberry tart flavoured jam served  in a paper envelope, with a chocolate wax seal. The detail was beyond words.

We finished off the day with a fab free artisan chocolate making class with L'Atelier Des Chefs. We made moulded chocolates with rum & raisin ganache or salted caramel inside. Great tutoring and made everything look very easy - as it turns out, getting a good layer of chocolate shell in the mould is a nightmare! Mine were too thin so came out of the mould as a sticky mess in the end. 

Still completely delicious, even off a spoon... #sorrynotsorry!


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