Amelia’s Magazine | The Chocolate Festival at the SouthBank Centre, April 2011

Chocolate Festival
The Chocolate Festival logo, remedy on a fairtrade bag, approved get in.

I do so love to discover something by accident. This evening I went to meet my boyfriend at the SouthBank Centre for some dinner after a long day grafting over a sewing machine at a quilting class at the Papered Parlour (blog to follow) and chanced upon The Chocolate Festival. Logo: a chocolate dipped strawberry. Times are tough my friend, especially when the weather is delightful and there are free tasters at hand.

Chocolate Festival-053
Oreo Cupcakes by My Sweet Tooth Factory

Naturally I had to do the rounds whilst I waited for the boyf to turn up, and I had to sample a taster… or two. With Easter just around the corner I thought it would be nice to do a round up in case you fancy splashing out on something rather more special than your common chain store egg… all of these artisanal chocolatiers make wonderful Easter gifts.

Chocolate Festival-Cocouture
Chocolate Festival Cocouture marshmallows.

First up I sampled a marshmallow with a difference for 50p courtesy of CoCouture (geddit?) Clever indeed.

Chocolate Festival
Dunno who these are by, but aren’t they cute? Potentially Lick the Spoon?

Chocolate Festival-Artisan du Chocolat
Artisan du Chocolat egg.

Then I was woo-ed by the amazing salted caramel and passion fruit chocolates over at Artisan du Chocolat. Some £13 for a box of 24, they were generously giving away samples… which were utterly divine.

Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Rococo Chocolates

I have been given a box of drinking chocolate from Rococo Chocolates in the past, but I had no idea just how far their beautiful packaging extends. A selection of unusually flavoured chocolate bars feature packaging inspired by the Moroccan tiles in a garden behind one of their shops. And for Easter they are doing real hen’s eggs filled with praline. Very special.

Chocolate Festival-Chocolution cocoa beans
Chocolution cocoa beans

Chocolution was busy proving that raw chocolate is every bit as desirable as the cooked stuff, with a bowl of stunningly beautiful (and edible, I tried one) cocoa beans, a terracotta orange colour with an interior a beautiful shade of deep purple.

Chocolate Festival-Chocolution raw chocolate
Chocolution raw chocolate

Prettiest chocolates came courtesy of Italian chocolatiers Baruzzo, who like many others use a fine cocoa transfer designs to top them off with colourful designs. In the end I opted to buy some chocolates for my brother’s 30th birthday from William Curley, even though I got immediately sugar high off the muscavado caramel that I tried. I liked the sound of their other flavours, so I’m sure he won’t be disappointed.

Chocolate Festival-Charmaine Mok
Charmaine Mok macaroons

I’ve written about Charmaine Mok before, when I sampled her outstanding sesame macaroons at Cakes for Japan, and here she was represented I got rather confused (see below) thinking that here she was represented by the Asian/French fusion Cafe On. In fact it was chef Loretta Liu and her team who were responsible for all sorts of intriguing flavours ranging from blueberry to pink champagne and everything in between. Do check them out online!

Chocolate Festival-Cocoapod
Chocolate Festival-Cocoapod
Chocolate Festival-Cocoapod
Cocoapod goodies

Kent based Cocoapod had an extremely colourful stall full of orange and lemon and caramel naturally flavoured chocolate lollies and drops and fun transfer bookmarks… which tasted as good as they looked.

Chocolate Festival-The Big Yum
Chocolate pretzels from The Big Yum

Last but very much not least I bought a big bag of chocolate pretzels from The Big Yum – I was disappointed when Nestle discontinued theirs, so this was a real find (and a bargain at £4 a big bag)

The Chocolate Festival continues tomorrow, and there’s a packed line up of speakers to listen to as well. What the hell are you waiting for?! There is this and so much more… More info for chocolate lovers here.

Categories ,Artisan du Chocolat, ,Baruzzo, ,Cafe On, ,Charmaine Mok, ,chocolate, ,Chocolution, ,Cocoapod, ,CoCouture, ,Easter, ,Lick the Spoon, ,Loretta Liu, ,Moroccan, ,My Sweet Tooth Factory, ,Papered Parlour, ,Raw Chocolate, ,Southbank centre, ,The Big Yum, ,The Chocolate Festival, ,William Curley

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