Chocolate Unwrapped 2012

There seems to be an increase in the number of national weeks; Curry Week, Bramley Apple Week, and  Spa Week, to name a few. Not that I’m complaining, especially when it involves chocolate, a whole week of it in fact. Chocolate Week hosted a whole range of events across the UK including Chocolate Unwrapped, a chocolate exhibition showcasing over 60 chocolatiers and food brands.  The event was held on the 13th and 14th October at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden.

I arrived just after midday on Sunday, where I was instantly greeted by the smell of chocolate. I worked my way around the venue, visiting each and every stand to talk with owners about their products and if I was lucky enough, to sample some too.Chocolate Unwrapped included a whole range of exhibitors; from international chocolatiers to bespoke London bakers. Iain Burnett’s decorative chocolates first caught my eye. The luxury highland chocolatier recently designed chocolates for the Queen, in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee. Equally as attractive, Lauden’s chocolate selection were decorated in a similar style and I was lucky enough to pick up some to review (watch this space!).Creighton’s took a usual approach to their display, with chocolate moulded burgers, full English breakfast and even a set of false teeth! The flavours of their chocolate slabs are just as unique with one flavour incorporating bacon! I sampled both ‘Makin’ Bacon’ and ‘Peanut Nutter’ which were both surprisingly delicious. Luckily the bacon flavour was subtle which made it work.Continuing with the unusual flavours, Paul A Young presented his Marmite and Bakewell Tart truffles, along with his chocolate brownies which can be found in Fortnum and Mason as well as his London stores. Dorset-based chocolatier, Chococo showcased their new Goats Cheese and Rhubarb Truffles which will feature in my upcoming review of unusual flavours. Also featuring in this post is international chocolatier Daskalidès whose chocolate contained mascarpone yoghurt.

Many of the individual chocolate flavours were inspired by autumn, with Rococo presenting their new autumn range which includes Spiced Apple truffles and Walnut with Stilton Truffles. Auberge du Chocolate continued this trend with their Rhubarb Truffles which were beautifully decorated. I also came across the first blonde chocolate from Valrhona Dulcey which tasted a little like Caramac.Chocolate Unwrapped was the perfect place to pick up a gift. Damian Allsop’s ‘Eat London’ range is inspired by a different region of London. I sampled the Grosvenor’s Square Bar, home of the American Embassy. The combination of flavours includes lemon, cinnamon and white chocolate to resemble something tasting similar to Coco-Cola. These gift boxes can be found online and in Liberty’s, London.Unusual flavours put aside, this season’s most popular flavour is no other than sea salt. This ingredient could be found at every stand, whether incorporated into a chocolate slab like those by Duffy’s Red Star, mixed with caramel as in Demarquette’s Cornish Sea Salt Truffles or made into Artisan du Chocolat’s new Salted Caramel biscuits. The lovely lady from Betty’s provided samples of their luxurious champagne truffles which are infused with real Moet! I wish they had bought their infamous ‘Fat Rascals’ with them down from Yorkshire. All is not lost as they can be ordered online here.Chocolate Unwrapped was far more than just chocolate. I spoke to Lucky’s and La Sagra about their unique miniature desserts, both of which will feature in an upcoming review. Everyone had their own take on chocolate. The fantastic scent coming from Pistachio Rose’s stand was a result of their tarts and chocolate naan bread which incorporates traditional flavours used in everyday Indian cooking with chocolate.

Not only did I get to eat chocolate, I got to drink chocolate. I learnt that Sir Hans Sloane was the first to bring drinking chocolate to the UK in the form of beans which enables you to choose it’s consistency. The Fudge Kitchen’sdrinking fudge comes in liquid sachets, to eliminate the powdery substance you sometimes get at the bottom of your mug. Their fudge kindly gave my taste buds something different to the hordes of chocolate they received that day. I could talk about Chocolate Unwrapped as long as I spent eating chocolate that day.I was most relieved to find that Hotel Chocolat’s, Roast & Conch had taken over the venue’s café, where I took a well-deserved rest writing up my notes on the sofa.  Roast and Conch served a whole host of savoury food and drink including vegetable curry and garlic mash. I purchased half a chicken baguette reasonably priced at £1.50. As with everything Roast and Conch serve, the baguette had a subtle hint of sweetness to it, found in the cocoa-infused satay paste. You can visit their café in Covent Garden which was recently opened. Apparently, they do an amazing hot chocolate!Apart from chocolate tasting, there was plenty to do at Chocolate Unwrapped. The agenda was filled with chocolate demonstrations from The Boy Who Bakes, chocolate talks from Thorntons, even the announcement of the Chocolate Week Dessert of The Year winner. A number of artisan chocolatiers created chocolate sculptures which were dotted around the venue. You could easily spend a whole day taking in all Chocolate Unwrapped had to offer. Sadly, I have to wait a whole year for the return of Chocolate Week. Many of the exhibitors are returning to London to take part in Christmas Shows including Taste of Christmas (7th– 9th Dec), Country Living Christmas Fair (7th Nov – 11th Nov) and the Real Food Christmas Market (14th – 23rd Dec). Not only that, Southbank’s Chocolate Festival is returning on the 16th and 17th of December.  This is a must visit for all chocolate lovers.

Putting chocolate aside, I’d like to say a big thank you to the organisers of Chocolate Unwrapped, including Nudge PR and finally, to all the lovely exhibitors who made this fantastic event possible.

Living life, loving cake,

H x

5 Comment

  1. […] first came across La Sagra when I was researching the exhibitors at this year’s Chocolate Unwrapped, a London-based chocolate show hosted as part of National Chocolate Week.  Influenced by the fine […]

  2. […] and stick to their belief that “it’s all about the chocolate”. I first came across them at Chocolate Unwrapped where I was kindly given a small box of mixed chocolates. Lauden decorative chocolates are neatly […]

  3. […] unique and ever changing flavours including Black Pudding truffle and Pumpkin Pie which I saw at Chocolate Unwrapped. My mum and I have passed Paul A Young’s shop in Wardour Street, Soho several times but have […]

  4. […] some of the other chocolate festivals I have attended in London, namely the Salon Du Chocolat and Chocolate Unwrapped, this was a fairly low-key event but no doubt a success for North South Feast West. There’s […]

  5. […] attending previous food shows such as Taste of Christmas and Chocolate Unwrapped I had forgotten to sign up for any of the activities or demonstrations on offer. Determined not to […]

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