I got back late from the Brighton Chocolate Festival last night - darn rail replacement buses! - and just didn't have the wherewithal to write this then.
Today is the first day of Chocolate Week! So here are some things to tempt you...
1. Galia of The Choc Chick launched her first ready-to-eat products at the festival. Little bags of cacao nibbles: chocolate-covered puffed quinoa or dehydrated plantain. They were delicious. The kids loved them and the former have 50% less sugar than Maltesers. The plaintain ones, I think, have one third less than Dairy Milk.
2. Vegan bean-to-bar makers Solkiki have a new bar with CBD oil. It's surprisingly delicious, slightly herby. I still think their peanut coffee white chocolate is one of the most interesting bars I've tried.
3. I was really impressed by Goldfinch who are new(ish) bean-to-bar makers. Their Indian origin tasted so much like lemon sherbert!
4. I finally met WellBean, another vegan bean-to-bar maker. They were selling a "snickers" bar that was cakey and delicious. They support Mental Health projects and charities too, which is awesome.
5. 5th Dimension have a new filled chocolate called Siem Reap, it's based on Cambodian curry and contains lemongrass, ginger, galangal and more. It's entirely with white chocolate and so amazingly well-balanced. It totally deserved its Gold Award in the International Chocolate Awards British round this year.
6. Luisa's Chocolates were on the stand next to us selling chocolates with their bean-to-bar Solomon Islands chocolate. The fillings - caramels and truffles - were also vegan. It makes such a difference when good quality chocolate is used.
7. Eponine have also created a range of vegan chocolates with a secret method of making the ganache where you really can't tell its just fruit purees and water. Their passionfruit is super zingy and delightful. I bought more but haven't tried them yet! In the picture below is their non-vegan vanilla, just to give you an idea of how pretty they are!
I just realised 6 of the 7 in this list are vegan! Strange. I also ate a vegan pizza on Sunday from The Flour Pot and had a vegan dinner at Terre A Terre on Saturday night. I had non-vegan croissants for breakfast though (there was a vegan one at Flour Pot but I decided against it).
My friend Henrietta has opened a year-long residency at The Yard Arm in Leyton. I had porridge on opening day and it was delightful.
This weekend is the Canopy Market Chocolate Festival. It's also free! I'm not exhibiting but I will be popping down.