Academy of Chocolate names gold winners for its artisan filled category

Judging for the 2021 Academy of Chocolate Awards within its filled product category has continued despite the ongoing pandemic, with entries featuring Indian, Japanese and Thai flavours shared prominence with Nordic, East European and Georgian accents, emerged with honours, writes Neill Barston.

As the organisation explained, the selected panel appraising the broad range of global entries praised innovative flavour-melding alongside playful interplay of textures, matched by technical excellence that produced a diverse array of novel entrants – not least amongst the top scoring Bonbons.

Nostalgic flavours also played their part, with interpretations of Sherry Trifle, Black Forest and Lemon Cheesecake delighting the Judges. Salted caramels remained ever-popular but with smoke, spice and the minerality of basalt salt all featuring.

La Carambole Patisserie from the Netherlands scooped three gold awards, a gold for US-based Goodnow Farms Chocolate in the bean to bar seasoned category. Fellow American business Castronovo Chocolate also gained a further gold for its Sierra Nevada Colombian Dark Milk 63% bar series and ‘Lost City’ Honduras Dark Milk with sea salt (in the milk bean to bar flavoured category (company founder Denise Castronovo pictured front row, centre, alongside previous winners from the last pre-pandemic live awards held in 2019), which followed on from the company’s major success in previous awards from the academy.

There were an additional four highest accolades gained by UK based chocolate makers, including Pump Street Chocolate for its Rye Crumb, milk and sea salt 60% offering, Manchester’s Dormouse Chocolates in the dark bean to bar under 90% category, and the Winchester Cocoa Company for its lemon and rosemary entry. A complete list of winners across each category can be seen here.

Chantal Coady, chair, Academy of Chocolate, said: “It is heartening and inspiring to see the quality and standard of the chocolate this year, despite the challenges we have all faced. “Whilst the global pandemic may have slowed many activities, the era of Covid has in no way restricted invention and creative spirit.”

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