It has been a hectic couple of weeks at Cacao Art Chocolates! But now I have finally sat down to write a new blogpost, so it better be a good one…
And it is: we are official finalists of the 2013 International Chocolate Awards, Americas Round! This is very exciting news and we’re almost inordinately proud. Here’s the story on how we entered.
Cacao Art follow several different blogs and Twitter accounts about chocolate and chocolatiers, of course, and try to keep up-to-date with all chocolate news. That is how we first read about the International Chocolate Awards. These awards are fairly new, but they have attracted a lot of attention from chocolatiers and chocolate experts worldwide. Chocolates El Rey, the bean-to-bar manufacturer we love and use every day, won last year for their creamy and sweet white chocolate bar. We congratulated them at the time in this post.
So, in a moment of nervous inspiration, we decided to throw our name in the ring. We went through our selection of chocolates and decided on the Gingerbread and Honey Cardamom bonbons as the best contenders, the first one for its warm, inviting notes and the second for its trendiness and sophistication. We set to work in making this particular batch of bonbons as perfect as possible. The tempering was focused and precise, the ganaches were painstakingly calibrated, the decorations ceremoniously done atop each individual bonbon. We used gorgeous organic Tupelo Honey from Florida for a hint of distinction and upped the spices to really make them pop.
The results: creamy, flavorful centers with a thin casing that were picture ready. We packed them in a big box with lots of insulation and sent them on their way.
Now we had to wait. But the digitalized, hyper-sharing, social media world we now inhabit gave us a glimpse of the judging process. People involved with the Awards tweeted and commented on the chocolates they sampled and we learned some new things (like the fact that judges some times eat unseasoned creamy polenta to cleanse their palates between tastes). Of course, judges don’t know who made the chocolates they were tasting, but it was fun to see pictures and think: “hey, maybe that was ours!”.
Although we tried not to get our hopes up (there were some 400 entries in the competition, after all), we were still thinking about our little bonbons out there on their own in the big bad world. So, we followed the news and finally got the call: we’re finalists! They haven’t told us yet if we are up for a Grand Jury award, but for our first time as competitors, we’re feeling pretty good right about now. *collective Cacao Art pat on the back*