Since its foundation a decade ago, the Academy of Chocolate has been at the forefront of the single estate artisan chocolate revolution. From day one, its founders have been committed to recognising high quality, ethically sourced chocolate from around the world.
Now taking place for the eighth time, the Academy of Chocolate Awards is one of the most highly anticipated events of the chocolate year. The results were released in May 2016 to much fanfare, and we were delighted to see many of our makers receiving much deserved recognition.
Among the dark chocolate bars that were recognised were Akesson’s Madagascar 75% Criollo and Bali 75% Trinitario Cacao bars. Amedeii’s Porcelana bar was awardsd a Gold, as were Dick Taylor’s 72% Madagascar Sambirano bar and Duffy’s Guatemala Rio Dulce 70% bar.
Askinosie’s 72% Mababu, Tanzania Dark Chocolate Bar was also recognised by the judges, as were Duffy’s Honduras Indio Rojo 72% and Marou’s Treasure Island bar. We were so pleased to see that relative newcomer Metiisto’s Madagascar 72% and Nicaragua 70% bars were both awarded a Silver medal in the dark chocolate class.
Elsewhere, Dick Taylor’s 76% Ecuador, Camino Verde and 72% Belize, Toledo dark chocolate bars were recognised, as was Lucocoa’s 70% Dominican Republic and Zotter’s Labooko Colombia 75% bars.
At the Academy, dark chocolate bars with an intensity of 80% and above are quite literally in a league of their own. Amongst those awarded gold were Akesson’s for its 100% Madagascan bar, and Pump St Bakery for its 85% Ecuadorian bar. Elsewhere, Chocolat Madagascar’s Organic 100% and Hoja Verde’s 80% Esmeraldas were also recognised.
In the milk chocolate class, several dark milk chocolate bars took home awards. It has been fascinating to see the rise of this particularly intense type of milk chocolate – normally over 50% cocoa content – where the chocolate takes its sweetness more from the milk powder included than from added sugar. Duffy’s Honduras Mayan Milk 61% was awarded a Silver award, as were Metiisto’s Madagascar dark milk 56% and Honduras dark milk 60% bars.
The Flavoured Chocolate categories judge both flavoured bars, and those which use cocoa nibs as an inclusion. Akesson’s bars with Pink, Wild and Black peppers were all recognised in this category. We were pleased to see that Chocolat Madagascar’s Dark Chocolate Bar with Cocoa Nibs was a winner here, and we were delighted for Dom that his Damson Cafe Brasil bar – made in partnership with NOTES coffee – was also recognised.
To honour some of the outstanding makers in the world of chocolate at the moment, we’ve brought together a collection of four delicious and diverse chocolate bars, each of which was a winner at the 2016 ceremony. You can buy this collection for a very limited time only here…