The ScotHot Hospitality and Tourism Exhibition is held every 2 years at the Glasgow SECC.
Part of the event is the Scottish Culinary Championships, where competitors from all over Scotland and beyond compete in a variety of classes. 'Live Theatre' has chefs cooking up delicious and creative dishes under the watchful eye of the judges, the 'Skills Arena' has competitors show their knowledge and skills of food preparation, and the 'Culinary Art' area has intricate and delicious displays of work, such as chocolate show pieces, sugarwork, petit fours, works in chocolate (filled chocolates), decorated cakes and afternoon tea items.
I decided last year that at the top of my wishlist was to win medals for my filled chocolates! After having such a great win at ScotHot in 2015 for my Chocolate Showpiece, I was keen to get back and enjoy the buzz and atmosphere at ScotHot.
I started planning in November last year, and took a long while deciding on which flavour combinations I wanted to create, which single origin and plantation chocolate I wanted to pair the flavours with, and which techniques I was keen to use to make them.....and all this twice over since I had decided to enter the same class twice! The class required me to present 6 identical chocolates of 6 different flavours for each entry.
The classes are judged on a points system, so medals are only awarded when the entries meet very high standards.
My final flavours were:
GOLD WINNING and Best in class
Tangy lulo fruit and cardamom infused ganache, encased in extra creamy 34% white couverture
Scottish Highland Heather Honey and Lavender infused ganache encased in Arriba 39% origin couverture.
Pink Grapefruit and fresh basil infused ganache, encased in fruity noted Mexican 66% origin couverture.
Scottish grown smoked jalapeño chilli ganache (chipotle) encased in an olive oil noted Venezuelan 72% origin couverture.
Pecan nut and maple caramel, (set on a maple gianduja base), hand dipped in caramel noted Java 32% origin couverture.
Perthshire Raspberry pâte de fruit, layered with tonka bean ganache and handipped in red fruit noted Sâo Thomé 70% origin couverture
Scottish rhubarb ganache, laced with Chambord and encased in creamy white 34% white chocolate couverture.
Caramelised banana and hazelnut praline ganache encased in caramel noted Ghanaian 40% origin couverture.
Santo Domingo 70% origin couverture encasing a mousse of the same.
Fresh rosemary infused Papua New Guinea 35% origin couverture encasing a smoked sea salt ganache.
Passion fruit ganache layered with roasted vanilla butter ganache, hand dipped in Alto El Sol Plantation (Peru) 65% couverture.
Apricot pâte de fruit layered with coriander spice ganache and hand dipped in fruity Tanzanian 70% origin couverture.
As always, this type of event is hugely inspiring, and it exhibits well the passion, effort, dedication and energy that goes in to catering. It was also good to keep up to date with all the innovative products available and meet the faces behind many businesses!