Weekend Combo: London Chocolate Festival + bacon brownies

Today I finally visited the Chocolate Festival, at its last day in London. If you missed it, you might be able to visit the next one taking place in Bristol in the 7th and 8th April. More info here.

The London edition is usually held behind the Royal Festival Hall and it’s small but full of delightful treats and gift ideas, although I wish there were more basic ingredients available for sale. I was looking to buy some cocoa powder for my brownies and, after asking a few stalls of chocolatiers, I sadly resolved to get it from Sainsbury’s. Nonetheless it was a great source of inspiration [and let’s admit it, discouragement] to wonder around and sample the different products. I braved the tourists and photographed some of the stalls I found particularly striking.

Crumbs and Dolies supply cupcakes for occasions such as weddings and corporate events. Check out their blog for a gallery of stunning products like these Hunger Games cupcakes!

Crumbs and Doilies mini cupcakes

Sweet Tooth Factory displayed some of the most luscious homemade style cakes and mini cakes I have ever seen. I can only thank my solid willpower if I didn’t treat myself to a big slice of red velvet.

Sweet Tooth Factory

Outsider Tart had beautiful, huge whoopie pies alongisde with other delicious looking treats; but I was particularly struck by their setup, which in my opinion won them the award for the most stylish stall. They also have their own cookbook.

Outsider Tarts

I took some pictures of Burley Fudge, but my photography skills failed me and I don’t have anything decent to show you. Nonetheless their website is definitely worth a visit as the stall featured some fantastic homemade fudge.

Sir Hans Sloane and the award winning Paul A. Young both boasted beautifully packaged chocolate treats that would make a perfect gift.

Sir Hans Sloane Chocolate

Paul A. Young fine chocolates

Last but not least Chocolate and Love‘s stall, where I found the chocolate for my first attempt at bacon brownies. Their products are organic and fairly traded, and of great quality. I bought a dark 71% chocolate for my recipe, plus a delicious bar with cocoa nibs that will keep for the rainy days [provided that I can hide it from the boyfriend].

Chocolate and Love

Once home I put myself to work and tested a recipe that I found a while ago on Nigella’s website: bacon brownies. I have bought some really good quality streaky bacon that seemed to call for the unusual combination. I have to say: it works. The bacon could have been crispier, and the golden syrup more intense, but the combination does work. And the flavours seem to come out even more after the brownies have cooled down. It’s a recipe I definitely recommend.

Chocolate and Love

Nigella's bacon brownies