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Balham Chocolatier Is In The World's Top Ten!

Balham Chocolatier Is In The World's Top Ten!

A Balham-based pastry chef and chocolatier has come in the Top 10 in the world’s biggest chocolate competition and judged to have made the world’s best travel cake.

Having won the UK Chocolate Master title back in October 2017, Byrne Road resident Barry Johnson, represented the UK in competing against 19 other international competitors from across the world for the prestigious World Chocolate Master title, takes place in Paris every three years.

Barry came eighth in the overall competition which was a chocolate heptathlon comprised of seven chocolate elements run over three days. However, his chocolate, orange and coriander battenburg travel cake was judged to be the best cake in its category.

In preparation for the UK competition, Barry used a lot of hydroponically-grown (without soil) ingredients, having drawn inspiration from the Growing Underground organic farm beneath Clapham. Although Barry didn’t use the produce from here, it motivated him to devise the gluten-free cake which showcased the innovative use of sustainable British ingredients grown in urban areas.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

**UPDATE: BEST TRAVEL CAKE WITH 79 points🥇** • • WORLD CHOCOLATE MASTERS TRAVEL CAKE: Chocolate, orange and coriander battenburg • • A Zephyr caramel, orange and coriander sponge and a dark chocolate sponge, surrounding a dark chocolate orange and coriander ganache and bitter orange jelly. All encased in a quinoa gianduja and cocoa nib and almond marzipan. • • I designed my cake as a hexagonal tube: the hexagon is represented throughout all my creations as I consider it to be the shape of the future. It’s an efficient and strong form which new cities should take advantage of in their future design. • • I based my cake on a classically British cake called a Battenberg. It dates from the 19th Century and was traditionally designed to resemble a pink and white chequerboard. • • The cake is gluten free catering for the growing number of people who cut out this food group, but taste and texture are not compromised. • • I wanted to showcase British ingredients, and particularly those grown in urban areas. The coriander cress is grown using hydroponics, which is a growing system which doesn’t require soil and uses nutrient rich water to grow fresh produce in small spaces. Perfect for cities! • • I also wanted to show innovative use of British grown produce. The quinoa which is usually used in savoury dishes, gives a satisfying crunch and is grown on a farm in Suffolk. Trying to incorporate more locally grown ingredients means that the carbon footprint of the recipe is less and promotes a more sustainable food production culture and less reliance on imported products. • • The cake comes with several hexagonal shaped chocolate disks which the slices of cake can be served on. The disks can also be placed on the ends of the cake to prevent it from becoming dry when being transported or stored. • • The packaging is made from recycled coffee cups and is completely recyclable ♻️ • • Huge thanks to @debuyerfrance for helping with the mould • • #travelcake #gateauxdevoyage #glutenfree @worldchocolatemasters #worldchocolatemasters #wcmfutropolis #chocolatierofinstagram #shapeofthefuture

A post shared by Barry Johnson (@choc_barry) on

Barry told us...."to compete in the World Finals was an amazing experience. The level of expertise shown by all the contestants was breathtaking, in particular that of the deserved winner from Switzerland, Elias Läderach. I was delighted with a Top 10 finish and winning the travel cake element was a special moment, especially because of the great feedback from the judges as to my focus on sustainable produce and being mindful of food intolerances.”

Barry has been in the catering sector for the last 20 years, ever since he studied it at college and began to specialise in pastry very early on. Having worked at many great establishments over the years, Barry now lectures at the National Bakery School at London South Bank University and has his own chocolate consultancy – The Cocoa Lab. As well as continuing to inspire the next generation of pastry chefs and chocolatiers. Barry’s aim is to distribute his winning travel cake into retailers and grow his consultancy, using what he learned in the competition to help his business stand apart from the rest.

Having lived just down the road in Clapham South, Barry moved in with his now fiancé in Balham three and a half years ago. “I love the vibe of the area and in particular the fantastic small independent businesses in the town. That is something that I’m a huge supporter of, especially as I embark on the next stage of my career and growing my own venture.”

Congratulations Barry, we look forward to the next chapter! You can follow Barry on Instagram and also find out more on about The Cocoa Lab on the website.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

WORLD CHOCOLATE MASTERS SHOWPIECE: Grobot & The Hexopolis • • My showpiece represents the future of growing fresh produce in cities of the Futropolis! • • I see artificially intelligent robots traveling the city tending to fruit and vegetables. • • The city landscape should be designed with growing in mind. Roofs, underground spaces community gardens and even buses should be used to grow food which could then be used in hospitals, schools, restaurants and domestic kitchens across the city. • • The friendly robots will water, provide extra light, plant seedlings and harvest fresh ingredients, helping to make cities less reliant on imported produce and reducing the food miles on our ingredients. Future cities need to become kinder to the environment and make better use of their natural resources. • • With food growing in every corner, city dwellers will become more connected with where their food comes from and communities will be more united as they grow and share food with support from the crew of robot gardeners. • • On my showpiece fruit and vegetables are growing in hexagonal tubes. Strong and efficient, the hexagon will be the foundation stone of future cities. The hexagon is the shape of the future! 🤖🌱 • • #futropolis #wcmfutropolis #worldchocolatemasters #grobot #robbietherobot #pastrychef #chocolatier

A post shared by Barry Johnson (@choc_barry) on

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