Truffles from Ika Chocolate.
(photo credit: PR)
You sprinkle it on pizza, pita and humous, but would you ever try zaatar with your chocolate? One Israeli company has taken that unlikely combination all the way to victory at the world final of this year’s International Chocolate Awards in London.
Ika Chocolate, a three-year-old boutique confectionery headquartered in Tel Aviv, took a rare joint gold medal with Denmark’s wild blueberry chocolate in the “flavored dark ganaches and truffles” section of the competition.
The win, announced Sunday evening, couldn’t have been too much of a surprise for Israeli-born and French-trained chocolatier Ika Cohen, since the zaatar truffle also took gold at the European semifinals in May. Cohen’s lemon praline bonbon was also a semi-finalist at the competition in 2012, and her Earl Grey-infused chocolate got a silver in the semifinals.
The three-year old awards are “set up to recognize excellence in fine quality chocolate from around the world,” according to the awards’ site, and boast more than 950 submissions for this year’s competition.
Posting a link to the announcement on Facebook on Monday, Cohen wrote “I guess this is our gold year!” Though Cohen has a degree in marine biology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, she turned to chocolate making after traveling around the South Pacific and sampling a wide variety of confections, kindling her love and passion for chocolate.
Despite her big wins, Cohen is certainly not resting on her laurels, as she launched a new line of pralines several months ago in collaboration with the well-known French chocolatier Gilles Marchal.
The new and exotic (and kosher) flavors include passion fruit and black pepper; salty caramel; pistachio marzipan; and honey with praline waffle chips.