Friday, 28 October 2011

Coco Competition Results!

I have the results of the Coco chocolate competition! The standard was stunning and you'd clearly had lots of fun writing them. I chose a shortlist and then lovely Joanne Harris very kindly chose the three winners. Here's what she said:
Hi Nicola,
GREAT shortlist! I wanted to try all of them...
Reluctantly, I have to choose only three. They are as follows, equally and in numerical order: 2, 4 and the compelling (but quite creepy) 11.
Congratulations to everyone, and thanks for including me!
Lots of love,
The Eleven Shortlisted entries

1. Teenage daughter?
Pale, alabaster looks with just a hint of a blemish beneath the smooth surface. First impression is unadulterated, exquisite, sweetness. Abruptly, a mouth-melting, throat-tingling heat explodes from the velvet creaminess. Moments later, it is extinguished by the enduring embrace of innocuous sweetness but there is awareness now, of hidden depths. Sweet, feisty, unpredictable, addictive – white chocolate with chilli. (by Clare Donaldson)

2. (Joint winner) This bar will put a love spell over you this Halloween. A smooth and scrumptious salvation: Dark as a vampire's heart yet light as a haunting ghost, it's been conjured up for you to taste the best of Scotland. Ravished with blood red cherries this witches’ delight will please the tongue and intoxicate the tastebuds. Once bitten you shall be smitten. (Kate McPhillips Age 16)

3. Roses so red they would light a fire, the petals ground with star anise and a knowledge as ancient as chocolate itself; filaments of pure vanilla stretch out of the rose heart, through layers of the richest mousse and a sparkle of salt flower, to folds of voluptuous chocolate that clothe the whole in gleaming darkness. (by Julian Hill)

4. (Joint winner) Three violet creams nestled in a tiny box. The first conjures a memory, a tiny perfume bottle with a hand-painted violet, hidden somewhere safe. The second, the ghost of the delicate Parma violet I nurtured then forgot. The last I linger over, lost in the night we made violet-infused wine and promises we couldn’t keep.  (by Kirsten Colvin)

5. Organic handmade dark chocolate with a sniff of chilli and crackle of Black Sea salt. May be sucked, nibbled, licked or gargled. Best consumed in suburban harems or woman caves. Suggested musical accompaniment: Hot Chocolate (You Sexy Thing, Live 1976). To avoid blindness wear dark glasses. Hydrate with peat whisky. Bathing generally not permitted; floating imperative. (by Elizabeth Dunn)

6. This new flavour is divine. Infused with Shiraz and shot through with chilli, each bite is a whirlwind world tour, heat rising from an African Savannah yet as sexy and spicy as Spain, and all as the dark cocoa cream melts across your tongue like a yearning heart suffused with the perfect dream. Tantric chocolate, all pleasure, no guilt. (by Andrew James)

7. Chocoreekie
This chocolate is as dark as an Edinburgh close in winter and has just a hint of smoke. The addition of cocoa nibs makes it a craggy bite, but with a swirl of marmalade added for sweetness it will appeal to
every palate. Experience the essence of Scotland’s capital; taste Chocoreekie. (by Christine Howe)

The Regency
Dream of fabulously dark and luxuriously smooth bitter-sweet chocolate, spangled with praline and expertly folded over a cracknel base. Imagine this sumptuous partnership nestling in a toasted coconut quilt and delicately topped with a bud of cherry, honey and almond Florentine. Could this be too good to be true? We think not - Dreams become reality at Coco. (by Mike Jarman)

9. Mr Darcy Addiction
A darkly rich outer shell conceals a contradictory inner secret. It caresses your tongue and floods your senses. Warming, silky honey and strong notes of spicy ginger collide as they embrace the gorgeous, sensual temptation of fragrant, succulent mango. 

And just like Mr. Darcy, once experienced, nothing else will ever come close.

You are addicted.  (by Catherine Kemp)

10. You versus the torte
Your silver fork slides into slick crumb like a scythe into a wet peat bank. Sugar-grit and the lurking bitterness of dark chocolate fill your mouth and sing the tastebuds electric. You force the nerve-punching bliss into a polite smile - but in your patent leather shoes, under the linen tablecloth, toes curl.

Sweet defeat.  (by Dayspring MacLeod)

11. (Joint winner) Salome 85% revenge chocolate is a perfect male head, hidden in edible gold foil. Lick lightly first. Dissolve. Bite the face, spill blueberry syrup, then catch real cranberry pieces tart on the tongue. The skull collapses and secret bones of white chocolate lie within. Finally, around its neck, a tiny bottle of rose petal wine to wash away the guilt. (by Julia Bohanna)

Huge congratulations to all the shortlisted writers and especially the three winners! Please always remember that a judgement like this ends up being a) difficult and b) hugely personal choice. ALL these writers and many of the non-shortlisted writers displayed great skills and imagination. It's also worth saying that my own choice of three winners would not have been entirely the same, though it also wouldn't have been entirely different. Well, OK, one of them would have been the same, but I'm not saying which...

I wonder if you noticed that one of the winners was only 16? I asked Joanne to judge all the entries regardless of age, and I pointed out that I was going to commend 16-year-old Kate's writing very highly anyway, but Joanna has put her amongst the winners, fair and square. Kate is a pupil from a school near Edinburgh. Fabulous writing!

Could the three winners please email their UK addresses to, for the attention of Kristina? 

Thanks again, everyone. It created lots of interest for the gloriousness that is Coco of Bruntsfield and I ended up buying several bars myself and not regretting it even a tiny bit! It was clearly a popular topic and it was obvious how much you all enjoyed writing your entries. Honestly, the standard was uniformly excellent.


JO said...

These are wonderful - congratulations all.

Julia Bohanna said...

Firstly, how wonderful to see such a young writer with enviable flair. May it encourage her to write more and more.

I am chuffed to be on the winners' podium. Mine is slightly more creepy than I remember writing. Motivated sadly by real life events - it shows us all that even the ugly twists in life can provide material for writers. It is a comfort and lets us vent!

Well done everyone.


Neal... said...

A marvelous selection box. Not an evil orange cream among them.

I thought number 4 particularly stood out and was a really worthy winner.

Sally Zigmond said...

Brilliant short-list, even more brilliant winners. (I was particularly impressed with the youngest writer. I prophesy a great writing future.)

Now, I think I'd better smother my envy by wallowing in chocolate. Not that I need an excuse.

Catt said...

Heck, some bloody fab entries!

womagwriter said...

God I'm hungry now. Fab entries, all!

Joy said...

Wowser!! Fantastic entries -- I want to try them all!!!!! *drool* Congratulations to the winners :D And special congrats to Kate McPhillips, what talent!

Debi said...

Fabulous! And I know some of the winners. (I know some very clever people.)