One Israeli gourmet chocolatier is reinventing the world’s most popular delicacy, and her latest creation just won the gold medal at London’s International Chocolate Awards.
Ika Cohen (of Ika Chocolate) started out as a marine biologist, but decided to pursue her love of sweet things in Paris where she studied under two of the world’s most renowned chocolatiers. After her return to Israel, Ika opened her own store in 2011 and has since won multiple international awards for her innovative desserts. Her lemon praline bonbon and Earl Grey tea infused chocolate both impressed the judges at the 2012 International Chocolate Awards.
This year, Ika won the gold medal with a new masterpiece: the Za’atar flavored truffle. Za’atar is a common Middle Eastern spice made from ground thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds, salt, and sumac. The pungent green powder is a surprising choice for a chocolate treat, but clearly the judges loved the idea.
Ika’s chocolates are extremely popular with her customers as well, as evidenced by her website. Of 21 desert packages offered for sale on her homepage, only one is not sold out at the time of this article. If you want to place an order, her prices range from 12 shekels for two pralines up to 336 shekels for a jumbo assortment of 56 pralines, and everything in between. In American dollars, that’s approximately $4-$112.