Tuesday, January 30, 2007

chocolate intensity

After several days of not having real chocolate (the closest I have had was the raw cacao I mentioned last week), I went along to a corporate tasting with Seventypercent last night. As one of the team I needed to try all the chocolate as the guests were (obviously!); oh, all right, I was desperate to eat good chocolate. I think, though, that my tolerance levels went down during my abstinence. I don't think I tried more than two pieces of each of the ten delights we were sampling, which normally is easily done, yet somehow the chocolate high was totally overwhelming. In a delicious, delirious way, of course. It's 3.50pm and I haven't felt l'chocolat calling me back yet. Which is lucky because I deliberately left it all at home. I am getting very keen to try out some new recipes soon though. I imagine I will have no shortage of guinea pigs. Steve and Martin mentioned they sell Chuao and other great brands by the kilo. Hmmm... I think it's time to go shopping!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Chocolate high without the sugar...

Well, I had some salmon last night at Yo Sushi, but have still not (knowingly!) eaten wheat, dairy or refined sugar.

On Thursday I found creative ways to get a chocolate hit, avoiding the chocolate in my cupboard. It's quality stuff and is much lower in sugar than anything you would buy in a supermarket, but still would break "the rules" which I was determined to try and carry on as long as possible.

So how did I get my chocolate high?

I took a teaspoon of organic white almond butter and put it in a mug with a date and poured a small amount of boiling water on them to mash them together into something of a paste. Then I added a large teaspoon of raw cacao powder and when they all blended together I added a bit of cold water, then a bit more hot to make a warm chocolate. It was really good. Perhaps I just thought so because it was my first taste of anything chocolate-y for 48 hours.

So far I am still without sugar but I'm currently looking at chocolate recipes on the web and getting very tempted to fall off the wagon. Do you think if I substitue agave syrup it will count as sugar free? :-)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A chocolate free day!

I did it!

Also minus wheat, dairy, animal products and refined sugar. Ahem, yes, pat me on the back. And then feel free to call me crazy.

It was easier than I expected it to be, so I might try keeping free of the wheat, dairy etc tomorrow too... We'll have to see about the chocolate...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

It snowed!!

It snowed!! How pretty. Despite this being my third year living in London, I had not yet seen it snow. This was helped by expertly timed trips the last two winters, where I skipped off to warmer climes within days of blizzards beginning. Pretty though it was, it seemed to cause chaos to the traffic.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Chocolate resolutions

I made a new year's resolution to have two days a month completely free of sugar, wheat, dairy and animal products. I don't think I have a lot of these things anyway, but the last month or so have had a considerable amount of the first two. Eating chocolate every day makes the first one a bit challenging. I've managed one so far this month. I did eat some raw cacao nibs though. But no sugar. This is tough as am in the middle of a very busy work period. I think the second day will have to wait. Though, in theory, avoiding those things should really help me to cope during a busy period...

One more day this month to go...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Chocolate High

I love doing Chocolate Tours. Which I guess is a good thing! I always feel on such a high at the end of a tour. Which I'm sure is in part due to all the good stuff in good quality chocolate! But it's also fun getting to know other chocolate lovers. My theory that people who love chocolate are all the loveliest people continues to be reinforced!

I also think I'm beginning to understand why people like shopping: I'm a strange exception to my gender that generally dreads shopping. We pass so many lovely shops along the walk that even I am usually tempted. Yesterday I went back to one of them and I now I understand one possible reason why people like shopping: I asked the staff for help in finding me clothes. Sales assistants say all sorts of nice things to get you to buy things - great for the ego! They also hunted out good things for me so I just got to follow and approve or veto. So lazy! Way to feel good... Lucky there's still chocolate, which is likely to be a cheaper way to feel good!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Chocolate!

er, I mean Happy New Year!, of course.

Though I did decide to go walking in the rain on December 31st to visit the "new" chocolate shop in Kensington. We had planned to wait and just stepped out to get olives for the olive bread (incidentally found some amazing organic ones in Luscious Organic on the way) but then decided to keep walking. Good decision as also managed to (finally!) buy some new boots.

Sorry, the chocolate: one day Pierre Marcolini closed in Lancer Square; the next Luento Santoro opened. Named after a little boy who used to spend his time at the South American plantation the store looks strikingly similar but is confusing customers who wander in looking for Marcolini. I hadn't been in there myself for over a year. While I like Marcolini chocolates it just isn't in a convenient location for me. So this was a special trip to see what had happened. Why had the Marcolini store changed it's name? Were the chocolates actually different?

The very helpful lady behind the counter kindly let us try a chilli chocolate. Good choice. Very creamy and sweeter than some, this had just the right amount of chilli. So we bought one of almost everything. Except the pralines. And devoured them over the next few days. The chili remains the favourite. Like Marcolini (very like Marcolini in fact) these chocolates are good. Unfortunately not so good that I will make special trips to get some. But I am glad to know that if I am ever in High Street Kensington I can get a quality chocolate fix. The chocolate covered cocoa beans are very good. I'm afraid what might happen if I eat these too often though! Useful if I ever need to stay up all night.

I hope you all had a fabulous new year's celebration and that 2007 brings you everything you could want, and lots of chocolate!