We went to the Liberty Cardholders' evening tonight. When the invitation arrived a few weeks ago I immediately spotted the chocolate tasting with Sir Hans Sloane Chocolates. I was excited to get to see the lovely Bill McCarrick again, and particularly to taste more of his chocolate. He scolded me for not having been down to see him yet. I've really wanted to!! I will get down there in April - diaries permitting - and give you all a full report of his chocolate studio.
His chocolate was even better than I remembered. We came home with a few of his bars and a tin of his hot chocolate. I tasted this just after he discovered it, when he spoke on my full day chocolate tour last October. Crunchy sugar granules that are sprayed with layers of chocolate and spun in a metal bowl until they shine, it is both pretty and delicious. As we had a pint of organic whole milk in our fridge (very rare for us) we decided to mix some up when we got home. Taking great care not to boil the milk we mixed up our nightcaps, then frothed them with the mini electric frothing gadget we got as a gift last Christmas. Yum. Well, actually, I prefer to eat it straight from the bag. As a drink it's a bit sweet for me (but then I am a fan of 100% chocolate!). The other half was thrilled with his cup, made meticulously to Bill's directions. I added some of Willie Harcourt-Cooze's (of Willy's Wonky Chocolate Factory) 100% Hacienda El Tesoro and some Valhrona cocoa powder. The kitchen is now a lovely chocolatey mess and when I went for a shower a short time ago I discovered I'd even managed a chocolate smudge on my forehead. If you saw Willy's Wonky Chocolate Factory you'll know that 100% chocolate isn't really the best thing to have at bedtime. While milk contains tryptophan that helps encourage sleep, chocolate gives you a buzz, hence this rapidly written post. Oh well. I'm tired enough I'm sure I'll get to sleep anyway. I used to be such a morning person. Somewhere in the last few years I transformed into this night owl who gets far more excited and active and productive late in the evening. I do love mornings though. I've been making more of an effort to set my alarm earlier and go for a short run. It's not much but it helps keep me awake during the day, and now that it's getting lighter earlier the sky is gorgeous when I'm out.
It's hard to discern whether it's chatting to chocolate people or eating the chocolate that gets me so excited. I think a mixture. I get excited speaking to anyone who's passionate about their work. I always get excited about chocolate too, and together it's compounded.
So, I should probably lay my weary (and buzzing) head. I have written some posts in the last few weeks that I haven't published yet. I just need to find them!
One more thing: I found out Willie's chocolate is on sale in Waitrose too! Very exciting for him. You can get Sir Hans Sloane chocolate in Liberty (obviously), Selfridges and The General Trading Co. Go and get some of his pralines. I wish I had.