Sunday, November 30, 2008

I made this chocolate cake today

The intention was to take it to the lunch I had today to mark another birthday, unfortunately I realised that it wasn't going to be baked in time to do so so I abandoned it mid-project, leaving three bowls on the counter, covered in tea towels. It didn't seem to do any harm though because it's one of the nicest cakes I've eaten in a while. 300 grams of chocolate will help with that! Melted with 200g butter, 50g caster sugar, 50g brown sugar and some cinnamon. Cooled pureed apples mixed with 3 egg yolks. Mix these two then add 100g of sifted self-raising flour. Finally fold in three beaten egg whites. I sprinkled a bit more chocolate on top (white and dark) Cooked in a fan oven at 170 C for one hour and cooled in the pan. So gooey and chocolatey. The apple and cinnamon added an interesting twist that was subtly different and far too moreish. Lucky I only ate steamed vegetables for my dinner.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Chocolatier in Antigua, Guatemala

OK, apologies again for the lack of updates. I was away for a much needed holiday in Guatemala and Belize for two weeks. So needed that I was in bed with a feverish flu for most of the week, right up until I dragged myself onto the plane. It was actually quite pleasant to be on the plane and have water brought to me at my whim. A day or two more rest in sunnier climes and I was fine again. Until, that is, I got food poisoning or some such thing that also brought a fever with it about halfway through. But you don't want to hear about that!

Anyway, I have much to update about my adventures in Central America but for now here is just the beginning of what I found on Day 2:


I was totally shocked to stumble across a real chocolatier in Antigua in Guatemala (our first stop after a night near the airport). I was under the impression Guatemala only produced the rough chocolate for drinking in Guatemala so far (more about this in another post, maybe tomorrow!). Apparently this chocolatier, hidden inside a deli, is a Belgian ex-pat. They were good quality chocolates and a pleasant surprise to find as I was finally well enough to want to eat chocolate again (see, I was properly sick, I never not want to eat chocolate). His range even included a wasabi chocolate! The caramels were the nicest though.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Off to see chocolate plantations!

I've been in bed most of the week. :-(

Still not feeling fabulous but off to Guatemala today for 2 weeks!

Will take pictures!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

La Salon du Chocolat in Paris

Finally. I have been wanting to go to La Salon du Chocolat since I first heard about it three, maybe four, years ago. It is absolutely heaven for me – for most women and a lot of men too, I’m sure. While we were welcomed at the entrance by Ovaltine and M&Ms the quality from there stepped up into artisanal producers. There were sections split out dedicated to different countries, from the bean growers to the chocolate (couverture) makers to the bon bon (praline, filled chocolate) makers.

We arrived at 12 on Friday and didn’t leave until they were sweeping us out at 7pm. In that time I think we managed to see every single stand, though we didn’t stop at all of them. Unfortunately all of the talks were in French so we skipped these too. The chocolate fashion show at 5pm was an incredible spectacle, couture creations modeled on stage, some by circus performers and dancers. By this stage my camera battery had sadly given up.

Most of the chocolatiers I visited last time I was in Paris were here at the show, and some I had missed, plus ones from Japan, Switzerland, Sweden.

Apparently it was incredibly crowded on Saturday - no surprise really. I met tons on interesting people and probably ate my body weight in chocolate over the next two days.

I highly recommend going to the next one! Although, from all I saw, I do think the chocolatiers in the UK are at least as good and many better, than anything I saw (or tasted!) at the show. Hooray!