Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Godiva, Luxury Chocolate Limited Edition Gold Icons

Godiva, the Luxury Belgian chocolatier, has launched its new limited edition ‘Gold Icons’ collection. The new range is inspired by fresh spring flavours and boundary-pushing ingredients used in the contemporary culinary world. The range features eight unique chocolate combinations. They do not have artificial colours and include natural fruit and vegetable extracts.

The launch of the new flavours took place on the rooftop of the stylish Ham Yard hotel in Soho, London. There we experienced the full on Godiva treatment. The whole collection was on display to be admired and ultimately tasted by the guests.

The collection includes:

A delicious and smooth white chocolate ganache that is infused with mouth-watering mango flavour and covered with a sweet and rich orange-coloured coverture.
A subtle hint of ginger is added to a dark chocolate ganache, which is covered with a milk chocolate shell.
Inspired by the flavours of the Mediterranean, this striking piece is absolutely delicious. A smooth ganache is infused with lemon flavour and a dash of extra virgin olive oil and encased in a sweet, yellow coverture.  It's like lemon meringue pie - delightful!
An iconic Godiva piece; a beautiful white chocolate ganache is enhanced by a touch of premium Madagascan vanilla and enrobed in an intense dark chocolate shell.
A vibrant green coverture encases a silky white chocolate ganache that is infused with salted caramel and a hint of lime that lifts the chocolate to another level.
Carefully selected black tea is added to an intense dark chocolate ganache, which is covered with a premium dark chocolate shell.
A unique passionfruit and pink pepper-flavoured white chocolate ganache are encased in a rich coverture that is coloured a vibrant shade of pink. The pepper is quite suitable but noticeable.
Smooth milk chocolate covers a crunchy pecan praline filling, which is infused with apple and crispy caramel pieces.'

There was also the beautiful Godiva milk chocolate cart where Strawberries and Ginger were dipped in their rich premium milk chocolate   - Pure indulgence!

The cost: Gold Icons are priced from £10 for a 6-piece gift box to £25 for an 18-piece gift box, and available from all Godiva boutique stores in the UK for a limited time only. Buy Here: Godiva Gold Icons

Disclosure: I was a guest of Godiva at this event. All opinions are my own

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Bailey's Chocolate Chai Tea, a winter warmer

A boozy tea? I hear you asking, yes it is!  Why not?

Winter is in full swing now, and it’s no doubt the best time to be warming up with your favourite hot drinks, teas and infusions. Chai is probably one of the most famous and beloved drinks from the West to the East. Today there are many variations of the traditional Indian spiced tea blend.  It can be homemade to suit a particular taste or can be bought already made as loose tea or in bags.

I love a cup of tea, especially in the winter, I have endless cups of the brew throughout the day and night.
About a month ago I went to an event where they served was they called Hong Kong Chai, it was delicious welcome drink. Their version was non-alcoholic. 

I just adore Bailey's Chocolate, the Irish whisky and cream based liqueur married with a beautiful mix of chocolate. It's a rich, creamy drink great on its own or with ice.  But I decided to add to chai for a personal festive touch.

Bailey's Chocolate Chai Tea Recipe

serves: 2

400ml of hot water
2x bags of Black Tea
50ml of condensed milk
50ml of Bailey's chocolate or more if you wish!
1x black cardamon, crushed
1x star anise
2x cinnamon sticks
Dust of nutmeg

1)Brew the tea with the spices, except the nutmeg,  let it steep for 10 minutes. Discard the spices and mix in the condensed milk.
2)Add the Bailey's chocolate
3)Garnish with a cinnamon stick and dust of nutmeg and let it sit for a minute. Enjoy!

Disclosure : I was sent a bottle of Bailey's Chocolate to make a festive drink.  All options are my own.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Brigadeirão, Brazilian chocolate flan recipe

The brigadeiro  (Portuguese for Brigadier); is a common Brazilian sweet, created in 1940. It is common throughout the entire country and is present in almost all the major Brazilian celebrations.
The brigadeiro is made from condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter and covered with chocolate sprinkles. It's a childhood favourite.

This sweet is so popular that it has been the inspiration for many other spin-offs like ice creams, cake topping, sauces, etc.  This recipe is a twist on the pudim-de-leite, another famous Brazilian dessert very much like a creme caramel, but this recipe adds chocolate and sprinkles just like brigadeiro!

Brigadeirão recipe

1 can of condensed milk (395g)
1 can of double (heavy) cream (400g)
100g of cocoa powder, I use Green & Blacks Organic
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
 1 tablespoon of butter at room temperature
 3 large organic eggs, at room temperature
 butter for greasing
 chocolate sprinkles to decorate

1) grease a mould around 20cm x 9 cm deep. reserve.
2) pre-heat the oven 180 ° C
3) Blend the condensed milk, cream, chocolate powder, sugar, butter and eggs. When smooth, pour into a rounded shaped mold with a central hole (20cm in diameter) greased well with butter.
4) Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a water bath in a medium oven (170 ° C) for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Leave to cool down a bit for 30m minutes
5)Unmold still warm and decorate the entire surface with chocolate sprinkles. Refrigerate for about 6 hours.
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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

chocolate nut torte with sour cherry meringue ice cream recipe

chocolate nut torte with sour cherry meringue ice cream
With autumn comes an even greater desire to eat chocolate considered food of the gods, chocolate is actually a delicacy that exerts a fascination on people. The texture and flavour awaken the senses and provoke emotions. But do not worry that chocolate is not only a villain in your diet. It also brings many nutrients, and believe me, even happiness!

The inspiration for this recipe cames from rich chocolate desserts and cakes from my childhood.  Loaded with delicious high-end couverture chocolate this recipe is certainly going to bring happiness.  I love the contrast of the sourness of the amarena cherries, crunchy meringue and the suitable sweetness and nuttiness  of the chocolate torte.

This recipe is my entry to Godiva contest  here - which I've just been informed I am one of the 4 short listed contestant! The final is next week right in the middle of National Chocolate Week - perfect!
chocolate nut torte with sour cherry meringue ice cream

5 facts about chocolate

1)It stimulates the heart muscle, the nervous system, and it's also responsible for good mood, for being an antidepressant. Chocolate seems to interact with some neurotransmitter systems involved in appetite and mood regulation.

2)It has also vitamins A , B1, B2 , D and E, some minerals  like calcium, phosphorous, potassium , magnesium, and traces of iron and copper , oleic acid ( present in cocoa) and flavonoids . Dark chocolate, made of pure cocoa and without the addition of milk fat, contains high levels of flavonoids, antioxidants that reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

3)Due to its calorific value and very high fat, its consumption should be moderate in obese and high cholesterol sufferers.

4)The presence of phenylethylamine in chocolate stimulates the production of serotonin, brain substance that gives a feeling of pleasure and calm, coupled with the sense of happiness.

5)Chocolate is believed to be an aphrodisiac. What is known is that it stabilizes neurotransmitters related to pleasurable sensations such as dopamine and serotonin and promotes the release of endorphins and enkephalins,  the body's natural painkillers that produce pleasure.

Here is a pleasurable end of a meal:
chocolate nut torte with sour cherry meringue ice cream

For full recipe: chocolate nut torte with cherry meringue ice cream recipe check out  Great British Chefs site
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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Chocolate week: Pão de Mel, Brazilian chocolate and honey buns

The Story behind Chocolates and Their Sweetness

The mention of chocolate triggers an overwhelming craving that only a chocoholic can truly understand. The sweet lure of chocolate goes beyond the sheer love for the taste, it is rather the unexplainable satisfaction that is different from any other foods. When you take a bite and allow yourself just to flow with the fascinating pleasure that comes with it, you are marvelled by the intense but unique sweetness of chocolate. How many foods is there that can be used to say “I love you”? And how many craved foods trigger strong and passionate debates worldwide? There are those who enjoy chocolate for the pleasure of it and others who have it as medicine. Whatever your reason for having a bar is, chocolate carries with it a story of long journeys, history of the people and exotic places with tropical fruit trees. So what do you know about this scrumptious treat?

The history of the delicious chocolate

The story of chocolate dates back to when the Mayans and Aztecs used to make a drink that was known as "Xocoatll” from the beans of the cocoa tree. From there, chocolate began to become relevant gradually; by 1528, it was brought back to Spain still as a beverage by the Spaniards. Again chocolate was introduced in France in 1615 and later the chocolate drinks were accepted in England in 1662. The first time eaten chocolate was introduced was in 1847 by Fry & sons; although it was too bitter to attract much attention. Finally in 1874 Daniel Peter stumbled upon milk while trying out mixtures, and this brought the change that saw chocolate being accepted quickly.

How chocolate is made

Have you ever had a bit of chocolate after a craving, and the overwhelming taste that waters your mouth heavily just takes your mind to wonder how exactly this scrumptious treat is made? This is the chocolate recipe; cocoa beans are usually transported from the local farms in carts or on donkeys to the market for a local buyer who will proceed to sell it to a processor abroad. After they have been dried, roasted, and the shells removed, the nibs inside are crushed, and the end product is the raw material that chocolates and chocolate drinks are made from.

Variety of chocolate delicacies 

Today this one of a kind treat is no news to the ears. Its unique sweetness comes in different varieties like milk chocolate, dark chocolate, fine chocolate, chocolate drinks and many other forms. Dark chocolates are very healthy for you especially because they have flavanoids that can help reduced risk of heart disease.

Five things you didn’t know about chocolate

Can you believe that chocolates can actually make you relax by simply smelling it? It’s true. Chocolate can also lower your risk of stroke. Eating chocolate more often increases insulin thereby preventing diabetes. Another great benefit is it can improve your blood circulation. And it can also help prevent blood clotting. So go out there and make it a chocolate week to reap the benefits.  

A chocolate recipe

To help you out here is a delectable Brazilian recipe. This mini cakes are Brazilian version of European 'gingerbread' covered with melted chocolate to prolong its flavor and moisture. Nowadays, these honey buns have  fillings and toppings of various types, making it interesting for party decorations, gifts, souvenirs and tea cakes. Can be found with ease in Brazil as they are commonly homemade.  This particular recipe makes very fluffy and moist cakes.
Pão de Mel

Serves : pending baking tins size used: approx 25-30 cakes


     2 whole eggs
     1/2 cup (125ml) of honey
     1/2 cup (50g) muscovado sugar
     1/2 cup (60g) of chocolate powder
     1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
     1 teaspoon ground cloves
     1 tablespoons (full) butter
     1 cup (200ml) milk
     2 cups (250g) of plain(all purpose) flour
     1 teaspoons baking soda
     1 teaspoons  baking powder
     700g of cooking chocolate to decorate (complete cover each cake)


1) preheat the oven to 180C (fan assisted) and  greased muffin tins (5cm dia)with butter or a baking pan (approx 22cm x 30cm)
2) beat the eggs well in a mixer, until very foamy and very pale yellow
3)  add honey, sugar, chocolate, clove, cinnamon, margarine, milk and flour.beat well until a fully homogeneous mixture.
4) add baking soda and baking powder and mix the dough by hand until completely incorporated.

5) place in the muffins tins or baking pan previously greased. Bake for approximately 25 minutes at 180C . let it cool completely.
6) Cut any shape you like, if using a baking pan, or if using muffin molds cut in half each cake and fill with the flavor of your choice  (I filled with crunch peanut butter and condensed milk and coconut mix ), you can leave it plain too.
7) deep them in melted chocolate, allow to dry well. You can pack each one and give as a present.  

Pão de Mel filled with crunch peanut butter and covered in chocolate
Pão de Mel filled with condensed milk and coconut, covered in chocolate

Friday, 25 July 2014

Dark chocolate gelato with cocoa nibs recipe

Ice cream is my favourite food, I enjoy make them at home for the pure pleasure. It’s not cheaper making homemade ice cream, but it’s fun and takes my back to many holidays and long weekends spent in Milan, Forte dei Marmi to Florence to Bologna and surroundings areas. I am yet to go South.  The country that brought us the best gelatos with endless creative flavours  compound with fantastic displays, it’s a winner in my book. Gelatos have less fat (cream) than ice cream. It’s important to use good quality ingredients. Also, in Italy they have special equipment to make gelato. Here is a recipe inspired by my Italian travels, dark chocolate gelato with added cocoa nibs – homemade with love. 
For the recipe head over to Great British Chefs Blog : Hot&Chilli

Monday, 28 April 2014

Chasing the ice cream van, Magnum please!

 Finally signs of Summer in the UK and more ice cream is called for to celebrate. The unmistakable sound of the ice cream van takes me back to my childhood. I am sure I am not the only one.  I used to have coconut or lime popsicles, as time has gone by, chocolate took centre stage. I really enjoy eating a Magnum, the hard dark chocolate coating and the cool soft vanilla center is so tasty and textural. I decided to have a go and home make it. This is my first attempt. Hopefully, next time they will look more like a Magnum.

Vanilla Ice cream recipe


1 cup whole milk (200ml)
4 large organic egg yolks
3/4 cup white sugar
2 cups double cream (400ml)

1 pod of vanilla bean


1) Heat the milk in a sauce pan over medium-low heat, add the vanilla seeds and the pod. Let it steep for 20 minutes. Reserve.

2) Prepare an ice bath by setting  medium bowl , enough to hold 2 litres of liquid, over a larger bowl partially filled with ice water.

3) Set a strainer over the smaller bowl and set aside.

4) In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow in colour and the sugar has dissolved. Gradually pour the warmed milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the same saucepan you used to warm the milk. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

5) Strain the custard into the top bowl of the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Add the double cream and stir over the ice bath until cool. Cover the mixture itself with plastic wrap tightly and chill thoroughly, preferably overnight. makes about 3 cups or 600ml
Makes about 4 ice creams, pending the size of the mould of your choice.

fill the moulds with the vanilla ice cream, leave in the freezer overnight
next day, take the ice cream out of the moulds and leave in the freezer for a couple of hours in the meantime, prepare the bain-marie to melt the chocolate
300g dark chocolate for the coating
dip the frozen ice cream into the melted dark chocolate

some artistic license gone into the ice cream coating

 Nice thick coating of dark chocolate, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of making and eating it. It was very satisfying.
This post is my entry to Kavey's Scream for Ice Cream - chasing the ice cream van April 2014

Saturday, 1 March 2014

white chocolate pavé with whisky and Brazil nut praline, recipe

the inspiration for this recipe came from Bresilienne truffle by Godiva (above) - their  signature hazelnut praline using perfectly roasted hazelnuts and a touch of vanilla, coated in smooth milk chocolate and rolled in crispy caramelised hazelnuts.
You might have noticed that there are a few chocolate recipes on this blog. No, that's a coincidence, I am a chocolate lover! so much so that I went on a  chocolate tour on chocolate week last year and on another occasion I took part on a chocolate tasting masterclass.  Godiva is one of my favourites and I enjoy eating their dark chocolate bars.  So to challenge myself I decided to enter the truly scrumptious Godiva's competition in the UK, details below and cook with white chocolate for a change. The recipe is based on their Bresilienne truffle, as you guessed it, once again I am using my heritage influence. I transformed the truffle it into a Brazilian desert called pavé, using Brazil nuts praline, instead of hazelnuts praline, adding orange flavour and alcohol, the later can be left out, if desired.  Pavé consists of layers of biscuits (Marie or similar to Rich tea) or ladyfingers, cream and condensed milk and  more cream on top. Usually, it's made with condensed milk, but I left that ingredient out. Also, It's traditionally served in a family size dish. I must warm this is not a dieter's dream or for the health conscious. This is an indulgent dish and more often than not, we need a treat!

The competition: Conjure up a truly magical chocolate dessert, tick, inspired by Godiva, tick; and you could be on your way to Brussels to visit Godiva’s famous Chocolate Atelier - yes please!  What’s more, your dessert will have a pride of place on the menu for a whole week at the exclusive restaurant HIX Soho, if you win... now that's a dream...that can come true!
So be creative, be daring, be different, tick, tick, tick. Four finalists will prepare their recipes for our judges - now that is scary! - restaurateur Mark Hix, food critic William Sitwell, chef Juliette Nothomb and our head chocolatier Thierry Muret. And then the taste off begins…to enter the competition read more details here : Godiva (competition ended)
Click here for the full recipe: Great British Chefs blog
I am a contributor to Great British Chefs blog and this recipe was specially written for Godiva competition

The perfect chocolate desert?

Monday, 20 January 2014

Desserts by Raymond Blanc

My blogging year couldn't have started better than a press launch with one of the world's most respected and self taught chef Raymond Blanc at the high tech beautiful demo and showroom kitchen, Gaggenau, in central London. The launch for Raymond Blanc's frozen desserts, which started with a champagne reception, was put together by the lovely people at Winterbotham Darby, an UK award-winning retail and food services supplier, with production sites across Europe. They offer full marketing, technical, logistics & sales support for many well known food brands.

Raymond Blanc has been working closely with Winterbotham Darby for over a year developing his 'iced' desserts. 'the word frozen has such a negative connotation' says Raymond Blanc. A collection of five deserts, three to be  launched end of January 2014 at Sainsbury's and from mid-February at Waitrose. The other two lines are scheduled to be launched end of the year.

At the press launch we watched the Raymond, cooking and showing how to serve the deserts with the special French flair and elegance.  First, the Cherry Clafoutis,  family classic recipe known in every French household, its to be served warm, topped with toasted almond and icing sugar.  A warm and comforting desert ideal for those days when you feel you need a food 'hug'. The intense sourness of the Griotte cherries works really well with the sweetness of the vanilla batter. It bakes in 30 mins, cooking instructions at the back of the packaging.

 Next desert, Raymond showed us how to make from scratch the truly rich and intense Chocolate Delice, with crisp hazelnut base and contrasting dark chocolate ganache is a very special experience - pure indulgence! We will be able to buy already made and it doesn't need any accompaniment. Fabulous!

Last desert of the evening was the Pear and Walnut Dacquoise, which used Williams pear, is a very light cake made with layers of Dacquoise biscuit sponge, meringue, walnut cream and sugar topping. It's full of flavour and texture. Raymond made a divine ginger creme Anglaise to accompany this dessert. The ginger lent a sharp and spicy finish that goes really well with this desert.

Raymond Blanc is very charming and you can feel in his voice and attitude that he's seriously passionate about food, specially deserts!  It is very exciting to know that we will be able to buy and serve at home high caliber desserts at affordable prices. The desserts are priced at £5.99/each and usually serves between 4 (very generous portion) to  6 or 8 people.  See back of the packaging for serving suggestions and portions.
Cherry Clafoutis and Chocolate Delice, will be available from Waitrose and Sainsbury's.
Pear and Walnut Dacquoise will be available from Waitrose only.
A further two desert lines are planned for the end of this year as well as other products in the pipeline. In the meantime, enjoy these exceedingly good deserts. 
Disclosure: I was a guest at the press launch. All views are my own based on the tasting section that took place at the event. I was also given the desserts to bake and prepare  at home.  
dessert but I couldn't resist and I had the pear and walnut dacquoise for afternoon tea!

Monday, 30 December 2013

glazed chocolate mousse cake and happy new year

Chocolate is a well-known aphrodisiac and very good for you! No, that is not listed or count towards five-a-day, but chocolate contains magnesium, iron, potassium and some  vitamins, another excuse to eat chocolate!  Where does chocolate came from? Chocolate comes from the fermented, roasted, and ground beans of  cacao or cocoa tree. They are harvested, inflamed, roasted, and ground the seeds into a paste. The word "Chocolate" comes from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs. The Nahuatl word xocolatl means "bitter water"

This recipe using dark chocolate was given to me many years ago in Brazil and it's such a success. I added the glaze, by Anna Olsen, and it looks and taste even more special with the three layers of chocolate with different textures. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Glazed chocolate mousse cake


·       200g of good quality dark cocoa powder, sieved

·       250g of unsalted butter at room temperature

·       6 tbsp of caster sugar

·       8 organic medium eggs separated


2 clean and grease free big mixing bowls

whisking mixer

prep: butter and dust with cocoa powder a  20cm/8in spring form cake tin with a removable base.

Lovely napkins kindly sent to me by Talking Tables


  1. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks
  2. In  another bowl whisk the  butter with the sugar until pale.
  3. Add the yolks one by one  
  4. Slowly add the cocoa powder to the mixture and fold gently in the egg whites.
  5. Pour half of the  cake mixture into the tin and bake in medium heat (180C) for about 20 minutes.  Let it cool completely.
  6. Add  3 tbsp of liquor of your preference to the  uncooked mixture reserve in the fridge
  7. Once the base is cooled pour the uncooked chocolate mixture
  8. Leave in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight to firm up

For the glaze by Anna Olsen

·  60ml water

·  100g sugar

·  60ml whipping cream

·  50g cocoa powder, sifted

·  1 1/2 tbsp unflavoured gelatine powder

While the cake is setting, prepare the glaze. Bring the water, sugar, and cream to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, whisk in the cocoa powder and simmer (reducing the heat if needed) for 4 minutes, stirring often, (the consistency will not change). Remove from heat. Soften the gelatin in 60ml of cold water and then whisk this into the hot cocoa mixture until dissolved. Cool the glaze to room temperature, then chill completely, at least 3 hours.


To finish the cake, remove it from the freezer invert the pan onto a cooling rack placed over a parchment-lined baking tray. Use a hair dryer on a low, hot setting to gently warm the pan so that it releases from the pan, the sides first and then the top. Warm the chilled glaze while whisking occasionally until just melted and smooth and pour this over the torte, spreading gently with a spatula to ensure that it covers the top and sides of the torte evenly. Chill the cake for at least 30 minutes, then lift it onto your presentation plate and store chilled until ready to serve. 

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