Welcome to Cocoa & Heart blog!

 RSS Feed

  1. Large Chocolate Lego Men

    Well, you don’t need me to tell you that the British heatwave continues virtually unabated. The newly acquired air conditioning unit is on full blast and paying for itself inside the first month. Our handmade chocolate production continues and there seems to be no let up either in the heat or the demand.

    So long as chocolate melts in people’s mouth and not before everyone seems happy. We’re preparing for a three day Festival at beautiful Hever Castle, in Kent,  starting on 31 August and before that there’s a Chocolate themed Hen party in Hailsham, East Sussex. Usually when I say that we’re in demand for Hen Parties – several of my male friends get envious and several of my female friends mention the word ‘stripper’ with what seems like a question mark at the end of the sentence. Either that or they ask what type of moulds we are using!

  2. Three Arty Chocolate Bars

    - THE CHOCOLATE EDIT -

    We’ve been busy making chocolates to order at Cocoa & Heart, but this week, we thought we’d take a more in depth look at what’s been happening in the wider world of chocolate. And one announcement in particular.

    Will less sugar be a sweet recipe for success?

    Would you change a sure-fire recipe for success? Probably not. Most of us might just play safe and stick with the old adage ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it.’

    In the dog eat dog world of big business, even a slight change in formula can have a major impact in how well the product is received by its customers.

    So, consider this.  A Dairy Milk chocolate bar with 30% less sugar will go on sale in 2019. First introduced in 1905, it’s one of the best-selling single chocolate bars nationwide and even globally and a flag ship line for manufacturers Cadburys.

  3. dreamstimelarge_60774278

    When I run my sourdough bread baking courses, I often get asked criptical questions from my curious students. The answers to some of the questions like: 'Is sourdough bread gluten free ?' initially seem very obvious, but strangely enough when you dig a little deeper the answer is not that clear cut.

    So, first of all to satisfy your curiosity to know whether sourdough bread is gluten free, well, of course it depends on what type of flour you use! Since it's very difficult to bake a true sourdough bread from completely gluten free flour, traditional sourdough breads are not gluten free.

  4. Top 10 chocolate producing countries

    Chocolate is enjoyed throughout the world and the latest figures state that over 4.4 million tonnes of cocoa is produced each year.

    However, chocolate itself, is made from cocoa beans which grow on cacao trees. These are only found in a narrow band either side of the Equator and require hot, and rainy humid conditions to bear fruit. Cacao trees were first cultivated in Central America around 1,500 BC, but today, four of the five top cocoa producing nations are in West Africa.

    The top ten cocoa producing countries are spread out across four continents, but which nations produce the most cocoa? (Figures from the UN Food and Agriculture).

  5. How to set up your own micro bakery

    I have just finished designing my latest workshop - 'How to set up your own microbakery'.  I know that loads of people have been waiting for this, but I wanted to make sure that the course was comprehensive, practical and super useful, so it took me little longer then I originally anticipated.

    If you are interested the dates for 2018 are:

    12-13 February - Mon-Tue - 10-4pm

    9-10 April -  Mon-Tue - 10-4pm

    11-12 August - Sat - Sun - 10-4pm

    ...and you can find out more about the course here and book your place.