I’m writing this first ever Cocoa & Heart Chocolate Edit blog after having been last one out of the pub last night. Not only that but the landlord was actually holding open the door waiting for me to leave. Before anyone gets the wrong impression, I can explain. Yes, every man can. It wasn’t a pub. It’s actually a micropub called The Kentish Belle and although I was the last one out, I was also one of the last ones in, having only got there at 10.00pm.
Most of us are quite content just to eat chocolate and savour its gorgeous taste – that’s if we pause long enough to enjoy its rich flavours along the way. And why not? Melting as it does at near body temperature, chocolate has long been a much sought- after treat to be savoured and made to last – or else gulped down in a few eager bites.
However, have you ever stopped to wonder what chocolate can be used for?
Not only does it taste good but the uses that chocolate has been put to over the years is a testament to not just human ingenuity but the sheer flexibility of the product of the cacao plant, itself.
What’s your favourite chocolate treat when you go to the cinema or settle down at home to watch a film? With me, it’s a Bounty because after I’ve licked away the chocolate, I can silently slowly chew the coconut to enjoy the flavour and try to make the bar last as long as possible. A Crunchie bar, on the other hand, is just too, well crunchy, and every bite can be heard three rows back.
Buying my favourite chocolates and candy to enjoy a film or tv programme got me thinking about my favourite movies. For many of us, the cinema experience just isn’t complete without diving down into a bag of Revels or Minstrels whilst staring up at the big screen at the same time.
This recipe for chocolate roulade looks fairly complex, but I promise you it's not as difficult as you think. Just take your time and don't rush the process and you'll end up with a delicious dessert that taste as good as it looks!
Chocolate Roulade Recipe
200g plain dark chocolate
200g caster sugar
7 medium eggs, separated
300g double cream
3 tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Marnier
4 tablespoons of icing sugar for dusting
Fresh raspberries for decorating (or adding into the roulade)
It’s a question that we’re increasingly asked, here at Cocoa & Heart. Whether by interested students on one of our chocolate courses wanting to know a little more about the chocolate we’re using or by people wanting to buy some of our high-quality chocolate bars or truffles from our on line shop.
Chocolate comes from a plant and more specifically the pod of the cocao tree. So, in that sense, it could be said to start off life as vegan friendly. However, in the complex and time-consuming process of taking the raw beans and converting them to something like the chocolate we see on supermarket shelves (see our earlier blogs), a variety of additives are mixed in with the chocolate. These include sugar, milk and milkfats, to name just three.
At this stage it’s probably worth making the distinction between good quality and lesser quality chocolate in terms of the ingredients that they are likely to contain. This is crucial for determining whether the type of chocolate you’re considering buying will be vegan friendly or not.
I've always been fascinated by the process of making chocolate and whilst in my day job, I usually use already prepared chocolate covertiture, for this recipe I've decided to explore the world of actual chocolate making.
So, here is how to make a simple vegan chocolate bar with only three basic ingredients. This recipe is of course suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets, but it's also gluten and wheat free and doesn't contain any lactose (milk). So, this is as healthy as chocolate can get!