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  1. Is cocoa a fruit?

    When we’re running our various chocolate making courses we often  get asked lots of questions from enthusiastic chocolate makers about every aspect of the chocolate making process. And, of course, it’s a pleasure to share our knowledge with so many keen and eager course attendees and chocolatiers to be. Sometimes the questions are technical and detailed– such as those about the tempering and the chocolate crystallisation process. Others are more general, but equally practical, like when do we get to eat it all?

  2. How much sugar is in chocolate?

     Are you sweet enough?

     “Sugar, Sugar”, sang The Archies, “You are my candy girl, whoa-oh, you got me wantin' you.”

     Well, as it turns out sugar isn’t wanted any more. At least not in the same quantities.

    This week, the media was full of reports that the Swiss food giant, Nestle, announcing that it has made a scientific breakthrough that can sharply cut the sugar in its chocolate. The company, which makes Kitkat and Aero, says its researchers have found a way to structure sugar differently, so that it uses 40% less.

    It claims this can be done without affecting the taste.

    Nestle says it is patenting the findings, and it would start using the new sugar across its range from 2018. Its scientists altered the structure of sugar so that it dissolves more quickly. This fools the taste buds, with the effect of raising the sweetness, claims Nestle.

    But is this no more than a bitter sweet pill to swallow? Are the big manufactures just sugar coating the message? Nestle’s announcement, welcome to most people though it is, just got me thinking about what actually goes into a high street bar of chocolate in the first place? For me, it raised more questions than answers.

  3. Traditional Victorian Sweets (1)

    As you might know, I've always been fascinated by traditional sweets. Probably because our house is victorian I wanted to dive a little deeper into the history of victorian sweets. 

    In Victorian times, everything seems possible! It was the time for great inventions, connecting the whole countries with new amazing technology (called the steam railways!) and also time for everything proper!

  4. Is marmalade good for you?

    Is marmalade good for you?

    Did you see box office smash Paddington Bear II at the cinema recently, either on your own or with your children? If you did, chances are that you were also reminded of Paddington’s predilection for – yes, marmalade, in sandwiches, no less. While Paddington may eat marmalade at every opportunity, most of us have it for breakfast, usually on toast.  So, is marmalade good for you and what exactly are its health benefits?

    Ah, yes, Marmalade!  Bring it on!