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  1. Chocolate Roulade Recipe

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    Chocolate Roulade Recipe

    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

    Ingredients

    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)

    spring of fresh mint

     

  2. Chocolates in the 1980s

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    Chocolates in the 1980s

    The 1980s was the decade that I grew up – from starting my teenage years at secondary school in the East Midlands to ending up working in the city – of London.  It was the Thatcherite era – of selling off big public assets, like state utilities (selling out to some people). More people started to buy shares as privatisation took hold and council house owners were suddenly able to buy their own homes.

    What’s this got to do with chocolates I hear you ask. Well, everything. As an impressionable teenager, in my oversized school uniform and undone tie, I was as keen to follow the mood of the nation and earn a quick buck for myself as the next city gent in his red braces and smart pin stripe suit.

  3. How to taste chocolate

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    How to taste chocolate like an expert

    The title of this blog post might sound a bit strange. I mean how complicated or difficult could it be to taste chocolate? You just munch on it, and that it! About 25 years ago I would have thought the same, but after working with chocolate for the last two decades, I will let you on a secret!

    Chocolate has so many subtle flavours, and the taste develops as you taste it, and it certainly matters how you ‘chomp’ on it! So, let me share with you how to taste chocolate like an expert.

  4. Chocolate Buttermilk Cake Recipe

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    Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

    The most delicious, moist and easy to bake chocolate cake with buttermilk. This is my favourite recipe I bake often for my family and friends - it's always a big hit!

    Here is what you need:

    For the buttermilk chocolate cake

    175g unsalted butter

    1 teaspoon of vanilla essence 

    350g caster sugar

    4 medium eggs separated into egg whites (one bowl) and egg yolks (second bowl)

    100g self-raising flour

    40g cocoa powder

    175g buttermilk

     

  5. Is hot chocolate good for you?

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    Hot chocolate drink

    In the long dark winter evenings many of us will reach for a cup of hot chocolate or cocoa to make us feel better. At least temporarily. But, do you know what? If you drink good quality, low fat, unsweetened dark chocolate, you just might be doing yourself more than just a flavour favour.

    Is hot chocolate good for you? Well, chocolate was first originally drunk rather than eaten. The Mayans and later the Aztecs civilisations of Central & South America used chocolate as a bitter frothy drink, flavoured with chilis. In modern day Spain, it is served thick and dark as a dipped accompaniment to churros – a doughnut type based spiral shaped sugar laden sweet, often eaten at breakfast.

  6. Cocoa Tree

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    The cocoa tree story

    Where does cocoa tree grow?

    Cocoa tree was literary unknown to the Europe and Western World until about 16 century, when Spanish conquestors started to explore the New World (America).

    In 18 century, Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus, named cocoa tree ‘Theobroma’, meaning the ‘food of the gods’. This was because the Aztecs referred themselves to the tree as the tree which fruits are worthy food for the gods. The full botanical name is ‘Theobroma cacao’.

  7. Chocolate truffle making tips

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    Chocolate Truffle Making Tips

    When I run my chocolate making courses, I get often asked questions about chocolate truffles and working with ganache. So in this chocolate blog post I wanted to look at commonly asked questions and give you the answers with simple solutions.

    But first of all, if you don't know how to make delicious chocolate truffles at home you can check out this recipe. Now that you have made your first batch of homemade chocolate truffles we can start with the questions!

    Chocolate truffle making tips

    How do you keep truffles from melting?

    The best way to prevent your chocolate truffles from melting when you are working with them is to wear catering gloves and form your chocolate truffles first with your fingertips and then roll them gently in your palms to finish shaping them into a smooth ball. It’s also useful to chill your chocolate truffle mixture before you work with it (1-2 hrs is fine or overnight if you have the time).

    When you finish making your chocolate truffles, chill them for a few hours and then store them in a room temperature (anything around 18 C is ideal).

  8. What temperature does chocolate melt at?

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    What temperature does chocolate melt at?

    Generally speaking chocolate starts to melt from 30 to 32 C, just a little bit lower than your body temperature (that’s why chocolate tastes so good, when you melt it on your tonque!). But the exact melting temperature depends on the content of the chocolate you are melting (or try not to melt!).

    Before we go into the scientific explanation of chocolate melting, what you probably want to remember is that white chocolate melts at the lowest temperature, milk chocolate somewhere in the middle, whereas dark chocolate takes the longest to melt.