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Category: Chocolate

  1. Vegan Milk Chocolate Recipe

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    Vegan Milk Chocolate Recipe - Gluten & Dairy Free

    Dark chocolate is by far my favourite type of chocolate, but sometimes there is a time and place for a nice milk chocolate. That extra sugar and milk makes the chocolate beautifully sweet and melts in your mouth perfectly. I've kept this recipe suitable for vegans, so it only has plant based ingredients. It'also gluten and dairy free, which is perfect if you can't have gluten or dairy products. I know my vegan friends would be surprised, why me (a perfectly happy meat eater) would create a vegan chocolate recipe. The truth is that I've recently found that I have IBS and I'm better off staying clear of dairy. So this recipe is also low FODMAP as long as you don't eat the whole chocolate bar at once.

    The recipe is very simple to make, but you do need some fairly specialist ingredients, that you might not always have in your kitchen cupboard. So, here is your shopping list:

    115g Coconut Oil or Coconut Butter

    150g Icing Sugar or about 75g of Stevia or other plant based liquid sugar (use Maple syrup or Icing sugar for low FODMAP diet)

    85g Cocoa Powder

    60g Powdered Coconut Milk

    tiny pinch of salt (to your taste)

    To make your milk chocolate, start with melting the coconut oil or butter. Coconut oil is easier to buy, so I guess you'll probably be using it most of the time, but if you can get hold of coconut butter it's worth it as it gives you slightly stronger structure and the chocolate will have the perfect snap. This is because coconut butter melts at higher temperature than coconut oil.

    Once your coconut oil is melted, add your coconut powdered milk and gently stir. Don't be even tempted to replace the powdered coconut milk with fresh liquid milk. Chocolate doesn't like water and it would cause the chocolate to split. If you find anything else that's plant based powdered milk, you can swap it for that.

    Once the milk powder melts, add the sugar and carry on stirring. Depending on how healthy you want your chocolate to be, you can swap the icing sugar for stevia, maple syrup or other liquid plant based sugars. Just be careful to lower the amount of the sugar you are adding in. I found that adding about half of the original quantity is about right. This is because liquid sugar has different structure than powdered sugar and your chocolate would become too liquid and you might have problems with setting your chocolate.

    Once everything is melted, add cocoa powder. Like with any other chocolate recipe, the better quality of cocoa powder you get the better quality of chocolate you'll end up with. This especially applies to milk chocolate recipes where the cocoa powder is not as high quantity as dark chocolate recipes.

    Finally add a tiny pinch of salt. This might surprise you, but until now, we have been adding pretty much just sugary and fairly bland ingredients. And sugar is normally fairly bland to taste. To bring all the flavours together a tiny pinch of salt is the perfect way to finish this recipe. If you don't believe me, taste the chocolate before you add any salt and then afterwards. I bet you'll love the final taste!!!

    Once everything is mixed, carry on stirring the chocolate with a spatula (or a even a balloon whisk). This cools down the chocolate, make it slightly thicker and temper the chocolate (somewhat...). Then just pour your chocolate to a chocolate bar mould or even just on a flat tray lined with a parchment and let to set in a fridge for about 20 min. If you fancy it, you can also add freeze dried raspberries or other dried fruit, nuts of seeds to make your chocolate bar extra special.

    After that just enjoy and do let me know how you get on!



  2. Top 10 cocoa producing countries

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    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).

  3. Copperhead Gin Truffles and 103 old chocolate bar

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    Copperhead Chocolate Truffles - small


    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.

  4. What can chocolate be used for?

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    What is chocolate good for you?

    What can chocolate be used for?

    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.

  5. Chocolate Movies

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    Chocolat film

    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.