- THE CHOCOLATE EDIT -
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.
And the reason for going there in the first place? Ah, yes, I was coming to that. Why chocolates, of course. What else? This is a chocolate blog, after all. Yesterday was International Gin day, and Nick Hair, the enterprising guy behind the Kentish Belle, the recently opened micropub in Bexleyheath was celebrating in style with a gin and special chocolate truffle promotion. Gin flavoured chocolate truffles to be precise. Discerning drinkers at the art deco pub were greeted with over two hundred of Cocoa & Heart’s complimentary rich dark chocolate truffles, all freshly made with Copperhead Gin, from 75% cocoa Tanzanie. Not to mention a selection of Cocoa & Heart’s signature rose milk chocolates and zingy lime & pink pepper white chocolate bars, also for sale at the bar.
You don’t have to be a wine bar regular to know that gin is quite the thing these days. There are so many wonderful fruit-based flavours that can be added to gin, such as rhubarb and elderberry that make it so much more than just a flavour of the month tipple.
Of course, what applies to gin, equally applies to gin infused chocolate truffles. Magdalena added cardamom, juniper berries, zest of orange and gave each handmade truffle a generous dusting of edible copper powder to a give them a special complimentary copperhead touch!
Just like the gin itself, the hope that they went down a treat. And Magdalena made sure to make some extra chocolate truffles and bars for the hard-working staff. A great way to make an International day truly local.
So, how else has chocolate hit the headlines this week? Well, Wispa it gently but Thameslink managed to hit the buffers big time with a PR own goal which made Loris Karius, the less than reliable Liverpool goalkeeper, look like he was a safe pair of hands. Comparing their own unreliable train service to Poundland cooking chocolate rather than Ferrero Rocher, was not just way out of line but up the wrong junction completely.
Poundland hit back and threatened to sue and Thameslink swiftly deleted the offending tweet and backed their way into the sidings, rather more quickly than some of their high speed trains. I don’t know if Thameslink sent Poundland a box of chocolates by way of apology (perhaps not Ferrero Rocher, or by train) but more corporate re-training required (forgive the final less than punctual, pun). No ripple of applause there.
Let’s move on.
How long does chocolate keep for? It’s a question we’re often asked. And if they’re stored in a dry, cool place, away from the sun most chocolate will last for quite a long while. Of course, truffles or anything with a cream-based confection has a shorter shelf life. The real answer, perhaps, to the question how long will chocolates last, is probably, how long are you prepared to keep them? Most people who attend one of Cocoa & Heart’s courses laughingly reply that the chocolates they’ve just made might not last until they get home!
One box of chocolates that did last considerably longer than its shelf life was in the news recently. A gift box containing 103 year old chocolate sent to a British solider serving in the trenches during World War I came up for auction last week. Made by Cadbury’s, the remaining 9 bars, still in their original wrapping, were described as in good condition. The auctioneer was quoted as saying that chocolate seldom goes off, it just slowly loses its flavour and texture.
I’m pleased to say that the man in question, Leicestershire Regiment soldier Richard Bullimore, survived the war intact, as did most of the chocolates. He went on to become a Police Superintendent although what become of the chocolates until now was not reported. Were they kept as a souvenir or a memento? From the photos, only two or three bars appear to have been removed. Mr Bullimore received a DCM (Distinguished Conduct Medal) for gallantry during the war, so I’m sure I wouldn’t be alone in thinking that he deserved a hero bar or two all to himself.
So, there you go! And that's enough of chocolate news for this week. Until next week, have an amazing week.