- THE CHOCOLATE EDIT -
What's been happening this week at Cocoa & Heart?
We are booked for our 2 biggest shows this year and you can see us at Hever Castle (Friday 31 August to Sunday 2 September) & Hall Place, Bexley, South East London (17 & 18 November). Entrance is free to the Hall Place fair, but you'd need to get a normal castle tickets to access the Hever Castle fair (there is no extra charge for the fair itself).
We are very fond of Hall Place Fair, as it was our first ever fair we did about 18 years ago. Back then the fair was in the summer and was run by a local Bexley Art Council. Few years later the fair moved to autumn and become more Christmas orientated. Hall Place is a little gem, with beautiful gardens, butterfly house and regular exhibitions focused on local history and art. Inside there are number of rooms, some magnificently large, like the Great Hall or the White gallery upstairs and lovely snug rooms with medieval wooden panelling. Over the years our chocolate stall was in pretty much all the different rooms, which is fun as it always challenges us to create a different display depending on how our stall is possitioned. Boring stuff asside, the most important thing is that there will be over 60 stalls all offering amazing array of gifts, treats and festive decorations, which means you can do your Christmas shopping in one day - all local (and support an independent businesses at the same time).
So, planning is already under way for new products and chocolate treats. Watch this space for more details…
As well as running small hands on courses and workshops, Magdalena also runs one to one private tuition. This is a great chance to learn more in depth about a particular aspect of chocolate making and private lessons also make great gift vouchers for friends. This week Magdalena has been were busy with creating chocolate cake pops, chocolate truffles, edible shoes and macarons with a a overseas student, who wanted to brush up on her chocolate skills and learn few new tricks of the trade.
And this week's chocolate headlines?
A couple of sporting chocolate related stories caught our eye from around the world. Unless you’ve been busy holed up in your kitchen making chocolate truffles all day, it won’t have escaped your attention that the FIFA World Cup is alive and kicking.
But even chocolate makers have decided to join the party.
When Moscow confectioners found out Lionel Messi, Argentina’s star striker, would be celebrating his birthday during the World Cup, what did they do? Yes, you’ve guessed it! They decided he needed a gift that measured up - a life-size chocolate sculpture in his likeness.
A team of five workers at Moscow’s Altufyevo Confectionery worked for nearly a week to carve the sculpture in 60 kg (132 lbs) of chocolate to mark the Argentina forward’s 31st birthday on Sunday.
For some, Messi may have magical football boots but we have our own favourite type of footwear. Chocolate stilettoes! I don't think we'll be rushing to make the whole statue just yet, we are happy to stick to what we know - elegant chocolate shoes with attractive patterns and designs. And we possibly might add the matching handbag.
From Football to Formula One.
McLaren’s construction team drove themselves into a tight corner this week when media reports circulated that some employees of the Formula One team had been given cheap confectionary as a reward for their hard work.
And the offending chocolate in question? Cheap Freddo bars – no less but not, no more, it seems. We’re not sure if McLaren’s management were hopping mad at the accusation. Or if the manufacturer was upset at having their product linked to a team that hasn’t won a FI race since 2012.
If McLaren are keeping the champagne on ice, perhaps they should consider changing all of their suppliers in the meantime? Definitely time for an upgrade.
Finally, news of a new chocolate on the starting blocks.
Chocs away to Limited Edition Crunchy Caramel M&Ms. The new M&M's are described as, "A creamy caramel centre covered in delicious milk chocolate, enclosed in a colourful candy shell, offering the ultimate combination of flavours in every bite-sized piece."
Have you tried it yet?
Does it race away with your taste buds leaving you re-fuelling for more? Or is it straight to the pit-stop to go back to your favourite make?
Red flag or chequered flag?
Do let us know what’s your favourite type of chocolate and whether you are trying a new flavour or happy with your usual treat, happy eating this week.
The (very content) Head of Quality Control at Cocoa & Heart
(that basically means I eat chocolate all day...)