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  1. dreamstime_l_49856488

    How to achieve the perfect marmalade set is probably the most frustrating thing about marmalade making. So, here are my answers to questions you are impatiently want to know.

    1 What is the setting point for marmalade?

    105-110C 

    This is a 'range' because every kitchen environment is very different and the setting point depends partly on the humidity in the room. The higher the humidity the higher the temperature needs to be for the marmalade to set. To control humidity, open window, switch on fan or put the heating on, depending on the season.

  2. dreamstime_xl_13280261

    Here are my my favourite marmalade making tips to make sure your next batch of marmalade comes out absolutely perfect.

    1. Start with the right fruit

    Marmalade is made using citrus fruits, traditionally these are Seville Oranges. The only problem is that Seville Oranges are in season only in January/February and are not always sold in all supermarkets. If you do find them in your local supermarket, buy few extra kilos and freeze them as you can always use them later on in the year.

  3. dreamstime_l_57484548

    Standing in front of the fridge in despair, prodding a very runny jelly? Running out of time for your jelly pudding to set and wonder what to do?

    Yes, I know, I've been there too...

    With party guest arriving any minute and you worry whether the jelly dessert will set in time, it should be served.

    So, how long does jelly take to set?

    I'm sorry to be the bearer of a bad news, but most jellies take at least 2-4 hrs to set in fridge (which is set to about 5C). But some large jellies (say if you use one of those lovely oldfashioned jelly moulds) might take even longer. If you have the time, just make the jelly the day before you needed and it will always set fine.

  4. Cocoa Beans - chocolate timeline

    Here at Cocoa and Heart, we’re fascinated by all things chocolate. And chocolate itself and how it was first cultivated in Central America as a bitter drink and then brought over to Europe and gradually developed into a chocolate bar for eating, has a fascinating history all of its own. Here are some of the key dates in the History of Chocolate Timeline.

    1,500 BC: The people of Central America begin to drink chocolate. The cacao tree may have been cultivated earlier than people first thought. Linguistic links to the words cacao and chocolate can be traced back to the Olmec peoples which pre-dates Maya and Atzec civilisation by several hundred years.

    900 AD: Maya Civilisation: Pottery cups found in the tombs of Maya nobility contain symbols for cacoa and images for its preparation.     

  5. licorice-2543337_1920

    Who loves a bit of Liquorice? As a kid, did you chew on a stick and then rush to the mirror with your mates, to see your tongue and gums turn a sticky shade of black?

    Liquorice, in all its sorts, is a staple of many a candy goody bag and no pick n mix collection would be complete without a gooey stick of black – or Spanish as it’s traditionally referred to either side of the Pennines.

    So what is liquorice, where does it come from, and what is it used for - besides vying for our attention at supermarket checkout tills and cinema ticket queues.

  6. food-2597169_1920

    How could I possibly ask whether chocolate bad for me, when I'm sure you've already heard this: Chocolate is the new wonder food!

    Chocolate is full of minerals such as magnesium, iron and zinc. Chocolate helps release endorphins which are mood enhancers, making us feel good about ourselves. Eating chocolate can combat heart disease. Chocolate contains flavonoids and antioxidants which help to open up the blood vessels to the heart.

    The list seems endless. A multitude of research reports the hidden benefits of chocolate.  Scientific studies point to its many health qualities. Suddenly, there doesn’t seem to be anything that chocolate can’t do.  Goddamit – as the Americans might say – it even tastes good to most of us!