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  1. Is chocolate vegan?

    Is chocolate vegan?

    It’s a question that we’re increasingly asked, here at Cocoa & Heart. Whether by interested students on one of our chocolate courses wanting to know a little more about the chocolate we’re using or by people wanting to buy some of our high-quality chocolate bars or truffles.

    Chocolate comes from a plant and more specifically the pod of the cocao tree. So, in that sense, it could be said to start off life as vegan friendly. However, in the complex and time-consuming process of taking the raw beans and converting them to something like the chocolate we see on supermarket shelves (see our earlier blogs), a variety of additives are mixed in with the chocolate. These include sugar, milk and milkfats, to name just three.

    At this stage it’s probably worth making the distinction between good quality and lesser quality chocolate in terms of the ingredients that they are likely to contain. This is crucial for determining whether the type of chocolate you’re considering buying will be vegan friendly or not.

  2. What is White Chocolate made of_

    As Chocolatiers, we’re used to being asked all manner of questions about our favourite type of confectionary in all its different shapes and forms. But one of the most asked questions concerns colour. And then it’s usually closely followed up with another question about content. Guessed it yet? Yes, people often ask us: 'What is white chocolate made of?'

    First shown 1961, Nestle’s fair faced, whiter than white Milky Bar Kid was a familiar face on our tv screens for over two decades. Riding into the Wild West, he sang of ‘the creamiest milk, the whitest bars, that’s the goodness that’s in milky bars.’ Many of us grew up with the catchphrase ‘the milky bars are on me’ ringing in our ears.

  3. 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

     

  4. ice-2367072_1280

    This chocolate sorbet recipe is perfect as a delicious dessert, but also suitable for dairy free diets. Because it's made without cream or milk, this sorbet is very light and taste amazingly well.

    Whist the preparation time is very short, you need to leave the sorbet to freeze for quite some time, so make sure you start your sorbet making the day before you want to serve it.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.