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Showing posts with the label Chocolate

Deep and crisp and even

I love the smell of the kitchen at Christmas and New Year. Heavy with the scent of cloves, cinnamon, ginger, sweet wine, golden syrup, orange peel and chocolate. Its so good it should be bottled and sold.
For me, the Christmas & New Year celebrations are the perfect time to prepare a few simple classics like chocolate truffles, biscotti and brandy snaps. I know brandy snaps can be a little fiddly, but once you have mastered the basics, they are really very easy to make. Just remember that once out of the oven the Brandy snap wafer is far too soft and delicate to curl, it needs to be left for about two to three minutes to start to firm up and become flexible. However, as the Brandy Snap wafer further cools it becomes hard and brittle, and within the next four to five minutes they become too brittle to curl, and they will break if you try. So there is only a small window of opportunity to curl them successfully. If they harden up, just pop them back the oven for a few moments and sta…

Happy chocolate holidays

If chocolate ever went out of fashion, and if it did, nobody bothered telling me, it is certainly back with a vengeance now. Over the last few years there has been somewhat of a chocolate revolution happening in Spain with several, forward-looking companies springing up and selling amazing designer chocolates full of weird and wonderful combinations and off the wall flavours such as black olive, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese. Names such as the Chocolate Factory, Cacao Sampaka, Chocovic and Enric Rovira, with their high quality products and modern, sleek packaging have helped, once again, to make Spanish chocolate makers the envy of the world.
Once known as ‘the food of the gods' in Aztec culture, the story of chocolate really began with the discovery of the Americas when Columbus returned in triumph and laid before the Spanish throne a treasure trove of strange and wonderful things. No one could ever have imagined how important chocolate and their bitter cocoa beans would …