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Spicing it up!

Filed in Blog, Ingredients, recipe, Tastings by on 12th February 2018 0 Comments • views: 313

As Valentines is coming up we have put together a little list of some of our favourite spices to add a little bit of heat to the proceedings.

As well as Chocolate, Raw Oysters, Strawberries and more, spices are often cited as being aprodisiacs and are often use in many cultures when preparing recipes for a special occasion. Not only do they taste amazing, without getting too scientific, many do create a “buzz” in the body and the brain.

  • Ginger –  an integral component of the diet of many cultures and valued for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties for thousands of years. The Romans first imported ginger from China and by the middle of the 16th century, Europe was receiving more than 2000 tonnes per year from the East Indies. s scent is thought to stimulate the circulatory system, allowing the blood flow to reach every corner of your body.
  • Cardamom – An aromatic spice indigenous to south India and Sri Lanka, cardamom seeds come from a plant belonging to the ginger family. They are contained in small pods about the size of a cranberry. Cardamom has a wonderful aroma and an enticing warm, spicy-sweet flavour. We are used to picking these out from rice dishes but toast the seeds and grind them and they add an amazing flavour to any dish!
  • Vanilla

      The sun-dried seed pod of a type of climbing orchid, vanilla has an inimitable soft, sweet fragrance and flavour. The labour-intensive process involved in hand-pollinating and nurturing the flowers, together with the long drying time necessary makes it a highly prized – and highly priced – ingredient.

      of. Long, black, thin and wrinkled, vanilla pods contain thousands of tiny black seeds, which are used to flavour mainly sweet dishes, and go particularly well with chocolate. The presence of tiny black specks in a vanilla-flavoured dish is confirmation that real vanilla has been used.

      It is said that the seeds located inside of the vanilla bean have euphoric properties.

    • Cinnamon – The main type of cinnamon is Ceylon cinnamon, from the Cinnamomum Zeylanicum plant which originates in Sri Lanka. The other main type is Cassia cinnamon which has a stronger taste and is slightly cheaper. To maximise the medicinal value and health benefits of cinnamon, regardless of type, the key thing is its freshness.  Cinnamon has large amounts of anti-oxidants.
    • Cayenne pepper – a red, hot little spice with origins in South and Central America, the West Indies and Mexico. Dried and powdered, it produces a powerful heat that can enhance a plethora of foods – in the right amounts! But better than that, an active ingredient called capsaicin gives cayenne and other hot peppers their intensity and is also a powerful pain reliever.Native Americans understood both the culinary and medicinal potency of this ingredient around 9,000 years ago. Cajun and Creole cooks, as well as those in Italy, Mexico and Asia, use it to make their dishes a little – or a lot – spicier, while Korean, Japanese and Chinese healers and Indian Ayurvedic traditions have relied on this ingredient for a number of cures.

    We hope you’ll give these spices a go in your recipes. Enjoy!

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    Chocolate and Flowers … The perfect match?

    Filed in Blog, News, recipe by on 18th September 2017 0 Comments • views: 581

     

     

    We have had an absolutely crazy week – we started off on Monday with a lovely Chocolate and Wine pairing event with the lovely Sam from Chester Beer and Wine. We love collaborating with Sam and are planning a few more pairings … watch this space!

     

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    On Thursday, we went to the launch party of the Good Taste Magazine – what a lovely evening and what a brilliant Magazine – perfect for any foodie. We wish Jade and her team all the very best with the Magazine.

    On Saturday we were so very happy to be part of the Ness Gardens Garden Party – celebrating 70 years of Gardeners Question Time. As you may be able to tell from our logo, flowers and gardening are a big hobby of ours. So, imagine being asked to be part of this fabulous event!!

     

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    For our demo we chose to combine chocolate and flowers. The flowers were from Mrs B’s edible flowers in St Helens. We first spotted Lisa’s flowers on the Low Down Liverpool and got rather excited about trying to match chocolate and flowers together. Lisa is so very passionate about her flowers and the care and attention she gives to these flowers is visible all around her flower farm. We had a lovely time discussing flavours and ideas and came up with a selection of truffles.

    Thank you to all who came to watch our demo and as promised – here is the recipe:

     

    Ingredients

    – 40g rosehips – topped, tailed and chopped

    – 120ml of double cream

    – 150g milk chocolate

    – rose petals to decorate

     

    We chose to use Mrs B’s Rosehips, however if this is not feasible for you and you are planning to gather your own, please be careful. Ensure that they have not been sprayed with any nasty chemicals and also ensure that they are not picked from a busy roadside where there is a lot of traffic.

    Look for plump, firm rosehips – make sure they haven’t dried up.

    Method:

    1. Heat the rosehips and the cream together until scalding hot
    2. Leave the mixture for at least 6 hours in a fridge (ideally overnight)
    3. Warm up the rosehip infusion and then strain off all of the rosehips – so that you are left with orange looking cream
    4. Leave to cool
    5. Melt the chocolate
    6. Add to the infused cream mixture and slowly tease the cream into the mixture
    7. Pour the ganache into a tray and leave to cool overnight
    8. Chop into bitsize squares and decorate with rose petals – using a little bit of molten chocolate to stick the rose petals on.
    9. Enjoy!!

     

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