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Spicing it up!

Filed in Blog, Ingredients, recipe, Tastings by on 12th February 2018 0 Comments • views: 26

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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    In the news!

    Filed in No Category by on 27th November 2017 0 Comments • views: 137

    We were delighted to be in the news in the Guardian for Small Business Saturday.

    This Saturday is the 5th Small Business Saturday. We are so excited to be part of this amazing campaign which encourages all to support small businesses close to you.

    Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.

    The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses. In 2017 Small Business Saturday is on Saturday, December 2nd.

    On Small Business Saturday, customers across the U.K go out and support all types of small businesses, online, in offices and in stores. Many small businesses take part in the day by hosting events and offering discounts.

    Once again, we are delighted to be part of the Winter Arts Market on Saturday. Over 200 small businesses all under one roof. What a fabulous opportunity to meet your local small business.

    If you haven’t been before come along and see how awesome this event is. We can guarantee you will be wowed by the beauty and atmosphere.

    Time:10am to 7pm

    Date:2nd December

    Place: Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, St James Mount, L1 7AZ Liverpool – 10am to 7pm

    If you can’t make this please look for other events that are running across the country and support some little indie near you.

    Thank you

    Where we will be until now and Christmas…

    Filed in Blog, Event Details, News by on 5th November 2017 0 Comments • views: 216

    As usual we are out and about with our chocolate over the festive period. Here is a list of where to find us:

    Our chocolates can also be ordered online and picked up from Bidston Village. Treats are also available at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, Claremont Farm, Greens of Oxton and Stollies.

    5th November – River of Light Festival – we’ll be at the bottom of Victoria Parade, New Brighton from 3:30pm tp 7pm

    8th November – Christmas Preview Evening at 24 School Lane, CH43 7RQ between 6:30pm and 9pm

    11th and 12th November – Pop up in the Palm House Christmas Market, Sefton Park Palm House, L17 1AP Liverpool from 11am to 4pm

    19th November – Baltic Market Farmers Market – Cains Brewery, L8 5XJ Liverpool from 11am to 3pm

    25th November – West Kirby Farmers Market -St Andrew’s Church Hall, Graham Road, West Kirby – 9am to 1pm

    2nd December –

    SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY – Please support as many local businesses as you can today ! Here are two events where it will be really great fun to do so:

    Winter Arts Market, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, St James Mount, L1 7AZ Liverpool – 10am to 7pm

    Wallasey Village Annual Christmas Event – 3pm to 7pm – We will not be able to attend this year, however Stollies will have a stall of goodies outside their cafe so some of our stock will be available here.

    9th December – Christmas Truffle Launch at Claremont Farm- l 9am to 1pm

    17th December – Baltic Market Farmers Market – Cains Brewery, L8 5XJ Liverpool from 11am to 3pm

    23rd December – West Kirby Farmers Market -St Andrew’s Church Hall, Graham Road, West Kirby – 9am to 1pm

    Chocolate and Flowers … The perfect match?

    Filed in Blog, News, recipe by on 18th September 2017 0 Comments • views: 310

     

     

    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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    Baltic Market

    Filed in Blog, Event Details, News by on 3rd July 2017 0 Comments • views: 418

    We were really excited to be part of the farmers market at the Baltic Market yesterday.

    We registered our interest as soon as we heard that a market was going to be running there – just by the old Cains Brewery.

    For years we have thought that Liverpool was crying out for a local market run by local people full of local producers – and at last a decent one has arrived.

    The people behind this market, David and Olly have spent a number of years working with small local independent businesses and understand the need for unity and collaboration.

    The atmosphere at the market was fabulous, our neighbouring stall holders were delightful, helpful and friendly, the produce was locally made and of top notch quality – we loved being part of this and are looking forward to the first Sunday of every month where we can take our chocolates along.

    Of course, there were teething problems – we ran out of stock, the market was packed and people had to queue to get in … but Hey! Give the guys a break!! These are really the right kind of teething troubles to have and in due course will be ironed out.

    We are also really looking forward to the Flea market and the makers markets planned on the other Sundays.

    Thank you Baltic Market for including us in this fabulous community.

     

     

    Chocolate and Wine Tasting views: 455

    We’re really excited to be collaborating with Chester Beer and Wine – a fabulous local Beer and Wine shop. If you haven’t visited them yet do pop in and have a look at their amazing selection of wines! (And beer… but we’re not really beer drinkers at The Chocolate Cellar!) We will be with them […]

    Spring Break! views: 389

    So – our pledge of writing a regular blog sort of faded into the background as we crazily made chocolate for Mothers’ Day and Easter. We hope you managed to follow us on Instagram as we absolutely loved taking part in  the #MarchMeetTheMaker Challenge – this was set by Joanne Hawker and many of our […]

    Do we really need these reminders? views: 580

    This week has seen us being inundated with love and kindness. It has been Galentine’s Day, Valentines Day and Random Acts of kindness Day – all between Monday and Friday. What a week!! It is sad that we have to have days to remember to have fun with our female friends, to say “I love […]

    Looking ahead to 2017 views: 793

    So we are finally out of the chasm of Christmas and New Year – I believe it really is “back to school” for us all now! 2016 was a magical and crazy year for us – we made many new friends both personal and business. Here are some of the highlights: We took on the […]