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Chocolate Week is here!

Filed in Blog, Ingredients, recipe by on 17th October 2018 0 Comments • views: 15

National Chocolate Week is upon us again and we’re so happy to have a full week dedicated to the celebration of chocolate!

During one of our tastings this week we were asked what it’s all about – why chocolate week?

For us its always been about celebrating chocolate in its beautiful wondrous form and the way it is so very versatile… as an ingredient and as a delicious food all on its own.

We love playing with chocolate in our chocolate room and delight in coming up with new ways of using this amazing food  – Chocolate and goats cheese pizza, chocolate hummus, chocolate tapenade, roast chicken and chocolate, chocolate mole and of course traditional chocolate bars, chocolate truffles and pralines.

We hope you will enjoy chocolate week and try out something new with chocolate this week. Recipe for our chocolate and goats cheese pizza:

Ingredients:

Sour dough pizza base

Mozzarella

Tomato puree

Goats cheese

Dark intense chocolate (the stronger the better)

Any other toppings you fancy

Method:

Spread tomato puree on the base

Spread grated mozzarella on top

Top with chunks of dark chocolate and slices of goats cheese

Bake in a preheated oven at 200 deg C for 10 minutes

Bon Appetit!

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Heat and the effects on Chocolate

Filed in No Category by on 23rd May 2018 0 Comments • views: 188

So … today I should really be in the Chocolate Room making shot glasses for La Finca Elvissa, La Finca Bodega and Tapas Tapas.

Its a hot sunny day and as I am not yet in a temperature controlled industrial unit I am stuck! It is too warm to work with chocolate today. I do have a small air conditioning unit but it really is not enough to control the temperature on very warm days.

Chocolate needs to be heated and cooled and moved around in order to be tempered. Tempered, in lay terms, means that the crystals that are in the chocolate work together properly and will set beautifully. So when cooled the chocolate will shrink away from the mould. It will look nice and shiny and have a clear crisp snap.

On warm days it is tricky to cool it enough and sometimes this causes the chocolate to have a “bloom” or a cloudy look on it. This often makes it looks like the chocolate has gone off and many people I know would bin the chocolate! All that has happened is that the chocolate has lost its temper! So it is not as strong as it was and will be softe when eating it.It won’t be amazing but it is still chocolate and it does still taste lovely!

 

To learn more you can book on to our chocolate making workshops – the next one is 16th June!

 

So, instead of struggling to fight with temperatures, I will enjoy the weather, take time to tend to our herbs and enjoy the garden and possibly work the night shift!

Hope you are enjoying the sunshine!

 

Another thank you!

Filed in No Category by on 30th April 2018 0 Comments • views: 240

Once again I would like to thank everyone and anyone who has been kind enough to vote / nominate The Chocolate Cellar.

I was so happy to have been listed in Good Taste Magazine’s Power List: 100 women in Food and Drink.

It was amazing to see my name listed with many good friends in the Food Industry and many women that I admire and respect.

From the bottom of my heart … a very huge thank you for your wonderful and continued support.

 

Bala

Unicorns, Dinosaurs and Workshops

Filed in Blog, Event Details, Hello, workshops by on 9th April 2018 0 Comments • views: 271

So Easter was a little bit manic with making Unicorns and Dinosaurs. We were overwhelmed with the lovely comments we received as feedback to the eggs we made.

Thank you so much – we are delighted that we were able to bring so much happiness with our little treats.

We have been a bot behind with sorting out workshops … now that Valentines, Mothers Day and Easter have been dealt with we are delighted that we have managed to get back to taking hen party bookings as well as school workshops and team building corporate workshops.

We are still holding them at HUS, Siren and Claremont Farm and are also now working with Baltic Creative in the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool to add more workshops.

Our next Dabble and Creative workshops are at Claremont Farm on 16th June. … Just in time for Fathers Day maybe?

If you would like to book please head to our online  shop and purchase a voucher or Click here for the Dabble workshop via Eventbrite    and Click here for the Creative workshop link on Eventbrite

Spicing it up!

Filed in Blog, Ingredients, recipe, Tastings by on 12th February 2018 0 Comments • views: 389

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!

    In the news! views: 514

    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 […]

    Where we will be until now and Christmas… views: 576

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    Chocolate and Flowers … The perfect match? views: 701

        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!   On Thursday, we went to the […]

    Baltic Market views: 833

    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 […]