Article
3 comments

Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles

Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles

Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles

I wondered about sharing these photos, I really did. I had to rush them before dashing to the airport, and I risked it, and got up at 6am to make them, because I really wanted to share this recipe with you. It is perfect for Christmas. Stress free and it takes a little care but otherwise, just fine, anyone can make these. Of course life and work intervened, and I was too busy in Germany and too tired at the end of every day to do any decent writing. So, here it is now.

Salted Caramel

Salted Caramel

But then the photos, I can’t help but think they look like I dug up some mushrooms and then coated them in fine soil. I can’t worry about this though, isn’t it much better that you get the recipe? And maybe a little reassuring to see that, yeah, you can make truffles, and they might look a little rough, but hey! They are still delicious. There aren’t enough hours in the day and there is plenty of other bothersome things, I shouldn’t worry myself so much about photos of truffles.

Or should I?

Anyway, lets drive on. You must make these. All you need is a little salted caramel from my recent recipe, some cream, some good dark chocolate, and some cocoa, and then we are all set.
[Read more]

Article
24 comments

Valentine’s Day in Japan: a totally different experience

IMG_5329

Valentine’s Day Chocolate in Kyoto, Japan – Honmei Choco, I think!

Japan is wonderful for so many reasons. I feel totally out of my water here and at once, also, at home.

It takes a few days to adjust, as it does to anywhere. I am taking my shoes off in the wrong places, and very clumsily, much to the amusement of the locals. Sitting for the tea ceremony results in a speedy dead leg and limping out, and drinking the tea with all of the particular traditions (and with the fear of offending everyone) will hopefully become easier soon.

IMG_5300

A chocolate teapot :)

Sometimes things appear inverted. Japanese people are so polite and softly spoken, I feel so bolshy by comparison. It takes care and attention to pick up on important details at times, so, I am quieter than normal (mostly!), listening, observing and learning, and taking a much in as possible.

Take Valentine’s Day, for example. On Valentine’s Day it is the woman’s responsibility to buy chocolates – and only chocolates – for the men in her life. There are two types of chocolates, giri choco and honmei choco, and in between is a potential nightmare, from what I can see.

Giri choco, obligation chocolates are given to the men that you work with etc. and honmei choco, true love chocolates, to the man that you would like affections returned from. The only difference between these is the price of the chocolate, and they aren’t divided into sections in the shops, they are all just chocolate. So you must be clear with your intentions by choosing a chocolate that is not too cheap but also not expensive enough to be considered a honmei choco.

IMG_5320

Solar system chocolates

Then you wait exactly a month until White Day, the day when men return a gift to the women / woman who gave them giri or honmei choco. The gift returned, if returned, will indicate his intentions.

IMG_5324

Very popular animal chocolates :)

I spoke to a lovely Kyoto lady about this, in detail. I wondered if it was as enormously stressful as it seemed? She told me that she had given her honmei choco to a man that she had an enormous crush on, but it wasn’t returned, and she was devestated. But, one of the men that she gave her giri choco to, interpreted it as an honmei choco (eeek!), but it all worked out brilliantly. He gave her a lovely gift in return on White Day (a ring but not an engagement ring or anything), they started dating, and then she married him.

IMG_5314

Adore this chocolate dinosaur dig, uncover a white chocolate dinosaur

The shops are full of wonderful chocolates for this tradition, I visited the Daimaru department store food court and also a wonderful green tea shop (Ujicha Gion Tsujiri), which even during the week had a very long queue for its café. They have a wonderful range of green teas and products incl fabulous chocolates and ice creams.

IMG_5716

My matcha honmei choco, gifted to myself :)

IMG_5713

…. and a matcha truffle :)

IMG_5302

IMG_5303

IMG_5310

IMG_5313

 

Article
19 comments

A Postcard from Grenada

Grenada

Grenada

I can’t quite believe that my week on this beautiful Caribbean island is coming to an end, but it is. It has been quite the non-stop adventure. I am busier here than I am in London, simply because there is so much that I want to see, and taste.

Lets start with an overview, and I will be back with more details and videos soon. More photos too, as this is really just the very tip of what I have taken.

Nutmeg in the shell, Grenada

Nutmeg in the shell, Grenada

Mace drying the sun, Grenada

Mace drying the sun, Grenada

Sun dried mace, Grenada

Sun dried mace, Grenada

Nutmeg, with mace, in the fruit - all parts are used

Nutmeg, with mace, in the fruit – all parts are used

Met this young guy on the road, Grenada

Met this young guy on the road, Grenada

The lovely folks at Belmont Estate, Grenada

The lovely folks at Belmont Estate, Grenada

Grenada Chocolate Company

Grenada Chocolate Company

Selling fresh fish from the back of a truck - jacks, very popular and in season now

Selling fresh fish from the back of a truck – jacks, very popular and in season now

Sorrel at the market, Grenada

Sorrel at the market, Grenada

Land crabs at the market, Grenada

Land crabs at the market, Grenada

The fish market, Grenada

The fish market, Grenada

Selling offal soup at the meat market, Grenada

Selling offal soup at the meat market, Grenada

Eating Crab Back at BB's Crab Back, Grenada

Eating Crab Back at BB’s Crab Back, Grenada

Land Crab, at BB's, Grenada

Land Crab, at BB’s, Grenada

Harvesting cocoa at Belmont Estate, Grenada

Harvesting cocoa at Belmont Estate, Grenada

Harvesting cocoa at Belmont Estate, Grenada

Harvesting cocoa at Belmont Estate, Grenada