Wedding favours – heart-shaped chocolates

It is said that the day of wedding is the most beautiful day in a Woman’s Life. No wonder many young brides want this day to be Perfect. From  dress and comfortable shoes to wedding favours. Recently trending, chocolates make ideal wedding favours. Some time ago I was asked if I would be able to prepare wedding favour chocolates. This question gave me thrills. I cannot say it was a mostly  pleasant feeling. I was slightly petrified! But after careful considerations, I decided to give this idea a go! Recently I had an opportunity to run a test. Namely – I have been invited to a wedding!  And so I bravely offered my chocolate services as a present to the Newlyweds. My offer met with reasonable enthusiasm, and so at the end of September I found myself  in a production mania. Objective: 100 Wedding Chocolates Assumption : I had to divide my work to batches to make it digestable for one person. After all it’s been a single largest batch of chocolates producted by me in one go so far! Stage 1 This stage was fairly easy. I just had to temper some chocolate. In this case, I used chocolate 55%. To the chocolate mass I added some orange peel  and for breaking the taste…. rosemary! After tempering I had to pour the chocolate in the moulds and wait a few hours for it to set (in reality I could resume my work on the following day).   Stage 2 The second stage was a reasonably pleasant part- decorating. The 100 chocolate hearts were  treated with golden (edible!) spray...

Chocolate cocktail recipe in three versions

This year’s summer is slowly going away. Along with the summer, there go all those wild parties in the open, until dawn  (in winter you can also party in the open but it takes some certain level of desperation  IMHO). Back in the days of my long lost youth I still remember those  summer nights. There was no sitting at home. Every weekend was filled with joy, dancing and coctails. However chocolate coctails did not appear in my menu until recently. Back then I preferred more more refreshing drinks (shame on me!) And what is the single  best refresher  in the heat of the night? Cocktail! A good coctail! Since we’ve reached almost the end of summer, the nights are no longer so sultry. Hence, there is no need for such refreshment. That’s why cocktails can take on density and clarity. and chocolate!! Some time ago I gave a recipe for home made chocolate liqueur. If you managed to do it at home, then great! It will serve as a basis for today’s experiments. Here are some recipes if you want to take a closer look : RECIPE 1 RECIPE 2 RECIPE 3 Today I want to  introduce  three unforgettable  recipes   (that is if you manage to stick to the the limits of consumption). Recipe 1-Chocolate Martini-Chocolatini Chocolatini is the invention of recent years-the whole internet is overwhelmed with many variations of this cocktail. Often there is a version of Bailyes’em (as even here). However, I bet on a version based on the good, old vodka. Ingredients : One unit  of  chocolate liqueur -40 ml One unit of vodka 40 ml Sweet Cream (Note! I ...

Cheese and chocolate pairing. Match made in heaven?

“But how’s that?! Cheese and chocolate?! ” I heard from a friend when I showed her occasional photo on my Instagram (follow) The surprise is probably due to the fact that Chocolate is associated with sweetness. We like to think about cheeses rather in terms of “salty”. In the end we all heard about wine + cheese combo. For more adventurous readers I also recommend my guide- soon to come – how to pair chocolate with wine (stay tuned folks!) So what about cheese? The first time I heard about cheese and chocolate pairing while I  was on holiday  in Colombia. It turns out that cheese dipped in  hot chocolate is a traditional delicacy served in many cafés in Bogota. Hearing about this delicacy (?) for the first time I winced in a slight expectation of the worst. It turned out, however, that the cheese served in hot chocolate is a soft cheese, in the taste resembling a bit ricotta (maybe a little more blunt than ricotta and -yes! that’s possible). As a result, the shock for the taste buds was a bit smaller. But really speaking of serving yourself a surprise, it turns out all the fun is to hack the sense of taste and strike  with salty and sweet. Simultaneously. Sounds silly? And Salted caramel, anyone? Camembert and cranberries? These are the classics of this type of matching Okay. Enough of it. Let’s get down to business and pair something. and by that, I mean – of course – Cheese and chocolate pairing 101. In this post I am not going to go into into the depths of the art of pairing.   This time just the basics – what...

Rosemary pralines.

Rosemary pralines. This experimento is so unusual, that I do not even know how to write proper intro to this kitchen adventure. A few days ago I asked my Instagram audience in a poll, if it was a good idea to go and try this in my own kitchen. 100% voted “let’s do this! You go girl!. So I went! Believe you me, purchasing fresh rosemary at the beggining of December it ain’t all that easy. So after visiting several supermarkets, I can call my mission a success, and so Ladies and Gentlemen- fresh rosemary pralines   Let me repeat myself – it was a big culinary experiment. I searched through the web and found no reasonable recipe to replicate. And so I had to make my own! The closest to an inspiration I got was this recipe here, but in the end the only common ingredient proved to be rosemary itself! At first I was a bit sceptical, after all I was experimenting with a really unusual ingredient. But my instincts proved me right! I have just finished preparing rosemary pralines and they blew me away! Sweet and sauer orange perfectly compliements bitterish rosemary. It’s a match made in heaven.   But what am I going to explain to you, go and try yourselves! So let me share with you my recent discovery. Ingredients for 10 pralines : 50 grams of milk chocolate 50 grams of dark chocolate 50 grams of mascarpone zest of half orange chocolate sprinkle or cocoa powder  for decoration Preparation : Melt  both kinds of chocolate in water bath Stir in mascarpone Add rosemary and...

Chocolate liqueur. Easy recipe.

I am not a very big fan of complicated dishes. Nor vodka to be precise. And when it comes to preparing complicatged dishes with vodka…man I’m out! That’s why I started studying liqueurs. Well actually recipes for liqueurs. Homemade liqueurs are fun and easy and spirit based, rather than vodka! Classic win-win situation. So to start off smoothly I bring you chocolate liqueur – the easy recipe. To be honest, it was quite a mental challenge for me to go to the liquor store and purchase 96% spirit (more on my mental issues regarding the subject can be found here). But once I bought that half a litre bottle, suddenly my head got full of culinary ideas.   I started releasing my creativity in a very old school manner – I went through all of my cookbooks to find the perfect recipe for chocolate liqueur. And guess what? I found nothing suitable. I tried preparing this liqueur several times before calling it a success. Why was that? Well, I followed the recipe which contained condensed milk and found the liqueur impossible to remove from the bottle! I had to break the thing with a hammer! Totally worth it act of violence! So, hbut aving learnt from that failure I enhanced the vintage recipe a bit. I confirm that after a week, it’s still in a drinkable state rather than edible.   Ingrdients : 100 g milk chocolate 200 ml spirit Tin of condensed milk (aha!! still there!!)  300 ml or a cup of full milk Pinch of cinnamon (optional but since it’s my singature spice I add it everywhere. If you...

Spread love- chocolate spread!

I am still sick! Yay hooray! And fever is giving me side effect of poetry (vide the title of this post). So instead of spreading viruses…I’m spreading chocolate! Or chocolate spread to be precise. Anywho, Netflix is still no fun and going outside is impossibile! So, the only way to cheer a gal like myself up is to do some fancy cooking (low cost though). I’ve been into spreads for a while now, because they are easy and quick to make and when done with love (ha!) can be part of a fancy table decor. Or a great gift. Non- alcoholic this time. The best part about it this babe is that it contains two main ingredients only. Hence it is very easy to prepare.  Since we are slowly entering Christmas/ Holiday period I prefer to make a batch and then share the jars with friends. So again, without further ado let’s get straight to business.   Ingredients: 100 g pistachios (if you’re feeling lazy use pistachio butter (it will save you roughly 1/2 hr of prepping) 200 g white chocolate (I used vegan but you can go for regular chocolate) pinch of salt 300 ml jar (Sherlock….) Preparation: peel pistachios grind the pistachios in a food processor or blender. Go for the texture you like the most, I prefer crunchy so I’m deliberately very clumsy about the grinding melt chocolate in water bath put away around 20g of chocolate add ground pistachios to 180 g of chocolate put it in a jar and let it cool down store away for up to a month For those of you...

How to upgrade chocolate spread

So it happened! I caught cold. I thought I’d been taking good care of myself but yeah….no…So I’m stuck at home miserable, sick and desperate. Suddenly Netflix is not so much fun anymore and I’ve been banned from exercising for a while. So what can I do? Well, chocolate obviously…duh I’ve been playing with various chocolate speard formulas for a while now, but this time I decided to make an upgrade. The below recipe is a true masterpiece of fusion cuisine so brace yourselves! Chocolate -mascarpone spread – upgraded version Why upgraded? Well, I don’t fool around these days. And there’s something sexy about cooking with spirits. It makes one….spiritual I guess?    Having said that I’d gone to my local store to purchase some spirit. Pretty heavy metal thing. Like I said…I don’t fool around these days in the kitchen. Most of the spirit has been used for lovely chocolate liquor (I will share the recipe soon). The remainings however have been used a base for this fab spread. So without further ado : Ingredients : Good, solid spoonful of spirit (96% alcohol in case you were planning on ghost hunting). Manipulate the dose until you find your sweet spot. The final product should be tangy*  200 g mascarpone cheese Caster sugar to taste  200 g dark chocolate Jar or any other container – wait is that an ingredient? Preparation : This is an easy part, I promise you that! Melt chocolate in water bath Add caster sugar while stirring Carefully stir in mascapone Add spirit Stir until smooth texture Store in a fridge for up to two weeks...

Why making chocolate?

I’m a typical polymath. My intertests are very wide and include everything  and anything ranging from protozoa, classical dance (theory as well as practice ), astrobiology to herbalism and unusual design. Why making chocolate then? So why on Earth have I turned into making chocolate? If anyone asked me (which never happened) why my choice fell on chocolate, I would have to answer in a slightly prententious tone, that it was actually chocolate, that chose me. But first thing’s first. I hate baking. I seem to be unable of producing a single piece of a decent cake of any type. Once dough is in the oven, the creative part of the process is complete. The results are not known and oftentimes cannot be predicted until  40-60 minutes later, once one gets to open the oven and face their (in my case not so much of a) masterpiece. Chocolate however is a completely different story. It can be played with almost indefinitely until the desired form is obtained.   It all started three years ago. My friend was having a birthday. I didn’t know what to get him, so I decided to make some rum balls. Since it was my first time ever, I was heavily improvising and – this will come to you as a shocker – I heavily screwed up. Being in a hurry for the party, I decided to dip my Frankenstein balls (pun intended!) in melted chocolate , and this is how my first ever chocolates were created. So fasten your seatbelts. Here’s my recipe for sweet success : 40% rum, 30% dark chocolate, 20% biscuits, 10%...

Chocolate tea-the ultimate recipe

We should be facing warm spring days right now, but it seems something went wrong.As a direct result of the low temperatures, I prefer to sip hot, rich drinks. The first idea anyone could have, would be naturally a cup of green tea or delicious coffee.  This spring I decided to bet on tea however in a very new  version. Chocolate tea – perfect drink to warm up from the inside out This drink not only will leave pleasant warmth inside of you but thanks to theobromine contained in cocoa will boost up your energy levels to get you going through another cold day. Chocolate tea is not only a feast for the senses. Well balanced components ensure a lot of minerals and antioxidants are delivered right to your body. It seems that the idea of chocolate tea evolved from cascara. Cascara (or coffee cherry tea) is a tea made from the fruit of the coffee tree (coffee made with tea?! whoah my mind is blown away!). And more specifically with the skins of  a coffee cherry (cascara in spanish means “peel”,”husk” or “skin”). The skins after being removed, are sun dried and then are ready to turn into a tea. The original chocolate tea is made with cocoa shells with  spices. Given that raw cocoa shells are pretty hard to get, I decided to make my own version based on more commonly available cocoa  nibs. Ingredients for a teapot (4 cups): black tea (I suggest  Earl Grey due to the oil of bergamot which will flavour nicely the brew) 2 cups hot water  2-3  tbsp cocoa nibs or dark chocolate 1 tablespoon cocoa powder cinnamon cardamom...