5 articles Tag chocolate

6 Must-Visit Chocolatiers For The Traveling Sweet Tooth

Middlebury Chocolate with Andy Jackson” (CC BY 2.0) by Breville USA

Engaging in the cultural delights of the countries you visit on your travels defines the adventure. But everybody does the obvious ones – from visiting iconic historical buildings and grand natural landmarks to experiencing local cuisine and once-in-a-lifetime leisure activities.

But there’s one thing that binds us all and that’s a love of chocolate. And through this much-loved confectionary, the sweet-toothed traveler can bring a new dimension to their trip. Here are six must-see chocolatiers from around the world.

Jacques Torres in New York

Now boasting eight locations around New York, you’ll find it hard to miss Jacques Torres when visiting the city. It’s probably best to head to Torres’ Rockefeller Center chocolate shop. That way you can tick two things off your bucket list – eating Mr. Chocolate’s sugary delights and a visit to one of the city’s landmark locations.

Melange in London

Melange is different. Its reputation has been built on weird and wonderful flavour combinations. Now multi award-winning, Peckham-based artisan chocolatier Isabelle Alaya specialises in tantalizing the taste buds with a fascinating and surprising mix of spices, herbs and fruits in her handmade chocolate bars and truffles.


chocolates from Teuscher” (CC BY 2.0) by Alanna Risse

Teuscher in Zurich

Years of painstaking research have gone into making Teuscher one of the world’s great chocolatiers. Dolf Teuscher founded the business over 70 years ago, having travelled the world seeking the finest cocoa. Experimentation saw him develop unique flavour combinations with various ingredients, including marzipan, fruit and nuts, combining to forge a then-pioneering chocolate empire. Teuscher chocolates are now found all around the world but visiting its outlet in Zurich takes you back to where it all began.

Coro the Chocolate Café in Edinburgh

Coro the Chocolate Café doesn’t claim to be an expert chocolatier, but it does know how to make eating an exciting and unique experience. Boosted by Deliveroo  bringing its chocolatey delights direct to customers’ doors in Edinburgh, Coro’s aim is to deliver your chocolate fix in new and interesting ways. So you’ll see a menu brimming with choice that includes everything from crepes and fluffy waffles to ice cream, milkshakes and even savory items.

Debauve & Gallais in Paris

The oldest chocolate shop in Paris charts its beginnings back to 1800 when Sulpice Debauve founded what would become Napoleon’s official chocolate supplier. Debauve had been experimenting with chocolate for years, even curing Marie-Antoinette’s headaches with a remedy blended with cocoa butter. The company’s dark chocolate, some of which is 99% cocoa, is arguably the best you’ll taste anywhere in the world.

Belle Fleur in Sydney

Belle Fleur might be better known as the chocolate sculpture experts but there’s still a winning combination of aesthetic imagination and delicious flavour. With exciting combinations of ingredients, from fresh lemon meringue with white chocolate ganache and whipped cream topping to local favourite The Aussie, which sees a salted ganache smothered in dark chocolate, Belle Fleur has plenty to interest a sweet tooth.

Our whistle-stop tour of international chocolatiers showcases a few select artisans and their imaginative approach to satisfying the taste buds. Travel doesn’t have to be all museums, tall buildings and 22-hour bus journeys – it can also mean chocolatey indulgence.

Making Our Own Raw Chocolate with Indigo Herbs

Indigo Herbs Raw ChocolateSince I’ve been on a ketogenic diet, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about nutrition and what we should be putting in our bodies, which in turn has made me hyper-conscious about what is in the food we eat. Even on a rare “cheat” day, I’m checking labels and have still been known to shun food which are pure sugar or artificial ingredients, which is why I was really intrigued when Indigo Herbs offered to send me one of their raw chocolate kits, containing everything we need to make our own raw chocolates.

So what, I hear you ask, is raw chocolate? Well, the guys at Indigo Herbs say it a lot better than I can:

“Much of the Cacao bean’s natural goodness gets destroyed in the heating process of conventional chocolate making. Consequently the feel good factor often experienced when eating chocolate is significantly more noticeable with raw chocolate because much more of the feel good chemical compounds remain intact. The Cacao bean is naturally so rich in nutrients that when the ingredients are handled and processed at low temperatures, these micro-nutrients remain available.”

The kit was really beautifully packaged and would make an excellent gift for an health-conscious foodie, and it was so simple to make that I let Sausage and Burrito Baby help too. The instructions on the kit are really clear and concise and I think Sausage could actually have managed all by herself if it wasn’t for needing me to sort out the bain marie. We made them at the dining room table and the whole room smelled AMAZING by the time we’d finished.

In terms of taste, the chocolates were genuinely some of the best I’ve ever tried. The brazil nuts and goji berries, combined with the slightly bitter raw chocolate flavour made them feel decadent and satisfying – there’s no way you could over-indulge on these because one or two is enough to well and truly satiate your sweet tooth. Before I cut carbs out of my diet, I had a monster sweet tooth and could eat chocolate almost endlessly, but eating a diet which consists mostly of savoury food has sort of reset my taste buds, making even the smallest morsel of sweet food enough.

Obviously, the beauty of these chocolates is the ingredients. There’s literally nothing in them which isn’t totally natural and the sugar comes from agave nectar which is a low-GI sweetener and doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar. Nutrition-wise, the chocolates have 72 calories per portion, which is made up of 4.9g carbs, 3.1g fat and 1.2g protein – perfect for someone like me who is on under 20g of carbs per day – keeping these in the fridge to have with a cup of coffee as an afternoon pick-me-up would not only be a welcome addition to a largely savoury menu but is also a real morale booster. There’s huge mental value to being able to treat yourself to something which is basically guilt-free when you’re on a restricted diet.

I’m genuinely really impressed by the kit on so many levels – it looks good, it contains everything you need, its easy to use and the results are fantastic. I’d be thrilled to receive one of these kits as a gift and also love the fact that I feel confident in giving them to my children because the ingredients are all natural. Thanks to Indigo Herbs for introducing us to raw chocolate – we’re definite converts! (Get Your Raw Chocolate Kit here)

Thorntons Chocolate Hampers

53768If there’s one thing I love about Christmas, it’s the chance to enjoy nice things with the people I love. Last year, I was 7 months pregnant with BB and in the grips of insulin-dependant type II diabetes, so treating myself was really difficult and I struggled with keeping my morale up while everyone around me was digging in to the Festive fayre! Luckily, my Husband is a resourceful soul and discovered that Thorntons Hampers actually come in a low sugar variety, which really cheered me up.

This year, although I’m still diabetic, I’m no longer dependent on insulin and no longer pregnant so a little indulgence here and there won’t be a problem. One of my favourite things at Christmastime, apart from all of the chocolate, is Christmas pudding – last year it was well and truly off the menu for me, so Husband bought one and put it away until March when we shared it with lashings of double cream – heaven!

Christmas is going to be extra exciting for us this year – obviously, the fact that I’m not pregnant anymore is a bonus and I’ll be enjoying a little tipple, but mainly because it’s BB’s first Christmas. Sausage is already planning what she wants to buy her little sister for Christmas and we’re sticking to our tradition of making new decorations for the tree by making handprint snowflakes from both of the girls hands. On Christmas Eve, we’re going to the O2 to see Disney on Ice and on Christmas day, we’ll be out of the house, celebrating with family, so we’ve got a pretty full schedule over the festive period.

We like to spend at least one day at home – it always seems mean giving kids a bundle of new toys and then dragging them straight out of the house for two days, depriving them of the chance to play with things, so our day at home usually means yummy canapes, Lego building and chilling with the pooch.

Chocolate makes a fantastic gift, too. This year, we’ve all decided that we’ll just buy presents for the kids and just get little token gifts for the adults, and I think chocolate would make a great gift. It’d probably work out to be excellent value if I were to buy a Thorntons hamper and split it up to give as presents to people and I know for a fact that the grown-ups in our family all have a sweet tooth.

Do have a look at the Thorntons page and let me know which hamper you’d choose if you could – you may well give me some choc-spiration!

Easter at Thorntons

When I was pregnant, Thorntons Diabetic chocolate was just about the only thing that kept me sane, so when they got in touch and asked if we’d like to review some of their Easter eggs, we jumped at the chance. Yesterday morning, the postman turned up with this:

Thorntons Easter Eggs

Okay, so it may not be Easter quite yet, but we’ve been sampling the eggs already, strictly in the name of reviewing (ugh, my job is SO hard). The chocolate sheep and bunny lollies that you can see at the front are perfect for a smaller child and taste delicious. The Hopalot bunnies are also great for the littlies as they’re super Eastery (that’s totally a word…) without being too massive and getting them all hopped up (HOPPED up, geddit?!) on sugar.

The plain eggs are gorgeously simple, while the Super Scooter and Shining Star eggs are great for older kids who still want to get involved with the egg-giving traditions – and let’s face it, who doesn’t  like being given chocolate?!

My favourite egg was the big Special Toffee egg in the middle. The egg itself is set with tiny shards of toffee, and also comes with a slab of toffee in the box; the whole thing feels deliciously grown-up. Of course, being Thorntons, the chocolate in all of the eggs was excellent quality and everything we were sent both look and tasted amazing. I must admit, when I’m buying eggs for Easter, I usually end up going to the supermarket and doing some sort of multi-buy deal on branded eggs which contain some novelty item or another with a tiny, bland egg inside. However, after trying Thorntons eggs, I think this will be my new go-to shop for Easter treats.

They also do a whole range of other eggs, including smaller, brightly wrapped chocolate eggs which are perfect for Easter egg hunts, a great activity for getting the kids outside in the sunshine on a beautiful spring day.

Edible Sparklers

We’re not much ones for Bonfire Night in the Mum’s the Word house; as dog owners, it tends to just upset the whole household and we find it hard to enjoy.

One thing we can enjoy though is Bonfire Night food and these edible sparklers are super simple to make and super fun to get the kids involved in. You’ll need:

Cadbury’s fingers (we used the milk chocolate ones)

 

 

Edible cake sprinkles

 

 

A cup of boiling water

 

 

 

 

Dip the tip of a choccy finger into the hot water for about 5 seconds

 

 

 

 

 

Dip the melted end into the sprinkles, which you’ll need to spread onto a saucer

 

 

 

 

 

Leave to set for a while before nomming in large quantities, preferably with a nice cup of tea.