Design your own chocolate with Chocolab

chocolab-bar

Who doesn’t love chocolate?

Well imagine being able to create the chocolate bar of your dreams. It’s true, you can do it with Chocolab! You really can be just like Willy Wonka.

To start with you select the type of Belguim chocolate base you want to use – milk, white or dark. Then you can select from hundreds of ingredients to create your own unique personalised bar. You can create your decadent chocolate bar with up to five ingredients like spices, fruit, biscuits, nuts and all your favourite sweets from childhood.

I went with a dark chocolate base, and added cinnamon, passionfruit powder, Ovalteenies, raspberries, and candied orange peel.

chocolab-bar-bite

My customised chocolate bar arrived in the post and I couldn’t wait to try it.

It was super delicious. The chocolate was first class and smooth. I was happy with my selection – the flavours married together well.

You could create a chocolate bar for Mother’s day, give them out as Wedding favours, or simply buy one for yourself.

Design your own chocolate and have it delivered direct to your door by express post. Head over to  www.chocolab.com.au and create the bar of your dreams.

Paleo double chocolate granola

paleo-chocolate-granola

This granola is for those who love chocolate. It had double the chocolate with cacao powder and cacao nibs, you could use cocoa or carob powder instead. Serve with almond milk or coconut milk for a filling paleo breakfast.

Paleo double chocolate granola

1 cup almonds, sliced
1 cup walnuts, crumbled
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup pepitatas
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup linseeds or sesame seeds
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp cacao powder
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1 tsp vanilla extract
sea salt to taste
2 Tbsp coconut oil

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a baking try with baking paper.
  2. Combine all the nuts and seeds, coconut, honey, cacao powder and nibs, vanilla and sea salt in a bowl.
  3. Melt the coconut oil and pour over the dry mix.
  4. Mix together really well and then spread out evenly on baking tray.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes in the oven. Turn mixture half-way through.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  7. Serve with almond milk or coconut milk.

Makes 5 cups.

Paleo chocolate banana milkshake recipe

choc-banana-milkshake
Chocolate and banana are a great combination and with few extra ingredients – it’s a winner. This milkshake is made with coconut milk.

Paleo chocolate banana milkshake recipe
1 cup coconut milk
1 banana, fresh or frozen
1 tsp cocoa or cacao powder
4 dates or 1 tsp honey
a pinch of cinnamon

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and whiz to mix.

Serves 1.

Notes: Dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian

Chocolate fudge slice recipe

Chocolate fudge slice

Here’s a great little recipe to make during summer, since it doesn’t use the oven and just the stove top. I used sultanas, but to make it a more festive perhaps you could use mini marshmallows, cranberries or pistachios.

I took it along to my art and craft class breakups and it got favourable comments and someone even asked for the recipe. So here it is.

Chocolate fudge slice recipe

90g butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 1/2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped sultanas or walnuts
250g Milk Arrowroot biscuits, crushed

Topping

200g dark chocolate
60g butter

  1. Grease a 20cm square cake tin and line with baking paper.
  2. Combine the butter, sugar, milk, vanilla, cocoa powder and sultanas in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  3. Cool and then stir in the crushed Milk Arrowroot biscuits. Spoon mixture into the tin, press and smooth with the back of the spoon. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.
  4. For the topping, melt the chocolate and butter together in a saucepan over low heat. Cool for 15 minutes until thickened slightly.
  5. Spread the topping over the slice.
  6. Leave to set and then cut into squares or diamonds.

The Ultimate List of Top Chocolatiers in the World

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Here’s a list of some of the most famous producers of the world’s finest chocolate. MC means that they have been given the title master chocolatier.

My favourite chocolate is Camille Bloch. We had little squares of the Swiss chocolate as favours at our wedding.

Who is your favourite chocolate producer?

Austria

Belgium

Canada

France

Germany

Italy

Luxembourg

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

United Kingdom

The United States of America

Very Chocolate gelato by Sugo Mi Gelateria review

Very Chocolate gelato

I had to try Very chocolate gelato from Sugo Mi Gelateria after I found out that it won 5 out of 6 of the major prizes in the 2013 Royal QLD Food & Wine Show.

The gelato was soft and smooth, with a rich but not overpowering chocolate-y taste. Served with a waffle cone and you have all you need for a great gelato. Go across the road to the park and eat away to your heart’s content.

Highly recommended.

Sugo Mi
3/190 Oxford St,
Bulimba, Brisbane

Jamie’s Epic Hot Chocolate for one recipe

hot chocolate

Jamie Oliver made this Epic Hot chocolate as part of his Christmas Special on television. I wanted to try the recipe which was originally made for 8 to 10 people. You can keep the ingredients in a large jar, but I would rather make it up as I need it.

This recipe is epic because it contains real chocolate. I recommend using Lindt 70% chocolate because 1 square equals 10 grams. My version doesn’t contain Horlicks because it’s hard to find in Australia. If you do have it, add 1/2 teaspoon to the mixture.

I love cuddling on the couch with a great video and a cup of steaming hot chocolate. Here’s to an epic hot chocolate recipe for one.

Epic Hot Chocolate for one recipe

250 ml of milk or alternative milk
1/2 tsp cornflour
1/2 tsp icing sugar
1 tsp quality cocoa, organic
10g quality chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
a pinch of ground cinnamon

  1. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and heat to almost boiling.
  2. Break up the chocolate into small pieces or grate into the milk.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.

Serves 1.

Melinda’s Gluten-free goodies Heavenly Chocolate Fudge Brownie review

chocolate brownie

We were lucky to receive a packet of Heavenly Chocolate Fudge Brownie from Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies to trial. I was wanting to make something sweet for afternoon tea and these were the answer.

The lactose-free chocolate was morish and I had to stop myself from eating the chips! I must admit I made a bit of a mess melting the chocolate and butter in the microwave, so next time I would do this on the stove top. Alternatively, I’d suggest checking the mixture every minute and the recipe on the back of the packed does suggest this.

It was then easy sailing as I mixed 2 eggs with the brownie premix, which I then combined with the chocolate and butter mixture.

I didn’t line my cake tin as suggested, but I did use a non-stick tin sprayed with oil. I popped it in the preheated oven and 25 minutes later it was done. You can leave the cake in less time for a more fudgy result, but I left them in for the full amount.

The result was gooey, moist chocolate brownies, with no funny aftertaste that you sometimes get with gluten free products. They have kept well for a few days, although best eaten on the day of cooking.

It’s not hard to see how these become bestsellers.

Available from Coles, Woolworths, IGA, Independents, and various online stores.

 Thank you, Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies for allowing us to try Heavenly Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Winning rum balls recipe

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Here is my top-secret recipe for winning work’s rum ball competition. There’s no coconut, condensed milk, Weetbix or biscuits. It’s not something to eat all time, but an easy one for a work night.

I’ve used a store-bought cake to cut down on the preparation time and I’ve tried a number of different varieties – plain cake with jam works well, so does the chocolate version (see photo) for a double dose of chocolate. I did scrap the mock cream off though. If the mixture is a little damp leave it for 10 minutes or so for the chocolate to harden up a little. Roll in coconut at the end if you wish.

These are rich, decadent and moist.

Winning rum balls recipe

500g swiss roll or Madeira cake
150g dark cooking chocolate
25ml rum

  1. Crumb the prepared cake in a large glass bowl.
  2. Melt chocolate as per instructions on packet.
  3. Mix the melting chocolate into the cake mix, then mix in the rum. Keep mixing until well combined.
  4. Scoop out and roll into balls. Place on a tray or container lined with baking paper.

Keep in the fridge, especially during summer.

Restaurant review: South Bank Surf Club

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It was a little strange to walk through the French Festival and not sample any of the food, but we were on our way to the South Bank Surf Club for lunch.

It was an obvious choice, but we both ended up ordering the Surf Club Fish and Chips. The service was friendly and excellent, and our food arrived quickly in clam shaped dishes. My Mulloway fillets had a good beer batter, although it was just starting to go brown. The fish inside was cooked to perfection. The tartar sauce was on the mild side, but moorish nevertheless. Big M said the meal was let down by run-of-the-mill chips, and thought it could be improved with homemade ones.

The décor was clean and modern, and I love their motto of “life savour”. It would be good if they had their own toilets rather than using the communal Southbank ones. We were surprised to see a busy Ben O’Donoghue in the kitchen.

southbank_surfclub_choconemesis

I ordered the infamous chocolate nemesis for dessert. A decadent mousse-like cake invented by the River Café – even the crème fraiche wasn’t enough to cut through the richness and bitterness of the chocolate (and I’m a self-confessed dark chocoholic). It was still an guilty enjoyable treat.

My peppermint tea came with an unusual strainer, and we couldn’t work out how to use it!

Let’s hope the Surf Club will revitalise the Southbank dining scene – with a few little tweaks, I’m confident it will become a firm favourite with the locals in the nearby high rises and throughout Brisbane.

South Bank Surf Club
30aa Stanley Plaza
Parklands, South Brisbane 4101
Phone: 07 3844 7301
http://www.southbanksurfclub.com.au/
@SthBankSouthClub

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