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

choc-banana-milkshake
I love milkshakes, but dairy ones give me a bloated stomach, so this one is made on coconut milk. Chocolate and banana are a great combination and with few extra ingredients it’s a winner.

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

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

Serves 1.

How to cook chocolate and almond crunchies

chocolate-almond-crunchies

The next recipe for my Learning how to cook with Delia Smith challenge was Chocolate and Almond Crunchies. I was a little disappointed in how these turned out.

The uncooked biscuit mixture was yummy to taste so I had high hopes.

When I lifted the first batch out of the oven and off the baking tray, half of them crumbled and fell apart. So to remedy the second batch I decided to add some water to the remaining mixture. This was a big mistake because when they came out of the oven they had melded and ran into each other resulting in one big biscuit instead of nine!

The key I think is in the instructions which tell you to let them cool for ten minutes on the baking sheet. This is when they harden up. Oh I forgot, I also put in double the amount of chocolate to make them extra rich and just to use it up. Perhaps that was also a mistake.

Overall a nice biscuit but the instructions need to be followed to the T. There are two variations in the book, so I may give them another go.

Delia’s Complete How to Cook – Fishpond.com.au (Australia)
Delia’s Complete How to Cook – Book Depository (UK)

Written for the Learning how to cook with Delia Smith challenge

Chocolate fudge slice

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 mashmallows, 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.

Top Chocolatiers of the World

chocolate

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

United States of America

Taste test: Very Chocolate gelato by Sugo Mi Gelateria

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 chocolaty 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 hearts content.

Highly recommended.

Sugo Mi
3/190 Oxford St,
Bulimba, Brisbane

Sugo Mi Gelateria on Urbanspoon

Jamie’s Epic Hot Chocolate for one

hot chocolate

Jamie Oliver made this Epic Hot chocolate as part of his Christmas Special on TV. 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 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

250 ml of milk or rice 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.

Taste test: Melinda’s Gluten-free goodies Heavenly Chocolate Fudge Brownie

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 after-taste 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

Taste test: AntiOx chocolate

AntiOx Chocolate

I recently had the good fortune of taste testing AntiOx Chocolate. I really enjoyed the Acai blend which claims to be very high in antioxidants. Any true chocoholic will sing the virtues of their vice, including myself. The chocolate bar was 70% cocoa and sweetened with Stevia. I am usually not a big fan of stevia products because sometimes they are overpowering, but they have got the balance right this time. I happily scoffed the whole bar in a couple of days.

The blocks come in Goji berries and Acai flavours, which are both powerful superfoods. AntiOx Chocolate have a RRP $4.65 for an 80g block. They also come in 40g snack bars based on wholegrains and superfoods. All products are available in the health section of Woolworths, Coles, IGA stores and health food stores.