Chocolate Week started several weeks back for me - well to be honest its all year around with me as I am a bit of a chocaholic and despite all my best intentions its bought on a regular basis - I am a dark fan usually but if it involves nuts (or bits of crunchie!) then sign me up to pretty much any chocolate!
This current run started with a wonderful evening at a glitzy event with Ferrero Rocher - they have an amazing range of different Ferrero treats this year for Christmas, from tree decorations to towers of treats and I have been busy tasting for you and in a few weeks time I have an amazing competition to win some so please do come back soon for a chance to win some!
On Monday this week I had a few brown bananas that needed urgent CPR and I spotted on a Filipino based cookery blog this awesome Banana Bundt cake which I glazed with a bitter Polish cocoa glaze and of course sprinkles - my Christmas ones! I will post the recipe very soon as it was so delicious it would unfair to keep it to myself!
Moving on to Wednesday I tweaked another banana based sort of oaty cookie recipe - this still needs a little work, including not using cheap baking paper to line the tin but they are vanishing fairly fast from the tupperware container so there is hope yet!
..and because, well we obviously didn't have enough chocolate during the week we braved London on a Saturday to visit The Chocolate Show, held at Olympia West to get a little more cocoa-fied (yes I know its a made up word but I rather like it...) On arrival it was heaving and packed full of some amazing chocolates from all over the world, plus cookery demonstrations and activities for all ages!
On the theatre stage we caught the end of chocolatier Paul A Young's demo, then managed to find a seat and we watched one of the first Great British Bake Off contestants make some rather lush looking chocolate and salted caramel tarts and managed to
fight over share the last cookie they handed out at the end!
Now where to begin! Naturally after plenty of tastings I bought several bars of various chocolates - including a tongue teasing Roasted Sesame Dark chocolate bar from Lindt (and a rather lovely Caramel with sea salt and a bar of dark mint too!) My dearest is not normally a dark chocolate fan but he surprisingly enjoyed these - maybe I will have to start hiding my dark chocolate treats!
Next up was some German bitesize chocolates what I called bundt shaped but the chap on the stall looked in slight disdain and said they were based on Kugelhopfs (sp?! ) but are known as Goufrais - these were unusual in being served slightly chilled - they almost melt on your tongue with surprisingly dark yet creamy! I had to buy a big bag to keep us well stocked!
Now writing captions is hard when you have not taken many notes and your head is full of cocoa but this is a round-up of the highlights that we 'tested' out! The things I do for you my dear readers!
Clockwise: Mini jars of popping candy- would make great wedding favours! Brownies - we tried the white chocolate and pistachio one - could do with being a tiny bit sweeter but overall still lovely, a sign that made me giggle a little, last up a range of rather lovely bars - I particularly liked the 70% cocoa one- was still quite creamy and not bitter:
Clockwise: Beautiful chocolate teacups! And then its nice to know good old Smarties are translated as well, er Smarties! Then some Vietnamese bars -the packaging in particular I loved but they tasted pretty good too! Then a glimpse of a box of mixed brownies -they were all various delicious flavours including salted caramel - think I need to do some more baking!
I really cannot squeeze too many more pictures into this post but here a few more to tempt you with that I really can't leave out! They include some amazing outfits made of chocolate, pumpkins for Halloween and some divine Patisserie wines I picked up for Christmas!
There really was something for everyone at the show - as an avid dark chocolate fan it highly appealed but my milky loving boyfriend also enjoyed the show too! It was great to discover chocolate that little bit more and I am full of chocolate dreams now!
Disclaimer: I received tickets for entry into the Chocolate Show but all opinions are my own and all products were purchased by myself. Pictures remain the property of Anne's Kitchen