Chocolate

Chocolate, coffee, chocolate, coffee, chocolate, coffee, bliss!

The other day I was invited to attend the very first 2Beans Chocolate and Coffee event.

There was no way I was passing up the opportunity to learn about two of my favourite vices.

Held at the Wanderers Club, I met up with Laura and in we went.

Oh my, coffee everywhere!

Jacobs, Nespresso, House of Coffees, Chay.wa just to name a few.

We found our table and then went to get a cuppa.

Our table was covered with yummy chocolaty goodness too.

Soon Laura and  I were joined by Nicki and Bron

The first part of the morning was a panel discussion moderated by Jeremy Maggs.

The panelist were:

They discussed marketing and trends in the coffee and chocolate industries.  There were two things that stuck with me. One, the coffee that we have in South Africa is all very good coffee, so there should be no excuse for receiving bad coffee at a restaurant, if you do receive a bad cup you must send it back, the barrista needs to know that it wasnt good so that he/she can learn and know that the next cup needs to be made properly.  The other thing I learned is that no matter what the trends, no matter how wild or out there they are, they will always come back to basics, coffee and chocolate or luxurious treats, especially plain and simple, just like you had when you were younger.

The next part of the morning was such a treat, Callum Hann, runner up in Master Chef Australia Season 2 gave us a cooking demo.  He made a flour-less chocolate cake and a 5 minute chocolate mousse that only has 2 ingredients.  You can find the recipes here.

Our very own Nicki got called up to assist with some egg beating and got herself a copy of Callum’s new book The Starter Kitchen, which looks amazing.

Im so glad I got to go to this amazing event, I certainly learned a lot and had fun to boot!

 

Fairtrade chocolate? Yes please!

I stopped in at Melrose Arch earlier with my mom and the kids and we came across a sight that made us pay attention…

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You see Cadbury had set up a stand in the square to promote it Fairtrade chocolate.

What is Fairtrade you may ask? Well from the Fairtrade Label South Africa website:

Fairtrade is an alternative approach to conventional trade and a global movement that stands for sustainability and development through trade.

Dating back to the 1960s, Fairtrade started with small initiatives by individuals or groups (usually faith-based organisations or social entrepreneurs) that wanted to make a difference in developing countries by buying their products in an ethical manner. This included paying fairer prices and establishing direct trading partnerships with producers, thereby sharing knowledge and information on production and market and quality requirements.

You can read a more in depth description here.

The stand at Melrose Arch involved moving from station to station learning about what Cadbury and Fairtrade are all about.  Justice, Cocoa and Joy each gave a brief and informative talk as we moved to each station and then Aaron got to make his very own Cadbury Faircrow :)

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Fairtrade Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bars are for sale in store as we speak and I for one am very excited to be able to buy them.

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I think the whole Fairtrade organisation is a wonderful example in empowerment and in alleviating poverty.

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Unfortunately Cadbury South Africa doesnt seem to have their own Facebook or Twitter profiles but you can follow Fairtrade Label SA on Facebook and Twitter if you like.

 

Note: Neither Cadbury nor Fairtrade Label SA asked me to write about this, I stumbled upon the entire thing by accident and it has struck a deep chord with me.

The easiest yummiest cake recipe ever!

I have to thank my mommy-in-law for this one!

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What you will need:

Cake

1 x box/packet vanilla cake mix (I use Moirs)

1 x instant vanilla pudding (again Moirs but any brand will do)

4 x large eggs

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup oil

1 x mixing bowl

1 x Pirex or glass dish (oblong bakes more evenly than round)

Icing

1 x cup sifted icing sugar

4 tablespoons lemon juice

1 measuring jug

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How to make the cake:

Heat the oven to 180C

Pour dry cake mix and dry pudding into the mixing bowl, add the 4 eggs, add the water and oil.

Mix until smooth and there are no lumps.

Oil/butter/Spray&Cook your glass dish.

Pour batter into dish and bake at 180C for about half an hour.

Cake should be brown and springy to the touch.

While the cake is baking, sift the icing sugar into the measuring cup and add about 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and mix.

The mixture shouldn’t be too runny.

As soon as you take the cake out the oven pour the icing over the cake and spread it around so that it covers the whole cake.

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The cake can be eaten hot with custard or ice cream or if you prefer a cool cake, I suggest you make the cake a day before and let the icing sink into the flesh of the cake, this makes it sticky and gooey all the way through.

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An alternative to vanilla and lemon is chocolate and orange.  Substitute chocolate cake mix and chocolate pudding for the vanilla and use orange juice instead of lemon (be sure to strain the orange juice so it is clear and free of any pulp).

I have to choose only one?

Being Brazen is holding yet another fantastic, right-up-my-alley giveaway!

All I have to do is tell her my favourite kind of chocolate. Easy hey?

Not really…

I LOVE chocolate, especially expensive hand made types.

In no particular order these are the choccies I wouldn’t say no to:

  • Praline
  • Lindt 70%
  • Lindt 85%
  • Lindt Chilli
  • Lindt Sea Salt
  • Any and all dark chocolate
  • Good old plain Cadbury Dairy Milk
  • Top Deck
  • Lindt Creme Brulee (at R45 a slab)
  • I also love Nutella Chocolate Spread, I know, not technically a chocolate but come on!  Its sinful!

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