Wow! Wow! Wow! Is it July already?? So much has happened since I last sent out my newsletter that I don't know where to start! Perhaps I should begin with my AMAZING trip to Ecuador in June. I was incredibly fortunate to visit the cacao plantations we source our ingredients from, meet the farmers and suppliers and learn about biodynamic and organic cacao farming, cacao been fermentation, drying and chocolate making.
When I returned, slightly dazed and jetlagged I had to prepare for the Jewish Chronicle's Dragon's Den competition which was held on Monday June 27th where I pitched my business in front of 6 judges and a large audience and guess what? I won it!! I'm still slightly dazed and amazed and really delighted to have received such fantastic recognition from such distinguished business people.
So in this month's newsletter, you can read about my adventures in Ecuador, sweet-talking the dragons, some extra special recipes sent to us by the CHOCtastic Brenda and a special recipe from CHOC Mate Tanya from Better Raw (who is also offering CHOC Chick newsletter readers a 15% discount off her new recipe ebook!!).
Hope you enjoy this month's read.
Amor y chocolates!
CHOC Chick X
I've been on a high since returning from Ecuador and wanted to share my wonderful experience with you all. I've updated images and bits about my trip on the CHOC Chat Blog and please have a look and enjoy! http://www.chocchick.com/chocchat/
I'm also absolutely delighted to have won the JC's Dragon's Den competition this week as well of course. It was quite daunting presenting in front of judges that I respect and admire so much with a full audience at the London Jewish Cultural Centre and I certainly had some stiff competition. I was really impressed by Rosie Olivia who creates the most beautiful hats and had a fantastic display and pitch and the brilliant Gabriel Tyger John who created Tyger Paw a unique long lasting brush to clean football boots and footwear, and who's enthusiasm and polished presentation gave me a real run for my money! I was genuinely amazed to win and you can read more about this wonderful event in this weekend's Jewish Chronicle or simply follow this link and even watch a short clip of the night: http://www.thejc.com/business/business-features/50967/the-woman-who-sweet-talked-dragons.
This month we have another CHOCtastic contribution from the very wonderful Brenda in Northern Ireland on our CHOC Creative recipe page and some extra special recipes that are available only in this newsletter for the most divine healthy chocolate spread (much better than Nutella!!).
VERY VERSATILE CHEAT'S CHOCOLATE SPREAD
This is one chocolate treat that I whip up almost every day because it's so simple and provides almost instant gratification! There is also no end to the list of things that you can spread it on, drizzle it over or lick it off!
It came about one morning when I had run out of normal raw chocolate spread and hadn't time to make more. As no CHOC Chick should have to start her day without chocolate, I got creative and Cheat's Chocolate Spread was the result.
Here's how to do it:
4 tbsp Sweet Freedom or Agave or Honey (preferably raw)
2-3 dsp Raw Cacao Powder
1.5 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Orange Oil (optional and to taste)
Place ingredients in a bowl and whisk vigorously to blend everything together.
SUPER QUICK VERSION (enough for some toast)
1 tbsp Sweet Freedom or Agave or Honey
1-1.5 tsp Raw Cacao Powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Few drops of Orange Oil or your favourite flavouring (optional)
Place ingredients in a ramekin and stir well.
I make the Super Quick Version each morning to spread on toast or jazz up my porridge with chocolatey goodness. But it doesn't stop there! It's delicious drizzled over ice-cream and fruit, blended into yoghurt or smoothies, and a generous spoonful stirred through a mug of warm milk or water makes a lovely drink. Or if I'm feeling particularly lazy I save myself some washing up and, "enjoy it straight from the spoon!"
This saucy spread is also a great base for lots of different flavours. A splash of orange oil is my favourite but experiment with different citrus oils or fresh zest. Try spicing it up with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg or chilli.....and perhaps if you fancy a more grown up version, leave out the vanilla and add a glug of something alcoholic instead......
Better Raw's brand new Raw Chocolate book 'Seduced' has the most mouth watering collection of recipes from Mulberry, Coconut and Peppermint to Matcha, Goji Berry and of course Vanilla Cream Eggs for Easter (or any time of the year!).
Exclusive only to CHOC Chick readers, our CHOC Mate Tanya Alekseeva is going to share one of her secret recipes from the book below and it is just divine!
To find out more about the book, what is included and see some of the gorgeous photography, go to http://www.betterraw.com/2011/04/seduced-raw-chocolate-recipes-to-get.html .
An even bigger special surprise for you is that CHOC Chick readers get 15% off the RRP and you can order your copy right here for just £12.75 instead of £15 by simply following this link to an easy Paypal payment gateway (you don't need a Paypal account to order!) https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=DVH4L86QB6KRL
1 Cup fresh raspberries
1/3 Cup Agave
½ tsp Natural Vanilla Extract
½ Cup Cacao Butter, melted
½ Cup Cacao powder
2 Tbsp Agave, or to taste
1. Blend the raspberries, agave and vanilla extract in a blender
2. Pour into silicon ice cube trays and l eave in the freezer to set overnight
3. When ready, melt the cacao butter and stir in cacao powder, agave and salt until perfectly smooth
4. Working only with frozen raspberry cubes one at a time, dip teh bottom of each in chocolate and as soon as you see it solidifying, place on a fork
5. With a spoon in the other hand, pour melted chocolate over the cube covering every side entirely until no red is poking through
6. Transfer to a lined tray
7. Keep in the fridge for a runny centre or freezer for sorbet type bites
Posted on 30th Mar 2012 @ 1:45 PM