Not a fan.
Monthly Archives: October 2010
It’s the wrong side of midnight, but that’s ok. Certain things only happen at this hour.
Chocolate wise, we have a combination of coffee and chocolate in the form of an old favourite quickie – Twix and the flavour of the month is java.
The packaging isn’t the most attractive or remotely tempting with the off brown coloured wrapper. The “artificial flavors” claim under the description of chocolate cookie bars, coffee caramel milk chocolate doesn’t add to the appeal either. Especially when it’s spelt wrong. How is this selling itself? The “java” font and iconic steam from a coffee mug did it for me. Being a coffee and chocolate lover, it’s two for the price of one. But I’m always wary of those 2-n-1 deals, the flavours tend to get a little wishy-washy and you don’t get the best of anything. It’s almost a cop out.
This java bar was pretty sweet with the coffee caramel and milk chocolate, and the crunchy chocolate flavoured biscuit. The java taste was a little delayed, but noticeable. It was like an “I-am-a-coffee-flavoured-item” as the taste was distinctly separate from the chocolate flavour. I guess the point is to get it all in the mouth, chew it around and mix it up to get a combined flavour…
I do like the twin bars. They are easy to munch down and it’s always a good thing finding you still have another bar to go, yay! Despite not really taking to this version of Twix, I ate it pretty fast. Actually, on second thought they might go well with a cup of coffee; it could help bring out those artificial flavours.
How did “National Chocolate Day” manage to escape me?! It was yesterday (or currently today in the States)… why would you even have a national chocolate day? A day set aside to celebrate chocolate gods and indulge in chocolate goodies without feeling guilt?! Wevs. I celebrate and indulge in chocolate every day, with no guilt so I’m not too phased to have missed it, and wikipedia doesn’t seem to care much either.
Ok, so on to today’s chocolate. Unfortunately I can only reminisce about this one as sadly there’s none on hand, but with today’s crisp New Zealand-esque air and blue skies, I can’t help but long for a Whittaker’s Dark Sante Bar to dip into my coffee and mooch around the windy Wellington harbourfront.
Of course it’s by my favourite NZ chocolatier’s Whittaker & Sons, which featured on day 8, my reliable and trustworthy rock of chocolates. The dark creamy bar patiently melts at the right pace so you can savour every last bite of chocolate and sip of coffee. It’s genius really. All the good cafes in NZ have these bars by the counter so you can add them to your takeaway purchase and delight in at your own pleasure.
Really wish I was there, sigh… good coffee, good chocolate, beautiful scenery – what more do you need?
As I’ve said before, I love mint chocolate and so thought I’d give this variation of the beloved M&M’s chocolate a go – Crispy Mint. What a mistake. The shell is sweet and minty, and there was barely any chocolate coating and the mint crisp part was like a peppermint rice cracker! It does leave a minty aftertaste, probably from all the added artificial flavouring and colouring. However, even though they are quite terrible, they are one of those annoying party snacks that you keep eating to past time and fake interest in the pseudo conversations around you…
…I’ve just finished the pack.
Note. Something pretty cool is personalising your own M&M’s great for wedding favours, corporate gifts or narcissists.
This is what I want now…
Renown pastry chef Etienne Izaroqui crafted the desserts and pastries for epoch coffee bar & desserterie and this Valrhona 7-Layer Chocolate Cake is a taste of chocolate heaven.
Just read the description and you will be left dreaming for a bite of this
Rich Valrhona Caraibe (66%) chocolate in 7-different manifestations, each with a different texture- from the smooth chocolate mousse to the crunchy feuilletine (French wafer) base. Exceptionally time-intensive to make, each layer is laid down and set before the next is added.
These are the 7 layers from bottom to top:
Chocolate feuilletine (crunchy wafer flakes)
Chocolate sponge cake
Whisky cocoa syrup
Thin chocolate on top
At a launch party held there, we waited for them to fill up the plates each time and proceeded to consume them bite after bite (good thing they were in handy 2 bite party size). I don’t think I ate much else!
Seriously it’s layers of goodness, so you should definitely go and try it if you’re in HK. They have shops on Star Street, Admiralty and in Taikoo Place.
I’m still feeling pretty crook, and just remembered how much this song made my day. Every time this ad came on tv, I couldn’t help but sing a long… yay for Cadbury’s!
Chocolate is widely known for it’s medicinal properties, and though I didn’t think my taste buds would be up for chocolate today, Google helped clarify a few things…
Chocolate acts as an antiseptic, diuretic, parasiticide, and pilatory. It is used to treat burns, cough, listlessness, pregnancy, and snake bite.* Cocoa has theobromine which has a similar effect to that of caffeine. It stimulates the muscles, heart, and kidneys. In fact, it can relieve congestion during colds by simply opening the bronchial passages in the lungs.
It’s for the last diagnosis that I turn to chocolate as my healing remedy… with a heavy head, blocked and runny nose, sore throat and generally feeling floppy, my dislike for pharmaceuticals means going the natural way in letting this cold run it’s course.
But as Dr.Google prescribes – chocolate is the cure. For optimum results I decided to go for a hot chocolate, as we all well know liquids are absorbed faster into the body. It’s always difficult finding a good hot chocolate, I do know of one which I will post about at some point… but in the meantime, there’s a Lavazza coffee/tea making machine in the office and so trading in my daily coffee (another blog perhaps?) I went for the chocolate sachet. It looks more like an instant pudding mix, and a colleague had previously tried it saying it was watery and so it’s not looking very promising.
Simply add hot water to the dark brown powder.. and stir.
Ignoring the bubbles as some might spoon them out, the first sip was surprisingly chocolaty and smooth. After a few more gulps, I was starting to feel a little clearer headed and the sinuses sharpened up. It works! My faith in chocolate never wavered.
The remaining cup wasn’t as great, in fact it was terrible. The instant powdery-ness, sugar and whatever additives became evident, maybe as a result of having my senses clear up ha. Of course, chocolate is a stimulant and so there will be a general perkiness, but I’m not betting on the lasting effects. Hopefully it’ll get me through the next few hours.
*Random thoughts: Pregnancy is listed among other ailments, are we treating the pregnancy or the side effects of it? Also, snake bites – do you eat the chocolate, or rub it on the bite? I think I’d do both just in case.
As I write about today’s chocolate, a wave of fond memories wash upon the shore of my mind…
The English Green & Black’s Maya Gold bar frequently travelled around town with me, never wanting to be too far away from it I always kept a bar close. At that time it was only found in a few select organic or luxury stores and so it wasn’t easy to come by. Since then, a new distributor has taken over and thought to spread the love by placing them in every 7-11 and supermarket around HK. Ironically, this did not make me happy. Gone was the exclusivity and secrecy of this amazing chocolate, which now common chocolate eaters, who obviously wouldn’t recognise the stellar nature of this bar compared to an ordinary, every day snack bar, had access to as well. Ha ok I wasn’t that bitter, but things changed after that and I don’t even remember the last time I bought a bar of this chocolate, which is quite sad.
The picture below was taken at work during those Maya Gold infatuation days, you can probably tell as there’s a little more chub on the face! Admittedly this bar is not liked by all, it is dark and orange (so naturally it appeals to me) warmly spiced with cinnamon, nutmug and vanilla – honestly it’s like Christmas!! All you need is a small square to melt in your mouth and you’re whisked away to that festive season. There are a few other items that can do that including gingerbread lattes mmmm:)
On that note, I might get a bar today just for old times sake, and it is two months till Christmas eve!
That expression has always tickled me, I’ve used it in the office a number of times, but I’m not quite sure if it translates well into the Chinese language. Oh well, it still makes me chuckle.
Today’s chocolate is a pretty one, packaging wise. I’m a sucker for good advertising and marketers are targeting me when they spend so much time on deciding colours and packaging design. It’s something I’m aware of and at times purposely avoid looking at billboard signs that overtly say “Look at me!” I don’t remember where I bought this one from as I went through a period of buying chocolates wherever I went. It’s Australian, another top country for producing quality chocolates, but I have yet to find one better than the Kiwi star on day 8. Doubt it’ll be an Aussie.*
CHOXI+ – Positive Indulgence Dark Chocolate (63.5% min cocoa solids) is high in antioxidants and they state that 10g of this bar per day provides us with the antioxidants to neutralise free radicals. With 2.2% flavanol antioxidants, it has twice as much as standard dark chocolate. Wow, it’s almost like having an apple a day to keep the doctor away! Each little segment is stamped with 5g, so you know you should only have 2pcs.. as I write this I’m on my third.
Now, to the flavour. It’s quite a dark bitter chocolate, that’s easy to eat, however on finishing the third piece, the aftertaste leaves much to be desired. My mouth felt dry, almost as if it had been stripped of a thin layer of it’s natural coating! Given a few minutes to recover, my palate felt pretty normal again, maybe a little cleaner. What an odd sensation. I’m not sure if this chocolate is suppose to do that, or if it is the antioxidants at work. Maybe the extra third piece was too much!!
This dark chocolate is not just a pretty face, it has quite an aggressive attack on your free radicals… so if you consume any more than 10gs, you do so at your own risk.
*Correction. CHOXI is actually from the UK, sorry about that.. I was looking at the distribution when it referred to Australia. Either way the Aussies still won’t beat NZ… in chocolate or next week’s Bledisloe Cup.
I had a Flake today, and since there’s a post on that already, let’s look at chocolate in film…
If you haven’t seen this film, you should. With stunning Mexican cinematography, themes of love, desire and duty are beautifully and aching displayed through the main characters Pedro (super hot Marco Leonardi also in Cinema Paradiso) and Tita and food! Ok the film is not specifically about chocolate, but it’s in the title and there’s more to it…
Based on Laura Esquivel’s first novel of the same name, como agua para chocolate is actually a common Spanish expression deriving from their hot chocolate making methods. When making hot chocolate water is used instead of milk, and it is brought to the boil then chocolate is added in and melted (might have to try this sometime!). The expression is used to describe the build up of passion, desire or even anger to the point that it’s boiling over ready to consume something… phew, is it getting hot in here?!
Another common usage is to say how perfect something is for the other and in the case of a good hot chocolate, it’s like water for chocolate.