Chocolate season

Is there a season for eating chocolate? I personally don’t think so. Chocolate for me is the ultimate comfort food, a sure-fire stand-by in times of stress and a mood enhancer.  If you eat lots, of course, its not good for you, but if you eat a few pieces of fine dark chocolate there are many health benefits. When I suggest dark chocolate this would be with a cocoa percentage of around seventy per cent or more – proper ‘chocolate’ not confectionary which I am afraid most of the chocolate bars on the supermarket shelves really are! ‘Good chocolate’ should have a beautiful shine, and a great snap at room temperature.    Another test is that it melts well in your mouth, if not it may not be such a good quality. Research is continuing all the time, and experts have already found the chocolate is good for the heart, circulation and brain, and it has been suggested that it may be beneficial in such major health challenges as autism, obesity and diabetes.

I have been lucky enough to work with Aneesh Popat, The Chocolatier – we spoke on the phone just this week, about chocolate and one of the busiest times of year for him! Aneesh has an interesting story as a mathematician and scientist he then decided to make chocolates… unusual as he makes healthier chocolates with a water ganache! Listen to our Podcast here. Been thrilled to be giving out his beautiful water ganache truffles at my events this month. So if you were lucky enough to receive a few to try let me know what you think and check out his website here to order more. I love the sound of his chocolate club!

This recipe for chocolate balsamic glazed pork ribs caught my eye. One to try over the Easter weekend!

Speaking of Easter-next weekend is the time for the Easter bunny to visit! When we generally as a country, spend a huge amount on chocolate eggs of all shapes and sizes. Yes, I have already got my ‘avocado egg’ from Waitrose, as I missed out last year!

With the holidays round the corner, we had an inspiring evening with our guest Chef Julie Friend at our latest Spring themed supper club. Giving us some fabulous tips on ‘getting ahead’ making beautiful canapes, desserts and prepping well in advance using seasonal ingredients. Always great to receive fantastic feedback and read through our comments in our ‘guest book’.  Sitting round our beautifully decorated Spring table munching on Spring frittata bites and my popular parmesan shortbreads topped with pea and mint hummus it was a lively and fun evening. A ‘fail safe’ pastry technique, a perfect chicken and leek pie with a water crust pastry, some really good ideas when it comes to seasonal green veg, and everyone enjoyed making their own shortbreads and lemon posset dessert.

Whatever is on your Easter menu, try and get ahead of the game so you can enjoy time with friends and family!

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