Chocolate and food blog
Redeeming the 82%: Cocoa Flour's Antioxidant Power
In the world of chocolate and cocoa, we often focus on the delicious final products like bars and truffles, but what if I told you that there's a hidden gem within the cocoa bean that's often overlooked? Enter cocoa flour, a true superhero in the realm of antioxidants.
5 documented health benefits of chocolate that you might not have been aware of
Most of us are accustomed to the notion that we shouldn’t be overdoing it on chocolate – and even here at Coeur de Xocolat, we wouldn’t exactly depart from that widespread belief. Even when it comes to some of the very best things in life, after all, it is sensible to have limits.
Understanding Dutching in Cocoa Processing
As an award-winning chef and chocolate consultant, I often receive inquiries about Dutching in cocoa processing. What exactly is it? What purpose does it serve, and is it a desirable practice in chocolate production?
Have you ever pondered what sets your chocolate creations apart or noticed the variations in cocoa powders on the market? The answer may lie in Dutch-processed cocoa.
Carbon Capture with Cocoa
Carbon storage in soil, exceeding that of the atmosphere and plant life combined, is an extraordinary concept.In the context of regenerative agriculture, a beacon of sustainable practices, it presents a potent solution. This approach not only aids in the reduction of atmospheric CO2 levels but also fortifies soil quality, rendering it more robust in the face of challenges like drought.
Mass Balance vs. Certified Cocoa: Impact on Farmers' Income
In the world of cocoa and chocolate-making, the choice between mass balance and certified cocoa is more than a technicality; it's a decision that directly influences the livelihoods of cocoa farmers.
As a chef, chocolatier, and international chocolate consultancy, I understand the importance of ethical sourcing and sustainability
The Metate: Ancient Mesoamerican Tool in the World of Cocoa":
"In the world of cocoa, before the advent of modern equipment like refiners, grinders, or melangeurs, one humble yet indispensable tool reigned supreme: the metate. This artisanal apparatus played a vital role in the transformation of raw cocoa beans into the coarse cocoa paste used in the production of sacred beverages.
Savouring the World: Celebrating World Taste & Smell Day
Step into a world of sensations, where flavours dance on your taste buds and aromas transport you to distant memories. September 14th marks a day dedicated to celebrating the remarkable powers of taste and smell. Join us on a sensory journey as we embrace World Taste & Smell Day and delve into the wonders that make every bite and scent an experience to cherish.
A Swashbuckling Adventure: Chocolate and Pirates
Ahoy, young buccaneers and lads and lasses of the primary school! Set your course for an exciting voyage back in time as we uncover a tasty tale that combines the daring escapades of pirates with the surprising origin of cocoa beans. Avast ye, for this be a lesson in history, mystery, and delicious chocolate!
Sweet Inclusions: Exploring the History and Delight of Additions in Confections
In the realm of confectionery, there's a delightful world of creativity where ingredients are transformed into edible masterpieces.
From the rich history of chocolate inclusions to the whimsy of hundreds and thousands, let's take a journey through the fascinating story of how inclusions have added texture, flavour, and visual appeal to our favourite treats.
Unwrap the Cadmium Conundrum: Impact on African Cocoa Farmers"
Chocolate, a delightful treat that brings joy to countless lives, is now facing scrutiny due to a hidden menace lurking within its ingredients. Cadmium, a toxic heavy metal, has infiltrated cocoa beans, sparking concerns about consumer health and the livelihoods of African cocoa farmers. In this blog post, we delve into the cadmium issue in chocolate, shedding light on its potential impact on those who cultivate the cocoa that brings pleasure to millions.
Fermentation Unravelling the Magic: The Journey from Cocoa to Chocolate
Have you ever wondered how cocoa magically transforms into the chocolate treat we all know and love?
The secret lies in a crucial step called fermentation.
In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating world of cocoa fermentation, discovering the microbial players, different methods used, and how this process gives rise to the distinct flavours we associate with chocolate.
Embarking on a Chocolate Safari: The Irresistible Allure of Storytelling
In the captivating realm of chocolate consultancy, I've uncovered a secret recipe for enchanting interactions – the art of storytelling. Like a compass guiding us on a chocolate safari, stories possess the innate ability to forge profound emotional connections, rendering complex information relatable, unforgettable, and undeniably persuasive. As a dedicated chocolate consultant, I've marvelled at the remarkable impact storytelling has on both clients and the delectable world of chocolate.
Chocolate in Savoury Dishes
Chocolate's appeal extends beyond desserts; the deep, bittersweet notes of cocoa powder and single origin chocolate bars can add richness to savoury creations.
Building on the concept of using cocoa nibs and cocoa butter in cooking, chocolate has been a staple in European and South American savoury cuisine for centuries.
Delight in the Deliciousness: Exploring Cocoa Flesh Preparations
Cocoa pods, nature's hidden treasure troves, offer a realm of culinary possibilities beyond the beloved chocolate we all know.
Join us on a journey as we uncover the art of preparing cocoa flesh, a versatile ingredient that can elevate your culinary repertoire to new heights.
From crispy chips to velvety purees and sumptuous jams, discover how to transform cocoa pods into culinary delights that will tantalise your taste buds.
Talk like a pirate day
Ahoy there, me hearties! Gather 'round and prepare to set sail on a tale as wild as the open sea itself.
Deep in the annals of history, there are stories that will make your timbers shiver with delight.
This one is a gem fit for Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19.
So batten down the hatches and let's dive into the yarn of pirates, Spanish ships, and a mighty fine case of mistaken identity. Arrr!
Cocoa tree pruning
Pruning is a crucial practice that offers a range of benefits both to the trees and the farmers who cultivate them.
By carefully pruning cocoa trees, farmers contribute to the overall health and productivity of the trees, leading to enhanced cocoa production and improved livelihoods.
Here's a closer look at the advantages of cocoa tree pruning:
Discover the Culinary Delights of Cocoa Butter: From Chocolate to Savoury Creations
Cocoa butter, the luscious fat extracted from cocoa beans, isn't just a chocolate-making essential. It's a culinary gem that brings a subtle chocolate aroma and a smooth, velvety texture to both sweet and savoury dishes.
Whether you're an avid baker, a gourmet chef, or simply love experimenting in the kitchen, here's how cocoa butter can elevate your culinary endeavors.
Exploring Culinary Delights: Cocoa Pod Cooking in São Tomé
Embarking on another chocolate safari in São Tomé, my taste buds were in for a treat as I dove into the world of cocoa cooking. Collaborating with skilled chefs and cocoa farmers, I discovered a unique method that transformed simple ingredients into delectable masterpieces.
Join me on this gastronomic journey as we explore the art of cocoa pod steamed fish and indulge in the captivating flavours of São Tomé.
Press Your Own Cocoa Butter at Home: Elevate Your Chocolate-Making Adventure!
Are you someone who, like me, enjoys the purity of single-origin chocolate? Look no further!
The Peanut Oil Press is your key to creating authentic cocoa butter at home, using your preferred cocoa bean origin.
Join me as I share my experiences as a chocolate consultant and teacher with this incredible little machine and explore the benefits of making your own single-origin cocoa butter from roasted nibs.
Nature's Edible Gems: Exploring the Culinary Use of Edible Flowers
As chefs, we are constantly seeking to elevate culinary experiences by exploring unique ingredients that tantalise taste buds and add a visual enchantment to dishes.
Enter edible flowers – nature's edible gems that infuse dishes with vibrant colours, delicate aromas, and subtle flavours.
Empowering Cocoa Farmers through Nutritious Byproduct Dishes
The Cocoa industry plays a significant role in the economies of many countries in a world where food waste is a pressing issue, and with upto 82% of a Cocoa pod classified as waste.
whilst I was leading a chocolate safrai to Bruges I bought a book at the chocolate museum by Mercedes Mendoza, which inspired me to try to change this by using some of her recipes and developing some of my own empowering farmers and chefs by transforming cocoa pods into nutritious dishes.
Unveiling the Sweet Secrets of Cocoa Juice: From Waste to Delicacy
Pictures of vibrant cocoa pods adorning chocolate bar wrappers have become a visual symbol of the delightful treat that has captivated our taste buds for centuries. Chocolate, with its rich and indulgent flavours, has a way of bringing joy to our lives. However, as our appreciation for this delectable treat grows, so does our curiosity about its origin and the intricate process that transforms cocoa beans into the beloved chocolate bars we enjoy.
In recent times, a new star has emerged in the world of cocoa products - cocoa juice. While chocolate remains at the heart of our fascination, there is a rising interest in exploring the lesser-known aspects of the cocoa tree, including the refreshing and exotic cocoa juice.
This blog delves into the enchanting journey of chocolate from tree to bar and explores the intriguing emergence of cocoa juice as a tantalizing new addition to the cocoa family.
Enhancing Culinary Perfection: The Art of Finishing Salts in Chef's Cuisine
In the realm of culinary excellence, chefs often seek that extra touch to elevate their dishes from good to extraordinary.
Enter "finishing salts" – the secret weapon used by seasoned chefs to add a burst of flavour and visual appeal to their creations.
Sweet Summer Delights: Chocolate Activities to Enjoy with Kids During School Break
In this chef's blog, we'll explore a delightful array of chocolate-themed summer activities that will not only keep the kids entertained but also awaken their creativity and taste buds.
Get ready for a season of sweet memories!