The Chocolate Tour – My First Box

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The Chocolate Tour

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A while ago I started looking for a subscription box, I love getting mail and opening boxes. Thinking about it that is rather strange as I don’t like opening gifts from people I know. In my search I looked at all sorts but didn’t find anything that floated my boat. I did consider a socks one, but nah. One day my quest was over.

Fellow blogger, Wellingtonian and Mum Rosa started a chocolate subscription box. Yes, you read right a chocolate subscription box. New Zealand is fast becoming recognised as an excellent chocolate producer. Today my first box arrived. I managed to hide from other’s photos on social media and even wait until after dinner before opening it.

 

Opening it I must to confess to feeling a little nervous and worried that I might be disappointed. I shouldn’t have bothered with the negative thoughts, it contained a fantastic stash of chocolate goodness. This months box has the theme, The Inner Child.  So far I have just eaten the J’aime Les Macaron’s Choc Pop. It was so very good and I am having an internal argument about what to eat next. I must finish here and solve the argument!

*This is not a sponsored post.

Sorry I didn’t use a fancy camera but I needed to get to the good stuff.

A Day Off, Baron Hasselhoff’s And The Beach House and Kiosk.

Yesterday was the first day of summer down this end of the world. In Wellington it started out grey and eventually turned into summer. It was a perfect day for heading over to the south coast of the city and for a bit of an adventure.

I picked up my friend Lily to head to the Beach House and Kiosk. I decided a detour down Adelaide Road with a stop off at a chocolatier’s was in order and I am mighty glad we did.

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Excuse the not very good photo but you get the gist.

Baron Hasselhoff’s was amazing and I think I speak for both of us when I say we left happy. It is a small place with chocolates that amaze. It reminds me of visiting choccywoccydoodah in Brighton. You can see the mind at work making the delightful chocolates. These are not your run of the mill chocolates, they are thought out and considered flavours. They are very different chocolates to I have had anywhere else and I will certainly be treating myself to a box of 6 soon.  While in there we had a good chat with the owner and did rather a lot of trying samples, buying chocolates and eating them right there, it was fun. I loved the Rose, raspberry and pomegranate molasses and was surprised by the liquorice root mallow puff.

After our chocolate stop we headed to the cafe at the end of the road and around by red rocks. The cafe that was here previously had rather a sad reputation and was a bit unloved by locals. It is the first stop for many people who have emigrated here or are on holiday, it was our first cafe in New Zealand. Wellington…… you need to rethink that!

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The cafe has been renovated and is now the Beach House And Kiosk, it is stunning. The views around there are the same jaw dropping views and now the cafe is back to matching the scenery. We both loved the decor and the ambiance. It feels good and is a place I would drive out of my way to visit. The cakes on the counter looked lovely, the service was nice, friendly and Kiwi. The food we ordered was also excellent. Our one gripe was the duck fat spuds could have been cooked and little more.

The old owners of Elements and Zoe, one of the chefs from Elements are running this place. It showed in the food, the menu and I will certainly be back for more.

We shared a roasted cauliflower and chickpea salad and duck fat potatoes. Lily didn’t want the pecorino cheese on the spuds so I had mine on the side. Both dishes were lovely and we were left full. The smoked yoghurt with the cauliflower was a big winner. Oh, I forgot, we also fitted in half a doughnut each. That was good too.

Fruit Tacos with Chocolate Tortillas – Recipe For Gluten Free Or Wheat Chocolate Tortillas.

 

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We have been eating rather a lot of these babies and nobody has been complaining. The husband did complain a little because he wasn’t so keen on the corn version. Miss and I had no issue and preferred them to the flour version.

I think the biggest factor in the taste being chocolatey and yum is the quality of the cocoa. Using the Equagold Premium Dutch Cocoa  certainly improved  the chocolate flavour.

As with any bread the recipe does depend on the weather. Don’t be afraid to add a touch more water  or a bit more flour to get the dough to the right consistency. You want a slightly sticky, almost gummy dough.

For rolling them out I used my tortilla press. I put the ball between greaseproof paper , pressed it and then rolled it a little more. If you don’t have a press just roll it between the greaseproof paper sheets.

Please let me know if this recipe works for you or not and if you did anything differently.

Thanks,

Muffin Mum.

Chocolate Tortillas GF and Wheat. - Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 6-8 tortilla
  • Print

1 c masa or white bread flour

2 tbsp Cocoa

2 tbsp icing sugar

Pinch salt

1 tbsp flavourless oil (canola/coconut etc)

1/2 c water

In a medium size bowl mix flour, cocoa, salt and icing sugar.

Give it a good stir with a fork to break cocoa lumps up.

Add oil and stir while slowly adding water.

The dough should start to come together as you stir.

As it starts balling get your hands in there and bring it together into one clump.

You may need to add a little more water to make this happen.

Give the dough a good knead, either in the bowl or out on a lightly floured surface.

Knead until it gets a shine and kind of feels like chewing gum.

Leave to rest for 5 minutes and keep covered.

Roll into 6 -8 balls, I weighed each ball out to 25g.

Get your dry fry pans heating on a medium heat.

Lightly flatten a ball and play between greaseproof sheets.

Either press with tortilla press or roll until roughly 10 cm in diameter.

When your first ball is made place it in dry preheated fry pan.

Prepare your next ball and keep an eye on the pan.

Turn the chocolate tortilla when you can see the edges look dry and cook the other side. They only take a couple of minutes to cook and look more like the top of a cake when done.

Place cooked tortillas in a folded clean tea towel to keep warm.

Carry on until they are all cooked.

Serve with fruit and cream.

Enjoy

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Chocolate Tortillas – a work in progress.

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You can now find the recipe here.

I was lucky enough to win a  competition on the Equagold Facebook page. The prize was that lovely pot of Premium Dutch Cocoa and the competition involved what you would do with it and some kiwi fruit. My idea was for chocolate tortillas and I have been trying and working on the recipe.

My first batch were just OK, not great. We did eat them all and the consensus was that they needed to be a bit sweeter. This batch were made with regular flour and I am going to try with masa (corn) flour as it has a natural sweetness. I will also remove the baking powder because I would like them to be a bit flatter.

Hopefully I will get to try them out at the weekend and if you have any idea please feel free to comment. Meanwhile here are some more photographs.

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Wellington Chocolate Factory Tour, Thank You Zomato.

Look at all those cocoa beans.

Last week I received on of those emails that makes any day better, an invitation from Zomato to attend a Wellington event. This invitation was to a tour of Wellington Chocolate Factory. I am not going to repeat the tour and tell you much information , if you are in Wellington you need to go yourself and if not, go when you visit. Even if you just pop in for a hot chocolate and have a look around, it is well worth the trip. The hot chocolate alone will blow your mind as will the chocolate scented air.

On our tour we got to hear the lovely Rochelle express her passion for what they are doing at the Wellington Chocolate Factory and why.  Wellington Chocolate Factory is about very good quality organic chocolate which has been ethically made. They support the people in the process from bean to bar. It would be very easy to sit , nod, look trendy and think – that is pretty cool. It isn’t just cool, it is amazing. To get the full picture and to fully understand their commitment, have a read of their blog –

https://thewellingtonchocolatevoyage.wordpress.com

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At the end of the tour we got to try a section of the chocolates and savour the pieces. Tasting a small piece at a time gave me chance to really taste the flavours. Different beans have different flavours depending upon their origin. I had forgotten how much I love good quality chocolate in small amounts as opposed to the off shelf cheap bars that magically vanish without a thought.

I had a great evening a loved the tour. One thing that struck me was if small producers like Wellington Chocolate Factory do not  go to that extra effort to use cocoa beans of differing varieties the world could end up with just two types of cocoa bean. Imagine just two types of wine with no variation! No thanks.

Wherever you are in the world, but ethically farmed chocolate and give the fame a chance to keep traditions alive and be paid a fair wage. Support local businesses who are going that extra mile to make a difference.

Anzac Bar.

Anzac Bar.

At the end of the evening we were given the choice of bars to take home. I came home with the not yet released Anzac Bar, keep an eye out for it, it is very good. It was a hard choice to make but I couldn’t resist going with the new bar.

Thank you Zomato and Wellington Chocolate Factory

I have to shout about Pana Chocolate and not whine about wine.

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I have followed Pana Chocolate@pana_chocolate ) on Twitter for a good while now. I must admit that the photos of the packaging and the word cherry peaked my interest in trying the chocolate. Also, the idea of raw chocolate puzzled me and I didn’t have this taste in my flavour file inside my head (i’m not the only one who has this file am I )? I realised this needed to be rectified. 

Luckily on Saturday I needed to pop into Commonsense Organics and I had the light bulb moment that they sell Pana Chocolate. For a Saturday night in I needed a treat,  as I am off the booze, a bar of fairly expensive chocolate could be justified. I went straight for the Sour Cherry and Vanilla.

I must be honest here and say, I had a few moments of regret after my purchase.The bar looked so little for the price tag and I made a few jokes about being full after it and really over indulging myself. I did keep looking at the pretty packet though.

When I opened the chocolate and ate the first square, my regrets were instantly gone. The best way I can think to describe this bar is like a very excellent dessert at very excellent restaurant, rather like a god chocolate torte.  Every square was enjoyed and none was shared. The bar was more than big enough and it left me feeling very happy and a little bit healthy.

I look forward to trying the next flavour on my list which currently reads like this-

Pana Orange Raw Chocolate

Pana Mint Raw Chocolate

Pana Raw Fig and Wild Orange Chocolate

(This is not a sponsored post, it was just very good and worth blogging about).

Candy Cane Bark- so easy and pretty.

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Excuse the photo, I am practising and want a record to see how I improve and I actually rather like it.

Miss Muffin has a bring a plate lunch at school tomorrow. I know this phrase doesn’t cross cultures, it means you take a plate of food to share with a crowd. As it is coming up to Christmas we decided to do something different and Candy Cane Bark was chosen. There are pictures of this all over Pinterest and it is easy, very easy. It looks really good and has made enough to share with a class of kids,  My head is now thinking of what other mixes I could do, my pick would be dried cherry and pistachio with dark chocolate.

Candy Cane Bark- Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: enough to go around a group
  • Time: to melt and mix, 20 mins, cooling- 1 1/2 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

250g bar of milk chocolate

250g bar of white chocolate

150g packet of candy canes (around 10)

Line a baking tin with baking paper , we used a 34cm x 24cm

Put unwrapped canes in a bag and break up using a hammer

Break the milk chocolate up into a glass bowl, place over a saucepan of boiling water and gently melt, stirring occasionally

Plop onto the centre of the lined tin and move the tin around so it spreads, I used a spatular to help

Repeat with the white and plop that on top of the milk

Use the end of a spoon to create swirls

Scatter candy cane pieces over the top

Chill on side until cool and then refrigerate for1 1/2 hours, break into pieces