The Chocolate Weekly 43 – 2014

Welcome in the 43rd week of the year and the second week of London Chocolovers.

The national chocolate week with many exciting events and creations is behind us. But for us chocolovers every week is a chocolate week, so let’s enjoy chocolate this week too!

Do you enjoy baking?

Master patissier Will Torrent, who is also Cacao Barry Ambassador,  is back with a lovely book to show you the art of working with chocolate at home. Covering the history and provenance of chocolate, the varieties available, and the techniques needed to turn it into beautiful and mouth-watering creations, this book will inspire you to try all sorts of chocolate recipes. You will discover how to make a host of delicious ganaches, caramels and pralines. There are also chapters on Cookies, Biscuits & Bakes, and Desserts & Puddings, so that you can put your new knowledge and love of chocolate making to the best use in recipes like macadamia and white chocolate cookies, chocolate and salted caramel millionaire shortbread and chocolate fondants. Chocolate drinks and ice creams get a chapter too.

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The Craft Guild of Chefs named Luke Selby from Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons as the winner of Young National Chef of the Year 2014. His dessert, a chocolate fondant with pink grapefruit, jasmine tea ice cream and Grue de cacao, was deemed exceptional by the competition judges. His dessert was his response to the challenge to do his own twist on a hot chocolate fondant using Cacao Barry Chocolat. Congratulations to the talented young chef!

Russell Bateman, head chef at Colette’s Restaurant at The Grove in Watford, Hertfordshire, has instead claimed the title of the prestigious Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year 2014, following an intense cook-off at The Restaurant Show on October 7. An expert panel of more than 40 top British chefs, including Clare Smyth, Jason Atherton, Brett Graham, Bruce Poole, Marcus Wareing and Tom Kerridge, led by chair of judges Phil Howard, judged the competitors through their paper entries, semi-final heats and the final. Russel Bateman is also a Cacao Barry client, so we are all very happy. Congratulations, Russell!

A study in Denmark found a glass of red wine, or a bite of chocolate could protect your bones against osteoporosis.
The key was Resveratrol. The natural compound increased spinal bone density in dozens of people. This is the first research to show the compound’s potential as an anti-osteoporosis drug in humans. We are always happy to find one more reason to enjoy great chocolate, true?

Cacao Barry chocolate was featured at The International Chocolate Awards in Vancouver last week. Guests did a blind tasting of Premium “Cacao Barry” versus high sugar mass produced retail bars, the result was that 99% prefered the taste of Cacao Barry. It’s really great to see that taste evolves into the right direction – away from sugar.

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Chef Frederic Moreau, one of the ambassadors for the Cacao Barry went last week to Houston for a pastry demonstration at the LeNotre Culinary Institute. He has made desserts – many of them chocolate – all over the world. He has worked in France, Belgium, Tokyo and Chicago and now he is executive pastry chef at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort. Have a look at his stunning creations here.

If you are visiting Philadelphia you may enjoy visiting  “Chocolate: The Exhibition,” which traces the intriguing story of this “food of the gods” from its origin as a unique tropical rain forest plant, to the Maya who made it into a spicy ceremonial drink, to the Aztecs who used cacao seeds as currency, to the Spanish who added sugar and transformed the bitter drink of kings, to the sweet millions of people crave today. The exhibit runs until Jan. 24 at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia.

And this week’s food for thought:

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