It’s beginning to smell a lot like chocolate :)

As discussed in my previous post, I received a gigantic basket full of delectable chocolate surprises from my friend Andra for my birthday. I had been looking forward to her gift for days and had absolutely no idea what it could possibly have been.

Andra told me that I can pack out what is inside, but only if I commit to unpacking everything inside. I obviously did not need a second invitation!! I was greeted with a “sprinkle” of kinder joy bite sized, individually wrapped bits, kinder joy schoko bons and some chocolate gold coins 🙂 I also found some Anna Lize choc chip swiss caramels(yet to be sampled). Speckled eggs, which are soft jelly eggs in chocolate with a crisp candy shell – besides having eggs made entirely of chocolate, these are wonderfully chewy and delicious! Cadbury dairy milk GIANT buttons…melt-in-your-mouth disks that leaves your mouth with a burst of chocolate loveliness. A Cadbury Fudge bar, also not yet devoured. A selection of deliciously dark Lindt chocolate bars that included a sea salt slab, chocolate chili slab, and intense caramel slab… Yummm, absolute heaven!. A Daim milk chocolate wit a crunchy almond centre, it was a little piece of heaven, crunchy and chocolatey leaving a rich buttery caramel after taste. Toblerone, always a winner :). Nutella hazelnut chocolate spread. Then some Ferrero Rocher balls, glorious!!!

Then a carefully selected group of items which caused a lot of laughter and jokes at the table…the selection included some Sugar Mommy kissing chocolate, to be put on your lips of course. Chocolate nipple spread that came with a silver spreading knife – instructions read: “warm knife before spreading, don’t over sharpen blade”. The thought of sharpening the blade would with no doubt have ever crossed my mind hahahaha. Chocolate body paint with a note on the tin: ” a note to weight watchers, body paint loaded with kilojoules but when consumed in accordance with directions is quite likely to have a slimming effect due to simultaneous physical activity” bwhahahaha, chocolate body pens, . It also included a box of “Teenie Peenies”… Very fun and well shaped 😉

It also had some chocolate cherry biscuits that I had for breakfast on Sunday morning, they were absolutely to die for!!! Oh so moreish leaving you with a taste of delectable dark chocolate and an after taste of cherry.
Chocolate Italian kisses were also in there, wonderful with coffee…you have to get the whole thing in your mouth in one go. It was a mix of very light and airy but deeply dark chocolate shortbread.

I can now also indulge in some mouth watering recipes from a recipe book all about chocolate. The basket also include a bottle of wine labeled “the chocolate block”, chocolate incense sticks, and last but not least some absolutely fabulous chocolate scented body wash, body scrub and body butter. The body scrub leaves you feeling renewed and the body butter is gloriously scented and melts into your skin, making it feel unbelievably soft and smooth…. I can seriously eat myself after applying it, and yes…I did give myself a lick, but other than the aroma of chocolate, it does not taste like chocolate 😉 lol!

What a fabulously thoughtful, creative and blissfully delicious gift!!! Besides the mountains of chocolate in my basket, I also received another enormous box filled with chocolate teddies, a huge chocolate bunny, smooth indulgent hand made chocolate squares with strawberry fill, butterscotch fill, and salted caramel fill. White chocolate squares with rich cappuccino filling and milk chocolate squares with a creamy chocolate mousse filling from my baby sister Irene. Another irresistibly smooth Lindor slab with smooth melting filling, a Milka chocolate bar , a ripple bar and of course, glorious minstrels from brother-in-law Brad. Thanks guys!! You all paved the way to my complete chocolate indulgence and no doubt weight gain regime 😉 xx

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Add some Sparkle to your wine ;)

Living so close to the Stellenbosch winelands, my husband and I decided to do a bit of wine tasting with some friends recently. On the top of our list was undoubtedly JC Le Roux. The House of JC Le Roux is a well known Sparkling wine producer in the picturesque Devon Valley near Stellenbosch.

We heard that they do a fantastic nougat tasting, and anything that includes a bit of bubbly and chocolate is a definite must in my books 😉 especially when it includes five exquisite J.C. Le Roux Cap Classique and sparkling wines!

Upon arrival we were greeted by the beautiful venue filled with natural light and surrounded my the majestic mountains and glorious vineyards. A meticulously set table awaited us with promise of a tantalizing sensory experience. The staff were all friendly and well educated in the JC Le Roux range of products and methods and our hostess explained all our wines to us beautifully.

We had a selection of handmade treats that included dark chocolate, white chocolate, cherry pecan and cashew nougat, pecan and cashew nougat and rosewater turkish delight tempting our taste buds. Every paring offered you sheer indulgence! The mix of swirls of bubbly and delectable nougat and chocolate was absolutely glorious!

Seeing as my birthday was the 27th, the outing also doubled as a bit of a celebration with friends that I wouldn’t get to see on the day. I felt truly spoilt. Amongst my gifts I received a gigantic basket full of creative, fun, heavenly chocolate treats that warrants an entire blog post on it’s own!

All in all it was a fantastic day and I would recommend it to anyone visiting the area. Go have a look also at http://www.roseshandmade.co.za for all the mouth watering treats we had and even more!

Chocolate meringues with nuts

There is nothing more satisfying than mouthfuls of sugary sweet delights and a hot cup of coffee. Here is a recipe for deliciously delightful meringue morsels… you will simply not get enough of them!  They have the winning combination of chocolate and nuts and are addictively yummy and very simple to make!

100g plain chocolate
3 large egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
125g caster sugar
50g sifted icing sugar
30g hazelnuts toasted and finely ground
142 ml double cream 
  1. Preheat oven to 140°C
  2. Line two baking pans with baking paper
  3. Freeze chocolate for 20 min
  4. Finely grate 50g of the frozen chocolate in a bowl and put back into freezer for later. Break the rest of the chocolate in a bowl and leave till later.
  5. Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar into stiff peaks, gradually add the castor sugar and whisk till thick and glossy. Sift the icing sugar over and fold into the mixture in three batches.
  6. Mix the cocoa, nuts, grated chocolate. Fold into meringue mixture.
  7. Place spoonful’s on baking sheets, or use a piping bag so pipe 24 spiral peaks onto baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 40 min until firm and remove from oven. Leave to cool
  9. Melt remaining chocolate and spread on base of meringues, leave to cool chocolate side up.
  10. Whisk cream to soft peaks, sandwich meringues together and serve. You can leave the cream out if you prefer.

Make sure to make more than just one batch as they seem to disappear rather quickly!!

Cookies – greatest pleasures of life

There is no aroma like that of freshly baked cookies. It fills your nose, and it is like you almost pause to inhale slowly taking in every bit of the sweet, delectable sent.  The word ‘cookie’ is of Dutch origin and means ‘little cake’.  I absolutely love the idea of having lots of little scrumptious cakes.  The word ‘biscuit’ is of French origin and means ‘twice baked’.  When vacuum packed and fridges were still idle ideas, sailors used this technique to preserve their ‘ship cookies’.  Thank you to all those wonderful sailors and their preservation methods.  I don’t mind them too sweet and consider them ideal for every day consumption.  I love all types, but anything with chunky chocolate, or chocolate and nuts in the title will without a doubt get preference.  Here is a recipe for luscious treats.  I find them hard to share, so either make a whole lot of them, or keep them under lock and key!

Double Chocolate Cookies

115g unsalted butter
115g light muscovado sugar
1 egg
5ml vanilla essence
150g self-raising flour
75g porridge oats
115g plain chocolate, roughly chopped
115g white chocolate, roughly chopped
 
1.       Pre-heat oven to 190°C
2.       Lightly grease 2 baking sheets.  Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix well.
3.       Sift flour into mixture and fold lightly into it with a metal spoon. Add oats and chopped chocolate. Stir.
4.       Place small spoonfuls on baking sheets. Leave space for spreading.
5.       Bake for 15 – 20 min until pale golden.
6.       Cool for 2 min, transfer to wire rack.

I feel guilt free having chunks off these at a time, after all they contain oats…which is healthy… So dig in!!