5 of the best chocolate treats
Chocolate and Christmas
Here's a simple way to make your life more pleasurable. Eat more chocolate! It might contradict what you often hear but that's exactly why you should! Chocolate is the naughty treat that gives you fleeting moments of pure bliss. And you don't need anyone else to make it happen ─ you can enjoy it alone, whenever you fancy it. So, do yourself a favour and throw away the measuring scales for a couple of weeks.
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1. End of the world ganaches
The Mayans loved their chocolate and would turn to it for visionary ideas and grandiose inspiration. Perhaps it's to blame for their crazy prophecy (since proved false) that the world would end on the 21st December 2012? Although perhaps their version was infused with mind altering peyote, or something similar, in order to lead them to such a deathly prediction.
A better way for people in the 21st century to get that 'I've died and gone to heaven' feeling is to try Forman and Field's wickedly wonderful Damien Allsop Water Ganache Chocolates. These chocolate gifts are so good they should be banned.
2. Pain au chocolate
A recipe from my Gallic neighbours, it's the perfect accompaniment to a lazy, Sunday breakfast. There is something delightfully indulgent about watching the world rush past in a cafÃ©, while having a pain au chocolate and a well-made cafÃ© au lait. Another suitably decadent breakfast snack- an almond croissant dipped in your coffee.
3. Chocolate and courgette cake
This is one of those strange combinations that actually works - akin to the American love of peanut butter and jam. The courgette adds a cooling moistness to the batter mixture and the chocolate does what it does best - being marvellous in its own right. Dust with some icing sugar and top with fresh strawberries. For a little extra wickedness, add double cream.
4. Rocky road
Whatever way you look at it, chocolate is all about indulgence. And too much can cause slight deliria! All it takes is a look at Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory for evidence of this. There were people getting blown up like balloons and dumped into furnaces – because they ate too much chocolate. As well as sanctimonious, finger-wagging little orange people in green breeches. That’s chocolate delirium if ever I saw it.
One slightly daft, but never dull, chocolate snack is rocky road. A giant undulating slab of marshmallow, nuts and jellies rolled in chocolate – what could be better?
5. Salted caramel and chocolate french toast
And now for the piÃ¨ce de rÃ©sistance: with its combination of soft and crunchy; bitter and sweet; creamy and salty; it’s too perfect for words. Follow the recipe then find a quiet spot and savour every single mouth-watering moment.