Ah, Chocolate. The food so beloved that eating it wasn't enough, so we turned it into a drink, too.
I came up with this Drinking Chocolate recipe when I had a hankering for a hot chocolate made with dark chocolate, and didn't want to pay $6 for one at a cafe. I Know that many cafes' secret to amazing hot chocolate is using actual chocolate pieces, stirred and melted into hot milk.
I decided to take this concept one step further for my home pantry version: instead of pieces of chocolate, why not grind the pieces into dust, making them ready to spoon into a mug or glass to enjoy in any weather?
Then I thought about a stumbling block with the version - straight chocolate does not take well to being mixed directly with water - it 'seizes'. The problem is, to make iced chocolate the powdered chocolate mixture needs to be mixed with with a splash of freshly boiled water in order for it to melt, so that when the cold milk is added the chocolatiness gets distributed throughout.
Solution: I added a little sugar and cocoa. Flavour-wise the sweetness of the sugar and the earthy bitterness of the cocoa cancel each other out somewhat, but it also gives this Drinking Chocolate blend the alchemy it needs to be stirrable, dissolvable and quick.
The end result has been a big hit with my family. For the grown-ups, I make it solely with 70% chocolate drops, while for my children I do a mixture of milk and dark.
I should also mention - a jar of this Drinking Chocolate makes a lovely little gift.
We hope you love it:)
There are a few good reasons to enjoy making chocolatey treats. The cold weather keeps us indoors. The school holidays are upon us yet again. And, well, chocolate! We thought it might be a nice idea to make a selection of really simple petit four chocolates.
A petit four (French for 'small oven') is a bite-sized confection, cake or appetiser - as with so many things, it sounds better in French! These were made in under an hour, and are decadent, delicious morsels.
No chocolate molds, marble benches or any special equipment are needed for these chocolates. There's no tempering or fancy techniques. You simply melt, mix, dollop & set!
We sell four types of chocolate drops at Village Wholefoods, and we're using three of them for this selection of petit fours: milk, 55% dark and 70% dark. If you'd like some in-depth info on the different types of chocolate, head on over to this week's Product Spotlight, where it's explained in more detail.
Now, to the Chocolate Petit Fours
First up, we have Coconut Rough with Orange Zest, using the 70% dark chocolate drops. Next is Hazelnut & Lavender Clusters, made with the mellower 55% dark chocolate drops. Finally, we will make Salted Almond Clusters, using our milk chocolate.
Whether you make these gorgeous treats for yourself, for visitors or as a gift, we think you'll enjoy the process as much as the result.
The ingredient ratios & methods are basically the same for all 3 variations.
So excited were we at the arrival of our new product, Organic Oat Flour, it didn't have a chance to cool its heels before I took some home to put it to delicious use.
And there are so many delicious uses! What I chose to make were these moreish Orange and Poppy Seed Oat Bars.
These Oat Bars come together so quickly and simply, and are an excellent breakfast on the run, a quick refuel with a cup of tea or a nourishing snack popped into a lunch box.
The icing is optional. When making these for breakfast bars I tend to omit the icing, but it's really down to personal preference. You can also reduce the sugar from ⅔ cup to ½ cup if you like.
Dear Villagers, I was inspired to make this recipe because of TikTok. Before you judge, let me explain, justify and defend my actions. We noticed recently quite an upswing in the number of customers coming in to stock up on medjool dates. Being nosy, we asked why, and learned that there was a recipe trending on TikTok for Snicker Dates. It was a simple recipe that involved stuffing a medjool date with peanut butter before dipping it in melted chocolate.
As a self-proclaimed queen of whole food snacks (I used to make sweet treats for cafes around the Inner West) I decided to make some.
There's much to love about this kind of whole food treat, They usually involve a small number of ingredients, they're quick to make, and you don't have to worry too much about exact amounts - it's a more relaxing cooking experience when you can be a little loosey-goosey with weighing and measuring.
Me being me, I made a couple of small changes to the recipe. The main one is the addition of cacao butter. While the TikTok recipes all called for dipping the dates in either straight melted chocolate, or adding a little coconut oil to the chocolate. The (small) issue with just melted chocolate on its own is that it sets hard, and you lose a bit of that decadent mouth feel that you get biting into a chocolate bar. And that is why some recipes include adding some coconut oil. The inclusion of coconut oil helps the chocolate melt better and set better, while also preventing it from going super hard and brittle. But coconut oil has a polarising taste, and I know a lot of kids in particular who aren't keen on it. Hence I decided that cacao butter would be a better option. It not only improves the meltability and the texture when set, but the subtle, rich flavour and aroma adds tenfold to the chocolate bar experience we are trying to create.
I decided to add a touch of cacao butter to the peanut butter too, to give the peanut butter a creamier, more velvety mouthfeel.
Being that there are 6 ingredients, and the recipe is done and dusted in 30 mins, I guess you are wondering why such a simple recipe is so long and wordy… Please don't be alarmed, I promise you that it is indeed very simple and we are not about to put you through a Masterchef Pressure Test! It's just that each simple step is harder to explain in words than video.
Feel free to omit using toothpicks - your Snicker Date Bites will be a little wider and a little flatter, but just as delicious.
One final thing before we jump in and get cooking: In my opinion, it's the salt and crushed peanuts that make these babies sing. Don't skip them!
It's our last recipe for 2022, so we thought why not go out with a bang!
It's rare to see a grazing platter without cheese and charcuterie. So I wanted to make some festive party fare that didn't leave dairy free,vegan or vegetarian folk out in the cold.
This Grazing Platter involves 3 recipes - 2 brand new ones and an old favourite - plus a jumble of ingredients you can grab in-store to bring it all together.
Now to the two new recipes. We've got a super easy cashew cheese, and a truly yummy mushroom pate. Both are vegan-friendly and can be easily adapted to suit any dietary requirements.
Supporting the two stars of the platter is an old favourite that goes with them perfectly - Seed Crackers.
The accompanying ingredients are mere suggestions; feel free to replicate what I've used or go rogue and make it your own!
If you're new to creating a platter, here's an easy guide to building one:
The key to an inviting platter is colour, focal points and a variety of small bowls and ramekins to create height and interest.
Firstly assemble your ingredients, platter (or board) and a variety of small bowls. Decide what will be scattered directly onto the platter and what will be put into bowls, ramekins or jars, then arrange them around the platter. Then you can have fun adding your scatter items like nuts, dried fruit and crackers. Voila!