It’s Easter in a couple of weeks and this year, Justin’s birthday falls during the bank holiday weekend. I’ve already got him a present however, I’m thinking about getting him an additional one. One of these luxury, ethical Easter eggs will be just the ticket!
- Booja Booja large almond & sea salt caramel Easter egg – 138g: £26, Ethical Superstore
These wonderfully presented handmade Easter egg gifts are created by artisans in Kashmir, India using papier-mâché and hand painted with truly unique designs before being hand packed in Norfolk with Booja Booja’s melt in the mouth superior quality and award winning, dark chocolate, almond and sea salt caramel truffles. A truly beautiful and ethical Easter egg gift for the vegan in your life.
Booja Booja is a UK company with a refreshingly different mindset to its competitors; it strives to be minimal, renewable and of course beautiful! All of Booja Booja’s products are organic; free of dairy, wheat and gluten, are suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and are GMO free.
- Dark chocolate Easter egg with chocaviar 75%: £50, Venchi
Dark chocolate Easter egg coated with delicious 75% Chocaviar pearls with an elegant jewel gift inside.
To uphold ethics, Venchi buys its raw materials directly from the local community, guaranteeing a fair price that not only ensures the community a stable present and future, but also encourages research and development of the best extra fine cocoa varieties.
- Ostrich egg – dark: £75, Hotel Chocolat
Dark ostrich egg is made with half 70% dark chocolate with almonds and a dash of salt, and half 70% dark chocolate with hazelnuts and another sprinkling of salt. Served with a tray of 27 chocolates – pralines, truffles, caramels, patisserie and more – plus six golden eggs hidden inside the box for you to hunt, all in all this comes to more than a kilo of chocolate!
Engaged Ethics is the name we coined for our direct programme to create sustainable cocoa growing communities. It differs from most other ‘trading fairly’ programmes as it goes beyond simply writing out a cheque and standing back (which is still a great deal better than doing nothing!) It’s a roll-up-the-sleeves, take risks, long-term approach, which has led to a remarkable set of results so far.
We’re still in the throes of our love affair with the humble beetroot! The two previous recipes we shared here were savoury bread products. Today it’s a chocolate and beetroot cake.
I borrowed a recipe from Jamie Oliver – it’s a ‘healthy eating’ one that he devised for cooking with children.
Instead of flour, it contains ground almonds and there’s a minimal amount of sugar as the beetroot gives sweetness.
The beetroot also gives it a deep and slightly earthy flavour – and works surprisingly well with chocolate.
It doesn’t have a light and airy consistency, it’s more like brownie than sponge cake – even with carefully folding in the egg whites…
…not that I’m complaining – it was really, really good!
If you have kids (or even adults!) that won’t eat their vegetables – this is a wonderfully clandestine way of sneaking some into their diet!
Click here to save the recipe to Pinterest for later!
Chocolate and beetroot cake
- 300g/10½oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 250g/9oz raw beetroot
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 150g/5¼oz golden caster sugar
- 120g/4¼oz ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
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- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4
- Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 20cm/8" spring-form cake tin
- Use scissors to cut out a circle of greaseproof paper, roughly the same size as the bottom of the tin, and use it to line the base
- Break 200g of the chocolate up into small pieces and add to a heatproof bowl
- Place the bowl on top of a small pan of simmering water over a medium heat, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water, and allow to melt, stirring occasionally
- Once melted, carefully remove from the heat and set aside
- Peel & grate the beetroot then tip it into a large mixing bowl
- Separate the eggs, placing the whites into a large clean mixing bowl and adding the yolks to the beetroot
- Stir the sugar, almonds, baking powder, cocoa powder and melted chocolate into the beetroot and combine well
- Whisk the egg whites until you have stiff peaks
- Using a spatula, fold ¼ of the egg whites into the beetroot mixture to loosen then, once combined, fold in the rest trying not to over mix
- Add the mixture to the prepared cake tin and spread out evenly using a spatula
- Bake for around 50 minutes, or until risen and cooked through
- To check if it's done, insert a skewer into the middle. If it comes away clean the cake's cooked
- Allow the cake to cool slightly, then carefully turn it out on to a wire rack to cool completely
- Once cool, melt the rest of the chocolate (in the same way as above), and drizzle over the top
- Serve with crème fraîche or Greek yoghurt
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Kitchen Garden Project
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/
The focus is back on Rio this week with the start of the Paralympics. Which made me remember that I still have half a bag of Brazil nuts in the cupboard leftover from making a double espresso brazil nut cake a few weeks ago.
I’ve been in something of a cookie & biscuit frame of mind recently, so I thought I’d use them up by making some chocolate chip & brazil nut cookies.
I use quite a lot of chocolate in my baking – cocoa, dark chocolate, mocha – but I’ve never used chocolate chips before. In most recipes that call for chocolate chips, I’ve always just used chopped up chocolate pieces.
Chocolate chip cookies I’ll make an exception for, because those perfect little dots of chocolate are just essential!
The recipe makes over 2 dozen lovely, soft cookies. They’re quick & easy and the perfect thing to get the kids involved in making.
We needed some treats for our biscuit barrel so that was the subject for today’s Cakes & Bakes… but which kind of biscuit?
Justin started reminiscing about Gypsy Creams – and commenting on the fact that they seem to have disappeared from the shops. I have to admit that growing up in Trinidad, I’d never heard of Gypsy Creams – but they certainly sounded good enough to try.
My numerous baking books didn’t offer a single recipe, but fortunately I found one available online.
They incorporate flour, butter, oats, golden syrup and most importantly chocolate. Two crisp biscuity layers sandwich a moist chocolate buttercream layer.
Apparently coconut can be added to the recipe too. These are often called Romany Creams, but Justin thinks that the packet Gypsy Creams from his youth had something ‘coconutty’ about them.
I have to say that they’re absolutely delicious – and are now a firm favourite of mine having missed out for nearly 50 years!
We have a very attractive offering for this week’s Cakes & Bakes post – isn’t this layered brownie butter cake pretty? The deep chocolate brown and the warm yellow are very pleasing to the eye. It’s a really good ‘tea & cake’ kind of cake which scores even more points.
It’s the perfect thing for the two of us here at H is for Home headquarters as Adelle loves chocolate brownie and Justin loves butter cake. And both of us think the combination works really well. Correction, make that the three of us here… Fudge loves the crumbs!
This month, we’re linking up with Divine Chocolate to commemorate Fairtrade Fortnight which began yesterday. It runs until 13 March and shines a spotlight on all the farmers around the world who are now thriving thanks to them receiving fair prices for their crops.
Divine is one of a growing number of companies who only use fairly traded ingredients in their products. Not only this, the company is 44% owned by the cocoa farmers so they receive a direct share of the profits.
If you like chocolate (and who doesn’t?) you can enter to win one of Divine’s tasting hampers – gift boxed & filled with 13 bars of delectable deliciousness! Even if you don’t like chocolate, you can still enter and, if you win, you can give it to a loved one as a present and score some (chocolate) brownie points!
Simply leave us a comment below telling us what is your favourite type of Divine Chocolate.
Divine Chocolate tasting hamper
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