Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Tasting at Moniki Chocolatier in Tulbagh (2016-12-10) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 03 JAN 2017

Chantelle and I found ourselves enjoying a mini break away from the kids back in December last year, escaping to the tiny, historic and laden with wine and olive producers town of Tulbagh for the weekend.

Tulbagh is of course known having many wine estates and historic buildings, but given that the town essentially consists of only two streets of commerce, touristy things to do that are not wine tasting are relatively hard to come by.

Enter Moniki Chocolatier, brainchild of Niki de Wolf, who moved down to Tulbagh from the Netherlands with partner Rijk von Kooij, purchasing the historic Schoonderzicht Farm (dating back to 1795) in the process.

Seeing as starting a guest house wasn’t really an option given their small children, Niki, a journalist and food writer, decided to try her hand at luxury chocolate making – one of the things that she missed from back home in Europe.

Thus Tulbagh’s very own chocolatier was born.

Having moved shop  few times already, Moniki now finds itself sharing an old restored house on the historic Church Street with the handcrafted curio and clothes shop Het Land van Waveren.

Obviously, Chantelle and I simply had to drop in and taste their fine chocolates, and while slightly disappointed with the size of the operation, we were thrilled with the absolutely decadent array of chocolates on offer – it is not often that you come across someone who incorporates things like wine and amarula in their chocolate making!

They offer a chocolate tasting experience which allows you to select a single type of drink and four different chocolates to go with it – which of course means that between the two of us we tasted 8 very good chocolates!

So although not really a serious travel attraction in itself, if you do however find yourself in Tulbagh and happen to enjoy good chocolate, then it certainly is worth popping in to Moniki Chocolatier while you are there.

Also, a handy map:

Related Link: TripAdvisor | Twitter

Wine Tasting at La Couronne Wine Estate (2015-05-10) Photo Gallery 01 JUL 2015

The third stop on our Franschhoek Wine Tram blue line trip (part of our fabulous weekend away in Franschhoek) was the La Couronne Wine Estate.

IMG_20150510_134948 chantelle lotter wine tasting at la couronne wine estate in franschhoek

Originally named Champagne Farm and farmed by seven generations of the Le Roux brother, La Couronne is now named after the famed French warship of the French Navy built in 1636 by Cardinal de Richelieu. La Couronne was the first man of war built by the French themselves in accordance to Richelieu’s plans to renew the French Navy, after a series of ships built by the Dutch. The construction was overseen by the famous carpenter Charles Morieur, from Dieppe. The ship was one of the most advanced vessels of her time, equipped with 68 heavy guns, 8 firing to the bow and 8 to the aft.

Needless to say, the wine estate doesn’t really feature any heavy guns, no.

IMG_20150510_130845 wine tasting at la couronne wine estate in franschhoek

Instead, they offer a fantastic wine selection, as well as quite a well thought out wine and chocolate pairing, something Chantelle and I quite enjoyed. (By this stage of the morning, we kind of felt like wine experts already! :P)

As luck would have it, we ended up there on Mother’s Day, and because pretty much no one else other than Chantelle and myself were present for lunch, we were treated with a personal tour around their vats, operations and more importantly, barrel cellar – a definite highlight for any wine newbies like us!

IMG_20150510_132547 la couronne cellar barrel tour in franschhoek

In fact, we got on so well with the tasting expert that we ended up staying there for a hour longer than planned, enjoying cheese, chocolates and more wine than any person should be tasting in a single sitting! :)

Not a bad way to end off what had been quite a long morning of tasting wines then! :)

IMG_20150510_142759 wine tasting at la couronne wine estate in franschhoek

Related Link: La Couronne Wine Estate

Things to See in South Africa: Huguenot Fine Chocolates (Franschhoek) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 24 JUN 2015

Billed as Franschhoek’s famous Belgian chocolate shop, Huguenot Fine Chocolates is a tiny BEE producer of fine handcrafted Belgian chocolates. Located in the main street of Franschhoek, the self proclaimed gourmet capital of South Africa, this boutique chocolaterie offers a delicious range of chocolates, made from the finest imported Belgian chocolate.

IMG_20150509_105749 huguenot fine chocolates belgian chocolatier in franschhoek

Business partners, Danver Windvogel and Denver Adonis are Belgian-qualified chocolatiers, and their chocolate work is world class, making them and their chocolate a popular stop in the tourist heavy Franschhoek.

IMG_20150509_110430 huguenot fine chocolates belgian chocolatier in franschhoek

The shop / work area also plays host to “The Chocolate Experience” a half-hour long programme of tasting, demonstrations and chocolate history – interesting if you don’t have any clue as to what exactly chocolate is in the first place!

(Although not a “must” experience as we discovered on our most recent trip to Franschhoek, the information provided is pretty interesting if you are coming in with no prior knowledge, you do of course get to taste chocolate in its various states, and pleasingly, you get handed two little chocolates at the end of the talk.)

Chantelle and I are rather fond of this beautiful tourist town of food, art and wine, and needless to say, Huguenot Fine Chocolates is a stop that we pretty much never miss when we’re in town! :)

Related Link: http://www.huguenotchocolates.com/

A Note on Easter and Breast Milk Jessica | My Life 02 MAY 2011

If you are a breastfeeding mother and you read material that is handed out to you, then you would undoubtedly know that the food that you eat effects the milk that your breasts produce. It is quite a simple system really, and hence there exists a substantial list of foods and food types you should avoid if you want a happy, healthy baby.

But of course, seeing as we are all human, we do tend to forget – and make mistakes sometimes, which is exactly what Chantelle and I did this past Easter period!

As we all know, commercial Easter is about selling, purchasing and consuming chocolate – in huge quantities, and because we have a situation in the family where every sibling buys for every other sibling and parent Easter eggs, soon we had amassed a decent quantity of delicious and delectable chocolate here in our kitchen – which we of course devoured like a ravenous pack of animals over the course of my holiday week.

At the same time, Capetonians would have noticed that the temperature dropped quite drastically as well, thrusting us straight into winter which of course has the affect that more coffee is suddenly consumed.

Again not such a good thing if you remember your breastfeeding 101.

As far as we can tell (and it is a bit of guesswork at the moment, but definitely a theory that fits the foot best right now) is that the sudden surge in chocolate and coffee consumption (which are recognised stimulants) had a direct affect on mommy’s breast milk because from a baby with absolutely no problems, we shot straight to a baby suffering from horrible colic each and every night for the past week!

Continue reading

7 Minute Microwave Chocolate Cake Recipe Recipes 11 JAN 2010

An absolute disaster it was I tell you. I couldn’t find my gran’s 7 minute microwave chocolate cake recipe anywhere and not wanting to let Chantelle whom I had promised a cake for down, I did a quick look about on the Internet and turned up this pretty good alternative recipe for the one I used to make.

Naturally, in the interests of prosperity and information storage, I now share this new 7 minute microwave cake recipe with you my dear blog reader, just in case you were feeling just that little bit left out. :P

So here goes:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of sugar (or castor sugar)
  • 1 cup of boiled water
  • 1 cup of cake flour
  • 45 ml of cocoa
  • 45 ml of oil
  • 12.5 ml of baking powder
  • 5 ml of vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • a pinch of salt

Method:

  • Spray with non-stick or grease a microwave ring-cake pan.
  • Beat the eggs together with the sugar and add the oil and vanilla essence into the mixture.
  • Dissolve your cocoa in the boiled water.
  • Mix together the cake flower, baking powder and salt.
  • Add in the cocoa mixture and the egg mixture to the flour mixture, continuously beating the result until a smooth batter is obtained.
  • Pour the smooth mixture into the ring pan and place in the microwave on high for between 6 and 7 minutes.
  • If wet spots are detected after the mixture has finished cooking, you can microwave it for an additional minute or two. However, care needs to be taken to ensure that you don’t overcook the cake!

Once cooled. you can then move on to creating whatever icing you’re going to use for the job, though I usually like to stick with the plain old classic form of icing, namely taking 250 g of softened margarine and mixing it up with copious amounts of icing sugar with some vanilla essence and cocoa for flavour. But seriously, this last step is best left to your own machinations! :P

I won't lie, it tastes good. 'nuff said.

Chocolate Fridge Fudge Recipe Recipes 29 NOV 2008

Fridge FudgeBecause one never knows when nuclear disaster will strike and rip everything you have ever treasured asunder, I have decided to save the most important recipe in the world on the Internet today. So please Google, cache this for me.

Chocolate Fridge Fudge

Ingredients

– 250g Margarine
– 1.5 tablespoon Cocoa
– 500g Icing Sugar
– 1 packet Marie Biscuits
– 2 large Eggs
– 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence

Method

– Crush biscuits into fine pieces (a rolling pin works really well – and lets you take out a few of your frustrations at the same time)
– Melt Margarine, Icing Sugar and Cocoa together in a pot. Melt at a low temperature and stir continuously otherwise the Cocoa will burn. (You should end up with a liquid/mushy brown paste-like substance.)
– Remove from stove.
– Add beaten Eggs to the mixture.
– Add Vanilla Essence.
– Add crushed biscuits.
– Mix the ingredients together with a spoon. (You should end up with a thick paste.)
– Pour mixture into a Pyrex/Glass dish that has been greased. (Use Spray-and-Cook)
– Allow to stand for 15 or so minutes to cool down. (You can cut the guideline for your blocks of fudge now if you wish).
– Place in fridge to set.

Serves one, extremely greedy, person – which is usually me! :)

Weekend in Review: Friday (21-24 March) My Life 25 MAR 2008

Easter BunnyEaster Weekend is upon us, even if it feels kind of strange to be having it in March and not in its customary April slot. An important weekend to all those belonging to the Christian faith and even more important to all those little children who simply love gorging themselves on all the chocolate eggs that the mischievous little Easter Bunny seems so intent on hiding all over the house and garden. Now I am no longer a kiddy, but mom still makes sure that every year I receive a little Easter ‘hamper’ and I am happy to report that this year was no different!

And for those people expecting this post yesterday, shame on you – everyone knows that Monday formed part of the weekend too! Except for poor Chantelle of course; as far as her industry is concerned, this Easter weekend was nothing more than the normal old Saturday and Sunday off – while I got to enjoy the full four day weekend effect! :)

Friday morning started off okay I guess. I woke up and found that I could breathe a little easier than the day before, the inflammation of my intercostal muscles seeming to have subsided a little, probably thanks to the medication I received on Thursday’s trip to the doctor. I started the day off fairly slowly, enjoying some melted cheese on bread while putting in a couple of quick games in my FIFA 08 season which is currently enjoying quite the winning streak for a change. From there it was straight to the laptop to get some work done and then the unenviable task of tidying around the flat a bit.

The work finally done, I then found myself out of the house and at Ryan’s place, helping him wash Gran’s car and giving my beast her long awaited cleaning too. With that rather big job done (I haven’t washed my car in months I tell you!) and one long discussion re a possible product for CodeUnit.ZA to pickup, Gran treated us to a lunch of some of her freshly made pickled fish that is always absolutely delicious and is guaranteed to go down well! :)

With the meal chewed, swallowed and processed, I threw a quick glance at Ryan’s newly purchased Rockstar Table Tennis on the Xbox 360 and then it was straight back home to get stuck into the dirty job of packing the rest of the boxes and loading up the car. Of course, all this sweat-inducing, back-breaking work was naturally interrupted on regular intervals by a good dose of FIFA 08, just to keep me sane you know!

Evening eventually arrived and I showered and hopped into the car, ready for my trip to GB. The car was literally groaning under the weight of all the stuff I had stuffed into it, but somehow I made it ‘home’ safely, just in time to catch Chantelle in the middle of 7de Laan, meaning I had to unpack the car all on my lonesome! :(

Luckily though, I didn’t have to watch a movie alone because when I suggested to C that we go watch that Step Up 2 that she wanted to see, she was just about in the car before I could blink! The movie itself was actually a really fun watch in the end, but what really made my night was the quick bite to eat that we had grabbed before the movie started, the bite in question being the most delicious of subs from Subway. Cold meat on a bed of lettuce with tomato and sweet onion sauce, sandwiched in some or other foreign sounding soft roll left my tastebuds tingling and me gushing to everyone I saw for the rest of the weekend about the gospel that is Subway sandwiches!

Anyway, back home Chantelle got introduced to the late night gambling, or as I prefer the “money down the toilet” scheme, that is Brainbox TV, basically a show that is designed to tempt unsuspecting souls in by offering tons of money up for grabs but all the while sucking their very souls out via their exorbitant cellphone charges. Luckily C couldn’t lose too much money as the arrival of Claire and Riley from their late night party out in Strand broke her concentration and she hurriedly invited them into our “humble commode”.

Bursting out in a laughter which there was no way I could ever have contained, I quickly explained to her that a commode is most commonly translated as meaning bathroom or toilet facility. Blushing, she quickly tried to talk her was out of that one, but too late, it has already gone down in the annals of history as the best welcoming line ever! :)