Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chocolate & Date Cake

Lots of the producers of the delicious products we stock here at Tastes develop recipes to give customers ideas for what to do with their products. We even have a selection of free recipe postcards available in the shop. I thought it was about time I blogged about some of the fine producer recipes. And with Tuesday night being Great British Bake Off night, I needed something baked to accompany yesterday evening's compulsive viewing.

I turned to a recipe for Chocolate and Date Pudding/Cake from The Mortimer Chocolate Company; Makers of fine chocolate powder, perfect for drinking and for baking.

The recipe does require a tiny bit of preparation – soaking of dates for 30 minutes. I did that whilst preparing dinner, then while dinner I cooked prepared the pudding, and put that in the oven whilst we ate dinner. It worked perfectly, and mine was ready 10 minutes ahead of schedule (30 minutes in the fan assisted oven at 160).

I served this as a warm pudding last night and will have it cold as a cake tonight. Can't wait!
If you haven't baked with chocolate powder before you should give it a try. Mortimer Chocolate Powder is rich and high in cocoa solids. It melts very easily. The powder is also dairy, gluten and soya free so much easier to substitute into a free-from recipe than some bars of chocolate.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Thank you Bees

I'm incredibly pleased to be able to offer a third "local honey" at Tastes. I think we have the shop pretty much surrounded now with an apiary in Iver (5 miles NE), Wargrave (13 miles W) and now in Windsor (2 miles SW). Getting a steady supply of honey is still a problem. Sadly, we don't have Iver honey at the moment due to the wet spring, but hopefully the hives will recover soon.

The Windsor hives are the closest to our shop in Eton (less than 2 miles as the bee flies). But while we are keeping the food miles down, those bees aren't!

Apparently, to make 1 kg of honey the bees have to fly 96 000 kilometers (see "Energy Efficiency of. Honey Production by Bees." E. E. Southwick and D. Pimentel. Bioscience (1981) 31, 10; 370 – 732). So for each 380g jar of honey the bees have flown 22 000 miles (36 000 km) which is the equivalent of flying from London to Auckland (NZ) and back! Well done bees! You amaze me.