Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Technical Challenge: Ciabatta by Paul Hollywood - Recipe

Why didn't I try this easy recipe before?  My inspiration came from seeing Paul Hollywood on TV demonstrating this technical challenge from The Great British Bake Off.  He made it look easy enough, but with his skills, he makes everything look easy.

This is one occasion when you need a mixer with a dough hook, the mixture is so sticky I'd loose patience if I tried to make it by hand. If you don't have a mixer with a dough hook, but haven't used your bread machine for ages, let the dough setting do all the hard work for you.

I'm not in possession of a square plastic container to rise the dough, mine is deep and oblong, it was still okay and sometimes you just have to compromise.  After all, Paul Hollywood isn't about to knock on my front door any time soon to make sure I use a square container.

The dough is really easy to work with and I was more than a bit chuffed with my baked loaves of ciabatta, they don't have to look bakery perfect, but hubby thought I'd bought them!

Fresh from the oven
The bread doesn't take long to make, the kitchen is filled with the heady aroma of bread, it freezes well, can be warmed briefly in the microwave (don't tell Paul), and you can find the recipe on the BBC Food website.

I hope you too will have a go at this challenge!

Back soon with some fab product reviews........including making soup to go with my bread.....

Friday, October 17, 2014

Review: Chocoholics Step Forward - It's The Chocolate Show, London 2014

Deremiens.............With shocking bright pink packaging and some crazy flavours including tobacco and even ketchup, look out for more from this Belgium company. Online gifts available too.

Kitchen Delights London Reporter @PaulFoodie eats a little too much chocolate at The Chocolate Show.......

Hooray - it's Chocolate Week and most importantly time for the return of The Chocolate Show which is taking place in London until Sunday 19th October.

We went on gala night (Thursday, 16 October) and had a sighting of Mr Willy Wonka on stage, as well as a fashion show made purely out of chocolate.

We managed to get round to 10-15 chocolatiers and gained an insight into what makes them unique.

Here are a few of the stand highlights:

Paul A Young

He always displays beautiful fresh truffles and his chocolates are temptingly delicious.

The Chocolate Society

A small boutique chocolatier from Somerset. We loved these fab honeycomb bites dipped in gorgeous French chocolate. One to watch!

Choco Passion UK

Makers of chocolate designs of different objects such as cameras, keys and even tools. Key to your heart anyone? This stand looks and smells sensational.

We adored all of the stands and had a truly amazing time, the above is just a brief whirlwind tour of the show, we wish we could have featured each and everyone of you.

For tickets and information: Salonduchocolat

Disclaimer:  We were guests of The Chocolate Show, all thoughts are our own.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ferrero Rocher Christmas Range and Sensory Tasting Event - October 2014

The Christmas Range
Kitchen Delights London Reporter @PaulFoodie gets down to serious business - tasting chocolate!

We had a rather glamorous invitation recently to attend a Ferrero Rocher chocolate tasting at London's Soho Hotel and to learn the secrets behind what makes them so very, very delicious.......

Sadly, the ambassador was nowhere to be seen, but we were treated to an elaborate tasting session and a preview of the beautifully presented Christmas range which includes pretty gold hanging stars for the Christmas tree - they all taste just as amazing as they look.

It was very exciting to learn that Mr Ferrero actually exists! It was also quite thrilling to hear that he personally tastes the products every day to make sure we keep loving his chocolates.

A senior tester from the company, Stefania Agnello had flown out specially from Italy to give us insight into the core elements that make up a Ferrero Rocher. We tasted each element and chatted through it to understand the process: the crisp wafer, the sweet roasted hazelnuts and, of course, the chocolate!

Tasting Tray

Professor Barry Smith, a specialist researcher, who has years of research into how the mind and body perceive taste, then took us through an experiment. Quite simply, place a nose peg on the end of your nose and pop a piece of chocolate into your mouth. Start biting into the chocolate, remove the peg and note the difference in taste. Can you guess what we found? The taste of the chocolate came alive when the nose peg came off because you were then using all of your senses. The tongue can only taste things like sweet or salty elements but the nose brings out the more elaborate flavours with all their nuances even things like fruit!

Have a go at home with the family and it will change the way you perceive taste. I'd also urge you to look up Professor Barry Smith's work, it's fascinating, and will give you an insight into how people in his profession work with food manufacturers to make us think in a certain way when we experience their products.

Revealed: 5 top tips for enjoying chocolate using all of your senses

1. Always hold the chocolate in your fingers before eating it. The feeling of the texture such as the knobbly bits, helps the brain predict and enhance the sensations you experience on the tongue.
2. Before placing the chocolate into your mouth, take a moment to breathe in the aroma. The marriage of the flavour and the aroma creates an additional pleasure in the emotional reward centres of the brain.
3. When the chocolate is in your mouth, eat slowly to bring out the nuances of flavour.
4. Shape and texture are everything. Think about the way the chocolate melts in your mouth - the 'melt rate' is a huge factor as to why we enjoy chocolate so much.
5. Enjoy!!

A special thank you to Ferrero Rocher for hosting a real treat. The Christmas range is in the shops now.

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