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    Wednesday, 27 May 2009

    Luxury chocolates

    Chocolate is made from cocoa pods grown on the Theobroma cacao tree, a small evergreen native to the tropical regions of South America. It was so highly prized it was called ? God?s food? The secret to the best quality chocolate is in its amount of cocoa solids (a mixture of cocoa mass and cocoa butter).

    The cocoa bean develops its aroma during fermentation and gives the beans their familiar chocolate taste. The fruit pulp containing the cocoa beans is poured into a fermenting tub or placed between banana leaves. Fermentation begins at 100 -120°F.

    After harvesting the cacao pods (which contain the cacao beans) the pods are crushed and left to ferment and dry for about six days. Then the beans are removed from the pods and left to further dry. Quality chocolate demands this slow drying process.

    Some chocolate manufacturers prefer to buy beans; others opt for chocolate mass. The beans are heated to 70 C and pressed to extract the cocoa butter (48-51 percent), which is clarified, becoming yellow and clear. At this stage, lecithin is added to make the mass malleable.

    After blending, the cocoa beans are roasted. It is the process of roasting the cocoa beans that brings out the chocolate flavor and aroma (I can tell you from personal experience that this process also produces one of the most lovely aromas my nose has ever smelled).

    Next the cocoa beans are shelled, and the pieces of seeds (called nibs) are then ground until a chocolate liquor is produced. Extra cocoa butter is then added (when producing cocoa or sweet ground chocolate it is removed). he extra cocoa butter increases the delicacy of the chocolate, and is largely responsible for its flavor.

    First you will discover the differences in colour as different beans produce finished chocolate with varying colours from rich reds and coppers to dark browns. This is not a sign of quality and a common myth that the darker chocolate is somehow a better chocolate is certainly not the case.

    A premuim quality 62% cocoa chocolate is crafted from the finest Ghanaian cocoa beans to produce a medium bittersweet chocolate. The largest suppliers are African countries, although the best (Criollo) cocoa beans originate in Ecuador. Forastero beans are flat and mostly used for chocolate drinks, violet-coloured Amelonado is bitter and of superior taste.

    Some chocolate is best for eating, and some for cooking. Some types, like couverture chocolate, can be used for baking, eating or coating candies. This is usually considered the highest quality chocolate, and it has a high percentage of cocoa butter, making it smooth and easily tempered.

    Flavanol antioxidants occur naturally in some plant-based foods, such as tea, grapes, blueberries, cranberries and cocoa beans. Cocoa beans are the basic ingredient of all chocolate products. Interestingly, it is one of the most concentrated natural sources of flavanol.

    Semisweet or Bittersweet - Here, the chocolate liquor has been combined with sweetener, cocoa butter, and often vanilla. This is often known as dark chocolate and contains at least 35% chocolate liquor (or "cocoa"). Most good quality chocolate has around 50-60%.

    Couverture is a special kind of chocolate. Couverture chocolate has more cocoa butter than normal chocolate, anywhere from 34% to 39% for a really good brand. This type of high quality chocolate is used as a coating for things like chocolate truffles.

    Strictly speaking, chocolate is any product 100% based on cocoa solid and/or cocoa fat. Because it is used in a vast number of by-products, any change in the cost of making it has a huge impact on the industry. Adding ingredients is an aspect of the taste.

    please visit our website for further information about chocolate guide and tips

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 07:29 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 26 May 2009

    Strawberry Bread Pudding

    Butter or margarine
    Fresh strawberries
    Whipped cream

    1. Toast several pieces of bread and butter them.
    2. Line a baking dish, butter side down, with the slices of bread. Toast enough bread to cover the bottom of whatever baking dish you are using.
    3. Cover the slices of toast with a generous layer of fresh strawberries.
    4. Place a few pieces of crumbled toast among the strawberries.
    5. Sift sugar all through and over the strawberries.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. This dish is best when served cold with whipped cream on top.

    Strawberry Tapioca

    1/2 cup quick-cooking tapioca
    1 1/2 cups crushed strawberries
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1. Cook tapioca according to box directions.
    2. Add salt, sugar, and strawberry pulp and cook 5 minutes more.
    3. Serve cold with whipped cream and additional strawberries which have been sliced and sugared.

    Strawberry Fruit Beverage

    1 quart strawberries, crushed
    Juice of 1 lemon
    Juice of 1 orange
    2 cups crushed pineapple
    2 cups sugar
    6 cups water

    1. Cook sugar with half of the water until the sugar is dissolved.
    2. Add it with the remaining water and the orange and lemon juice to the fruit which has been crushed and placed in a bowl.
    3. Set aside in a cool place for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
    4. Strain into a pitcher or punch bowl and serve.

    Add plenty of ice. Garnish, if desired, with extra halved strawberries. The pineapple may be either canned or fresh. If canned pineapple is used, substitute one cup of the juice from the can for one cup of water.

    Strawberry Fruit Cocktail

    1 cup diced canned or fresh pineapple
    1 cup halved strawberries
    2 oranges, divided into sections
    2 tablespoons water
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
    Whole and half strawberries for garnishing

    1. Combine the pineapple and the cupful of halved berries with half of the orange sections - from which the pith and membrane have been removed - the sugar, water, and lemon juice.
    2. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator for several hours.
    3. Arrange in small sherbet dishes, piling up the mixture in the center.
    4. Decorate with the remaining sections of oranges and strawberries.

    ~Jessica Gerald~

    Visit for meal ideas, recipes, and cooking tips

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 12:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Thursday, 21 May 2009

    Perfect brunches. Shop Legal Sea Foods today.

    Thinking of trying out smoked salmon recipes?

    Well, why not?

    Imagine this: it's a lazy Sunday morning. There's nothing more you'd like to do than sleep in and wake up only when you really have to. But of course, you know you can't skip eating just because you can't be bothered to cook. So how do you make sure you get your lazy Sunday and the nourishment that will keep you from waking up to a cranky Monday? One word: brunch.

    The best thing about brunch is that you will never run out of brunch classics. You have eggs, danishes, and muffins. French toast and pancakes are also brunch staples that are as filling as they are pretty. But if you want a real meal that will give you enough energy to stay all day in bed or later on paint the town red with friends, try smoked salmon recipes. You can't go wrong with smoked salmon bagel.

    There are many reasons a smoked salmon bagel recipe is a fine addition to your repertoire of Sunday brunches. For one, this treat is just that - a treat. It's tasty and it's filling but  it's filling in a good way. Per ounce, it contains even fewer calories than baked chicken (which has long been a staple of dieters, young and old) so you can be sure you won't pile on pounds you'll afterwards give an arm to lose. However, it is so rich in protein you can eat as few as you want and still have enough energy to go through the day (in bed or out of it) without feeling bulky or weighed down.

    Leanness is not the only benefit you stand to reap from smoked salmon recipes. Fish is a natural source of omega three fatty acids. We all know why that's good for the heart, don't we? Ultimately, you will find out as you try this brunch that the key to a low key, special, and filling meal are smoked salmon recipes.

    Get a killer easy salmon recipe a day from Easy Salmon Recipes For You. Start your kitchen adventures today with this recipe from Wanda for very creamy salmon quiche!

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 08:17 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 19 May 2009
    Hungry? - Order food fast and easy with Earn points towards prizes and cash on every order!

    There's something so appealing about tiny, citrusy cupcakes, bursting with the peppery tingle of poppy seeds.  Oranges and poppy-seeds is one of those combinations that just works.  These cupcakes just work too - they can be whipped up in no time and I guarantee they'll be light, yet moist.
    Ingredients: Cake

    • 125g self-raising flour, sifted
    • 120g caster sugar
    • 125g unsalted butter, chopped, room temperature
    • 2 extra-large eggs
    • one large orange (or lemon): 3 tsp finely chopped zest and 2 TB juice
    • 3 TB poppy seeds
    • 2-3 TB milk
    • good quality marmalade, for glazing


    Ingredients: Icing

    • 2 TB passionfruit pulp, strained to separate seeds
    • 125g unsalted butter, chopped, room temperature
    • 220g well sieved icing sugar


    Method: Cake

    Preheat oven to 180C (not fan forced) for mini cupcakes, or 200C (not fan forced) for standard size cupcakes.

    Take eggs, butter and milk out of the fridge to come to room temperature. While that's happening, measure out the other ingredients and get everything ready.

    Stir 2 TB milk into the poppyseeds in a small bowl.  The poppyseeds should start making 'zingy' noises.

    Combine flour, sugar, butter, eggs and 2tsp of the orange rind in the large bowl of a food processor, don't over-mix.

    Add the freshly squeezed orange juice through the top of the processor while pulsing the mix.

    If more liquid is required to make a smooth batter, add half to a TB of milk.

    Fold the poppyseeds into the batter with a metal spoon.  Add remaining chopped orange zest to taste.

    Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with cupcake papers.  The mixture will make 36 mini cupcakes or 12 regular size.

    Bake mini cupcakes for 8-10 minutes and regular cakes for 15 minutes.  The tops will spring back when gently prodded.

    I like my citrus cupcakes to have a gently rounded top.  If you prefer a flat top, underfill the cases slightly and drop the oven temperature a little.

    When done, immediately take the cupcakes out of the tins and onto wire racks.

    While cakes are still warm, use a pastry brush or bread knife to carefully spread gently warmed marmalade on the tops of the cupcakes.

    Method: Icing

    Beat butter with electric beaters until pale and fluffy

    Beat in half of the icing sugar and half of the juice from the passionfruit pulp until combined

    Beat in the second half of the icing sugar and passionfruit juice.

    Add a little extra milk (1/2 to a TB) if required to make a very light and fluffy icing

    Pipe icing onto cooled cupcakes.

    If desired, decorate with reserved passionfruit seeds or curls of orange zest.

    Rachel writes for Beyond Beeton at

    Beyond Beeton is a post-modern guide to household management comprising information on budgeting, cooking, eating, weight loss, housework, work/life balance, shoes and surviving the corporate world - all smothered in a generous serve of failure, hypocrisy and sarcasm.

    It was inspired by Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management and is based on Rachel's attempts to juggle a career, marriage, household, budget, unrelenting love of food and shoes and efforts to get back to her pre-marriage weight.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 08:41 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, 18 May 2009

    Give the gift of delicious exotic fruits with's Exotica Harvest Club.

    Did you know that one of the very best ways to prepare fruit is to grill it? Using the same charcoal or gas grill that typically only chars meat and vegetables can open a whole new window into summertime eating.

    Grilling fruit is fast and easy. Due to the high sugar content, fruits grill quickly, carmelizing the sugars and creating a taste sensation. Grilled fruit is terrific as a dessert served over ice cream, custards, puddings and cakes. It can be combined with cream cheese to create an outstanding grilled fruit pizza. And grilled fruit can be served on a green salad, with a cheese plate or added to a fruit salsa or chutney. The possibilities are endless. Try it, you'll be hooked.

    A few tips before you get started:
  • Don't leave your fruit unattended and keep the heat lower than you do for meat and vegetables.
  • Fruit can burn within just a few minutes and charred fruit isn't delicious.
  • Start with a clean grill. Use a wire brush to remove any leftover bits of barbeque sauce.
  • For a clean release, brush your fruit with vegetable oil or butter before you grill it.
    *Use ripe, firm fruit. Mushy fruit will fall apart on the grill.
  • Consider using a grilling basket to cook and transport your fruit so you don't lose any pieces through the grill or on the patio.

    Great grilled fruits and how to cook them:

    Apples - Core and slice. Brush with lemon juice and melted butter. Grill over direct heat turning occasionally until browned, 3-5 minutes. Melt cheddar cheese over the apple slices and serve as a side dish or sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon and serve over ice cream.

    Bananas - Peel and cut in half lengthwise. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Cook over direct heat until brown and the sugar is crispy, 3-5 minutes. Serve with vanilla pudding or ice cream.

    Melons - Peel and cut into wedges. Brush with oil and cook over direct heat, turning occasionally until browned, 3-5 minutes. Serve with spiced nuts on a cheese plate.

    Peaches - Cut in half, removing the pit. Brush with oil and cook, cut side down, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for a minute or two. Crumble blue cheese on top and serve as a side dish or melt a little brown sugar inside and serve with pound cake and a dollop of whipped cream. For an extra special treat, grill the poundcake for 3 minutes on each side before assembling.

    So why not try grilling some fruit tonight? It's a delicious and different way to serve more fruit and your family will love it!

  • Want to eat healthy with your family and lose weight? It is much easier than you think. Check out The Deceptive Diet and learn how to eat better and lose those extra pounds.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:42 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Thursday, 14 May 2009

    One of the cutest cupcake ideas around is the amazing life like cupcake bouquets. These yummy cupcake bouquets are so deceiving they look just like flowers. Cupcake bouquets can be used for any gift giving occasion or a centerpiece for a wedding to display unique wedding cupcake ideas. Use this step-by-step guide to create your own cupcake surprise:


    1.    One Styrofoam Ball with a 5 inch diameter
    2.    55 baked mini cupcakes in green cupcake liners
    3.    55 toothpicks
    4.    One large decorative bowl
    5.    One large star tip
    6.    Icing in the color of your favorite flower

    Step 1: Place Styrofoam ball into the decorative bowl. The decorative bowl should only cover 1/3 of the Styrofoam ball.

    Step 2: Place a toothpick in the Styrofoam ball near the bottom above the rim of the decorative bowl.

    Step 3: Place a mini cupcake on the toothpick in the middle. Half of the mini cupcake should be above the rim of the decorative bowl and the other half below the rim of the decorative bowl.

    Step 4: Using another toothpick, place the next cupcake to the left of the cupcake, from step 3, so they are touching.

    Step 5: Continue adding cupcakes to the left around the entire rim of the decorative bowl.

    Step 6: Start the next row by placing a toothpick in the Styrofoam above the first row then add a mini cupcake so they are touching. Continue adding mini cupcakes row by row to the left, until the entire Styrofoam ball is covered.

    Step 7: Make sure all the cupcakes are touching, there should not any space between the rows. You may adjust the cupcakes if necessary.

    Step 8: Using the large star tip start in the middle and swirl your way out to the edge of the cupcake creating a rose pattern.

    Tip: When using butter or butter cream icing beware of displaying your cupcake bouquet in a warm climate.  The warm temperature will cause the icing to slide off the cupcakes. As a substitute, solid vegetable shortening can be used however; you will sacrifice the rich buttery flavor.

    Have fun!

    Tonya A.K.A T2 blogger
    ©2009 Cupcake Ideas For You

    Cupcake Ideas For You has pictures of the BEST cupcake ideas from around the world! Cupcake Ideas For You is the #1 resource for all cupcake ideas with the world's largest cupcake bakery directory. We have discovered cupcake bakeries in over 14 (and counting) countries be sure to follow us on Twitter @CupcakeIdeas for the latest updates.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 07:53 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Wednesday, 13 May 2009

    Potato salad


    Potato - 4 large no.s
    Coriander - 1/2 cup chopped fine
    Oregano - 1 tsp
    Chives - 1 tsp
    Peanuts - ½ cup roasted and salted cut into half
    Lemon juice - 1 tsp
    Salt to taste
    Mint leaves - 10 no.s
    Green chilli - 1 small chopped fine( or half a capsicum chopped for children)


    Boil potatoes with 2 tsp salt and peel and cut into cubes
    Mix all other ingredients.
    Serves 6

    Lettuce and ham salad


    Lettuce - 1 small
    Ham - 4 slices cut into strips
    Red onions soaked in vinegar and salt - ½ cup
    Leek - 1 no. snip in small rounds with kitchen scissors
    Pumpkin seeds - ¼ cup roasted and salted
    Sweet corn - 1 cup steamed
    Salt to taste
    Olive oil - 2 tsp


    Slice red onions lengthwise and soak for half an hour or overnight in 1 tbsp vinegar and ½ tsp salt
    De vein the lettuce and snip leaves into squares or strips
    Add all the ingredients and toss the salad.
    Serve with mayonnaise or thousand island dressing

    Carrot and cucumber salad


    Carrots - 3 grated
    Cucumber - 1 med sized grated
    Capsicum - yellow or red cut into thin strips
    Garlic - 1 crushed
    Ginger - ½ inch piece cut into very thin strips
    Sprouted Green gram - boiled with salt
    Lime juice - 2 tsp
    Pepper - ½ tsp
    Basil - 1 tsp
    Olive oil - 2 tsp
    Salt to taste


    Mix all the ingredients well.
    1 tbsp mayonnaise can be used instead of lime juice.
    Serves 6

    Crunchy-munchy salad


    Cabbage(purple or green) - 1 small deveined and cut into pieces
    Carrots - 1 cup grated
    Capsicum(green) - 1 cup cut into strips
    Sausages(grilled) - 5 no.s cut into cubes
    Peanuts(roasted and salted) - ½ cup
    Kabuli channa(Boiled) - 1 cup
    Salt to taste
    Vinegar - 1 tbsp
    Olive oil - 1 tbsp


    Mix all ingredients together and serve.
    Serves 4


    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 08:38 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 12 May 2009

    It is no secret that one of the most delightful ways to indulge in fresh strawberries is by incorporating them into fresh strawberry dessert recipes.  Very few things can compare to picking your berries right off the bushel and making a sweet and sultry dessert all in the same day!  It truly is treat for all to enjoy.

    What makes the strawberry so popular is that there are virtually thousands of combinations in which to use them - such as for a strawberry fluff dessert or the classic strawberry whip cream jello dessert.  These are just a couple of my personal favorites!

    Before you get started, it is important to get a general idea of how many berries you will need to accommodate your fresh strawberry dessert recipes - the last thing you want to do is have a refrigerator full of berries and not enough time to eat them all!  Here are some helpful tips that I've learned along the way when it comes to preparing desserts with strawberries as your main ingredient.

    • Most standard 9 inch pies require approximately 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of fresh berries.  You can obviously increase or decrease this slightly depending on your berry desires.
    • You will often run into recipes that call for a frozen variety.  In this case, replace the standard 20 oz package of frozen for roughly 2 cups of fresh, preferably sliced.
    • If you're not equipped enough to grown your own fresh berries, be sure to shop for those which are beautifully bright red with green, leafy tops.
    • Unlike their berry cousins, they do not continue ripening once picked - therefor stay away from buying or picking them that are still pinkish white as they will not mature once plucked from the bushel.
    • Lastly, avoid washing them or removing the leaves until you are ready to use them!  Always use air tight containers and try to cook with them as soon as possible once they are picked.  The sooner the better!

    Hopefully these tips will ensure that your fresh strawberry dessert recipes are a hit amongst your friends and loved ones.  Strawberries are the jewel of the garden and should be enjoyed as fresh as possible.  1 cup only contains roughly 50 calories - so stop looking for miracle dessert alternatives and start enjoying the sweet tongue-pleasing flavors of strawberries all year round!

    Strawberries have been my favorite fruit since I was a child. Using them to make Fresh Strawberry Dessert Recipes is one of my most popular mediums amongst friends and family.

    Elijah Vieau is a blogger and healthy living enthusiast who loves sharing his expertise. For more Fresh Strawberry Dessert Recipes visit his latest community where you will find super easy recipes, tips and tricks.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:40 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Friday, 01 May 2009

    From time immemorial, chocolatiers of Belgium have been recognized as the producers of the world's finest chocolate and Belgian chocolates have consistently won the hearts of the critics as well as the chocolaphile.

    Now, the attention of the vast international network of chocolate-lovers appears to have shifted westwardly to a country that is more noted for its cuisine, coffee and fashion. Yes, now Italia has been acclaimed for its chocolate and has been crowned "the Chocolate Capital of the World"

    Following in the style of its prized caffe, the Italian treatment of this legendary favorite is thicker, creamier and more darkly decadent than it's EU cousin. Interestingly, when prepared as a hot beverage, it is virtually a pudding or mousse. Moreover, in Spain, where much of the hot cocoa served there is from Italy, the Spaniards take it a step further and add cornstarch to make the hot drink even more densely viscous and needs to be spooned rather than sipped.

    But it is in the form of the truffle and other various chocolate candies that the Italian flair for creating a Piece de Resistance is readily apparent and can be tasted as well as viewed and admired.

    In 2005 at Caffe D'Amore Incorporated, the company presented a lusciously rich beverage they called Bellagio Sipping Chocolate. It would be one of the first American versions of the Northern Italian approach to chocolate beverages and was dedicated to family grandmother, Madelena Cavanna, proprietress of Italy's Ristorante Varese, located in the Lake region of Bellagio.

    Madelena had introduced the first Caffe D'Amore ( Coffee of Love) in 1895 when she added dark chocolate and two liqueurs to her house specialty coffee. The Caffe D'Amore Bellagio Sipping Chocolate was awarded winner of the Best New Product Award at the 2005 Specialty Coffee Association of America show in Seattle. This chocolate, along with the company's newest BELLAGIO BARISTA LINE has become a delightful chocolate companion to specialty coffee beverages served by hotels and prestigious white table cloth customers of the company.

    From Italy - where chocolate and coffee is AN AFFAIR OF LOVE.

    Research done by interview with formulators at Caffe D'Amore and information gathered on trips to Italy

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:13 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email


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