the world of chocolate

{a cup of jo}

It is no secret, I adore chocolate.. I have a genuine love affair with it and it is not getting boring with age. Especially when my sweet husband brings me my favourite fresh and mouthwatering hand-picked pieces from Leonidas (Manon Blanc & Manon cafe), nearly each time he travels to Brussels (which is becoming more and more often, to the delight of my children, but to my deepest frustration, as i am finding it utterly impossible to turn down the pieces laying in their pretty white and golden box).

Manon Blanc & Manon Cafe

Nevertheless, we all have one or two soft points, and better be chocolate than something else!

As spring is on its way and the ice-cream season as well, a good recipe for home made chocolate ice-cream can become very handy; this one caught my attention (from the great blogger; a cup of Jo) and will be my next project in the kitchen! It looks wicked and devilish!

{a cup of jo}

And for those living in Lebanon, I am discovering a chocolate brand called M de NOIR, made by a Lebanese women called Maya Maalouf Kanaan, who learned the “savoir-fare” from the prestigious school of Ritz Escoffier and Valrhona.

She is going to be my next visit (her atelier is outside Beirut), and her products can be seen (and ordered) by joining her facebook group, which is a delight to follow. The Easter bunnies are her latest creations!

Easter bunnies by {M de Noir}

 

Happy chocolate hunting…

 

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3 chocolates

who loves chocolate?

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I do and will always do…It is my first love… (sorry husband, but c’est la verite!!)… I remember being a child and telling my mother that when I grew up I will have enough money to buy all the chocolate in the world, nothing will stop me. If I only knew that my passion would make me fight all my life with the extra kilos! kilos vs chocolate; Chocolate always won.

But chocolate is not chocolate unless it is the best. 3 criterias are a must for my taste: it has to be dark, rich and called Lindt! and believe me, I have tried thousands of different brands, from the most expensive and luxurious brands to the cheapest local brand. My favourite will always be Lindt…Their texture is smooth, soft, sweet, yet bitter, with a touch of caramel (that must be the secret ingredient), especially LINDOR, the red ball.

Merry Christmas with the LINDOR DRESS (1000 chocolate balls; 79,000 calories!)

My second best chocolate will still be from the Lindt family, it is called Excellence and is VERY DARK with a twist of salt (fleur de sel)! amazing combination. I never tire of that dynamic taste, weird I know, but oh so good!

The third best chocolate in my world would be from Belgium, from the LEONIDAS family! My first experience with their wonderfully home-made texture chocolate was from a trip to Paris, in my late teens, with my oldest friend. We were strolling the streets enjoying life and freedom, when she suddenly pulled me in to the Leonidas chocolate shop, that smelled oh so beautifully. I had no idea what to chose, so she just picked 4 pieces, all white. The square pieces were delicately wrapped in a white paper box, with a cream coloured ribbon. The price was quite interesting! It justified the choice of 4 pieces instead of a kilo!

Magasin Leonidas!

We sat outside the shop, on the side walk, opened the box, and gently put one chocolate in the mouth. It was a dream, simply and truly. White chocolate on the outside, and soft coffee and praline mixture on the inside. Just heaven for me. That was nearly 20 years ago. I still ask for Manon from Leonidas from anyone travelling to Paris or Belgium. I get it at least once a year!

"Manon" from Leonidas

Now my kids are enjoying it too…