Exploring the Barcelona Chocolate Factories

Do you have a sweet tooth? Are you a chocoholic? Well it’s time to slip into some comfy trainers for the chocolate walk that waits for you in Barcelona! Luxury hotels may leave you a delicately wrapped chocolate resting on your pillow, but they will be nothing compared to this. The Chocolate and Sweet Walking Tour will leave you with a goodie-bag of treats, which you can continue to enjoy throughout the rest of your trip. Read on to find out more about this delightful experience.
Welcome! Welcome!
The tour usually begins in central Barcelona where chocoholics can enjoy a variety of Spanish sweet treats in Caf© Patisserie Caelum. Visitors are spoiled for choice with generously dusted ensaimadas, melindros, and the doughnut like churros ready to be dipped into a thick chocolate sauce. Whilst tasting the different treats the guide will share his or her knowledge on the sweet history of chocolate and how it all began. Centuries ago, nuns used to create the fine homemade delicacies such as yeast-based Esaimada cakes, which are formed into a coil shape then finely dusted with sugar.
Next Stop€¦More Chocolate
Next, visitors will find themselves wandering through the Gothic alleyways of the El Born quarter, which pleasantly contrasts with the patisseries, cafes and chocolate stores found there. This is a chance to learn about how chocolate became such a tradition and also try four different samples of turron. The pretty parcels of sweets and chocolates stand out like gems against the cobbled paths and architecture of the Gothic quarter, where many Barcelona luxury hotels are situated. The dreamlike atmosphere of this quaint area is like stepping into the pages of a fairy-tale book and it’s the perfect place to give in to your sweet tooth.
The Hot Chocolate Bar
After sampling pastries and cleansing your palate with a glass of wine at a traditional religious service, it’s time to move on to an authentic bar serving Spanish hot chocolate and fresh horcheta. Popular among locals, this bar may need prompt another visit if you are staying nearby at one of the Barcelona luxury hotels! Perhaps you could try the traditional Barcelona cake, Melindros, the next time you visit, or better yet, have it both times! Sink your teeth into the fresh, filling pastry and know the true delight only sweets can bring.
The End Doesn’t Mean the End
After the sweet, wafting aromas in the El Born district, the tour concludes at the Church of Santa Maria del Mar – where chocoholics are free to wander around and/or leave to explore other sweet possibilities in the city. Each participant receives a goody-bag full of traditional Spanish fruits, which are usually used in desserts (the range varies season-to-season) to take away.
So, knowing what awaits are you ready to taste Barcelona luxury? Hotels offering on pillows will not be able to compare with the treats that hide around many secret corners of the city. It may be a wise idea to visit the dentist before embarking on this sweet quest!

The Best Chocolate Desserts

When it comes to desserts, you can never go wrong with chocolate. There are lots of ways to incorporate chocolate in luscious dessert recipes that it can get quite daunting to choose which recipe you’re going to make for your dinner party. Here, we’ve narrowed down the options and given you some of the best chocolate desserts that you can easily make using real chocolate or compound chocolate for your family dinners and parties.
Chocolate Decadence Cake
The name itself sounds totally sinful, and it is. This cake is for serious chocolate lovers who do not care a whit about calorie content. This is a no-fail dessert for all occasions if you have the time and patience to prepare it. The Chocolate Decadence Cake comes in different varieties; you can serve it with mixed berries, stout beer, or crme custard. It has a very rich chocolate flavor, just like the taste of pure belgian chocolate. Make sure you make a lot of this to store in the fridge; this cake tastes even better after a few days, when the taste and texture have already set in.
No-Bake Cheesecake
What’s better than your standard rich chocolate cake? A chocolate cheesecake, that’s what! Those who prefer their desserts with light and moderate sweetness will surely love this No-Bake Cheesecake. It is easy to make and you can make a white chocolate version for a change and serve it with fresh raspberries. You can twist the taste a little by using orange juice in place of water when making this cake.
Chocolate-Covered Cappuccino Crunch Cake
The name alone is enough to induce drools and with good reason. This frozen dessert delight is a must for both chocolate and coffee lovers. The crunchy texture makes the cake even more irresistible. You have to use coffee ice cream for this recipe, but you can also use cookies and cream or vanilla ice cream as substitutes or if you are not really a coffee person. You can also use chocolate sandwich cookies.
Cinnamon Chocolate Pudding
Cinnamon lovers, rejoice! This is the perfect chocolate recipe to satisfy your craving. You can use milk or whipped cream to achieve the rich and creamy texture of this awesome-smelling dessert. If you like your pudding crunchy, you can sprinkle toasted coconuts all over.
Chocolate Cream Filled Cake
This is definitely not for a girl on a diet. Forget about dieting for the meantime and savor the sinful taste of this soft, creamy cake. For a different variety, you can use strawberry mix for this recipe. Top this with chocolate sauce and strawberries for a totally decadent dessert experience.
Chocolate Banana Cream Pie
This list is not complete without including a recipe that use bananas. The combination of chocolate and bananas is a classic that everyone loves. This is perfect for those who want a less chocolaty taste for their cake. The mild sweetness of bananas balances the rich taste of chocolate. Aside from using the bananas as filling, you can also chop bananas into pieces and place them on top of the pie for more flourish.
These chocolate desserts have been tested through time. You can serve them on parties, family gatherings, and even on ordinary days.

Home Made Chocolate Recipes and Memories

Everyone has a preferred chocolate recipe that is drawn out for the vacations or other unique events. Loved ones beg you to discuss your delightful and sinful formula, but so far you just haven’t been quite ready. When you decide to take the jump, here are some recommendations to get the best impact.
Chocolate Recipe Gift Basket
Gift baskets are very popular especially around the vacations, so make a few of your best candy dishes and put examples in a small bag along with perfectly designed recipe cards and providing recommendations. If you really want to make the bag unique, consist of some of the dry substances in builder jugs and connect the recipe card to the jar. This makes a charming holiday gift or a shower gift for a new new bride or new fiance.
Chocolate Recipe Storage Book
Every close relatives formula has a memory or tale behind it and candy dishes are usually a preferred and unique time in family members. Build a memory book or memory guide and consist of your candy dishes along with close relatives remembrances, experiences and even an image or two.
Thanks to the internet and the many designs that one can find on a computer, there are many concepts to make the guide unique. If you have a kid about to set off, put a guide together for your kid along with experiences of your preferred remembrances from their child years that encompass those candy dishes.
Maybe your recipes has a history. Was it Excellent Grandmothers recipe probably passed down from her great grandma? Have there been changes in the recipe over the years? Or, probably Dad Joe requested for a goodies box with those candy pleasures while he was providing in the Military in some Godforsaken place.
The plant seeds that are divided from the pulp are used by the chocolate producers. At the handling work the plant seeds are thoroughly washed to eliminate any of the staying international contaminants in it. These seeds are then cooking in order to launch the husks and then are almost offered in a processor. The ultimate process it to crack the inner kernel of the plant seeds. These damaged pieces are known as nibs. From this point forward the procedure of chocolate creating takes different routes. What is done with these nibs chooses the characteristics of the last product.
If the nibs are floor under large rock generators the nibs launch oil which changes the whole huge into what is known as chocolate alcohol. Sweets alcohol is a quite dense material which when solidified generates the nasty chocolate that is widely used in most of cooking and candy creating chocolate dishes. Lovely chocolate is created from the nasty chocolate by including additional ingredients like fat, glucose, and chocolate butter.
Chocolate seems to carry individuals together, and with those individuals come amazing remembrances to be valued. Discussing those remembrances along with the dishes will carry joy to many years to come, and help make a genealogy for the young ones who are not yet old enough to understand how important that record will be at some point in their lifestyles.
When you discuss your candy dishes you are sharing a part of yourself with those who matter most to you. Enjoy your candy dishes with your buddies and close relatives while developing new remembrances.

This History Of Mothers Day Chocolates

For many, Mothers Day chocolates have been the go-to gift year in and year out. This special day is recognized in a number of countries around the globe, such as the United Kingdom, United States, Italy, Australia, Canada, China, and more. The holiday is utilized by children, partners and spouses to honor not only their mother, but grandmothers as well.
Some researchers assert that Mother’s Day comes from historic spring festivals devoted to a motherly goddesses. Greeks recognized Rhea, as the mother of all the gods, while Romans held a festival to honor Cybele, also a goddess viewed as a motherly figure. This celebration went on for days and involved parades and other frivolity. Celebrations such as this could have laid the groundwork for future gift giving, such as candy and gifts.
A more contemporary version of of the holiday commenced during the 1600’s in England. “Mothering Sunday” was commemorated on the last Sunday during Lent. Gifts were given, including a special cake and quite possibly other gifts as well. Within the United States, the holiday was initially proposed by Julia Ward Howe in the year 1872. However, it was a actually woman who not a mother who directed the campaign for national recognition of the day.
Anna Jarvis organized a ceremony during the year 1907 in West Virginia to pay tribute to her deceased mother. Her mother had attempted to set up Friendship Days for moms as a means of coping with the aftermath of the brutal Civil War. Anna Jarvis started a promotion to produce a nationwide holiday remembering mothers. She, along with her supporters wrote letters to influential individuals, and were quite successful in their endeavors.
In West Virginia, the holiday was celebrated beginning in 1910, but it would not be until 1914 that President Wilson would assert the second Sunday during the month of May as the official date for the holiday. Jarvis made use of white carnations as the official symbolic representation for moms, because they represent wholesomeness and love. Here again, we see where the gift of flowers may have joined Mothers Day chocolates as a traditional gift.
The celebration has long been a very special holiday, especially within the United States. Flowers, candy, and paper cards have become traditional gifts, along with treating mom to lunch or dinner. Celebrating mom for all she does only makes sense, and today, there are many different gifts and tokens which can be used to show appreciation and affection.

How to Sell Chocolate Online in the Middle East

The Internet is becoming an important asset for all kind of businesses and shouldn’t be ignored. Even as a chocolate shop in the Middle East, it is becoming crucial to be present online and explore new markets. Therefore, you should consider selling your products online to facilitate the accessibility. Here are a few tips to do it successfully:
Create an attractive e-commerce website
As a start, you should create an e-commerce website that will allow you to take orders, accept payments, and register delivery information. This platform is totally different than a simple website that presents chocolate products you have in your shop. It will help you sell your chocolate at any time of the day without you directly assisting the visitors to conclude a sale. Pretty exciting! But be careful, your website must be easy to browse and attractive to look at. You don’t want your visitors to exit your shop the moment they step in. Try to make it clear like your chocolate shop; a customer comes in knowing he has to choose what he wants, pay for it, leave and come back on another day after whispering the name of your business to his surroundings.
In addition, make sure you show that your website is secured. The visitors of your site should be able to trust you in order to purchase. In the absence of security signs, people won’t take the risk of making transactions. Therefore, you should prove that their personal and financial information are safe. Also, display on your website all useful information such as your contact details, exact address, your history and other facts about your business.
Categorize your products
After planning the structure of your eCommerce website, move to the categorizing your products. If you display all your goods on a single page, you will make it hard on your visitors to easily find what they are looking for. Put yourself in their place; you are searching for the available chocolate decoration, and you fall on a list of hundreds of products related and unrelated to your need. Frustrating, isn’t it? Well don’t make your visitors endure that and make it easier on them. Therefore, distribute your merchandise on the site onto several product lines according to where they fit. To help you out, here are the different sections that you could consider:
– Chocolate boxes to be given as gifts or for personal consumption
– Chocolate decorations for newborn; and this too can be segmented into decorations for boys and other for girls.
– Chocolate decorations for weddings
– Chocolate decoration for holidays like Christmas, Easter, Valentine¦
Present clear descriptions and pictures of every product
Now that the structure of your website is set, jump to the content. While adding your products to the different categories, make sure to include clear details about it to replace the absence of a sales person. For example, if you want to promote a chocolate box loaded with dark chocolate and coconut filling, mention it clearly without leaving room for ambiguity. In addition to the description of each product, insert a picture that illustrates exactly what you are offering. Make all your pictures in high quality to compensate the fact that the visitors can’t taste your chocolate. Finally, keep in mind to mention discounted prices to attract the visitors more.
In conclusion, creating an eCommerce website for your chocolate shop with the previous standards will allow you to get more exposure online, broaden your market, and generate more sales. Take advantage of that in the right way and grow your business.

A Loveable Treat for All Is Chocolate

Chocolate is one lovable treat most people can’t refuse to accept. Who wouldn’t love that sour-sweet, silky and hunger after-satisfying uniqueness of this candy?.
Actually, people from almost all walks of life, rich and poor, young and old, always have one thing in common that their special hunger for a luscious chocolate treat. Do you have ever known that there is certain health remuneration associated with indulging yourself infrequently? According Cleveland clinic, dark chocolates contain flavonols, a type of antioxidant which is usually found in cocoa and dark chocolate. Antioxidants help in making up the individual cell’s resistance next to damage caused by free radicals and ecological contaminants.
Antioxidants help in inhibiting the pattern of LDL, the bad cholesterol, which is the major culprit for fat commemorative inscription formation within the blood vessels. In addition, the ingestion of flavonols is linked with lowering of blood pressure and humanizing blood flow in the brain and heart, according to the abovementioned source. You can simply buy a candy bars from your neighboring grocery store. But if you like to have an obsessive adventure with chocolates, tasting dissimilar kinds from diverse countries is a must for you. Mexico is where it originated. And in this meticulous country, the hot chocolate drink is well thought-out as the national drink. Mexicans serve up their hot chocolate with peppers and spices, a very strange yet very pleasing concoction.
In Spain, people do enjoy their hot drinks. However their drink recipe has another remarkable twist. Spain’s description of hot chocolate is thick and rich and is typically flavored with cinnamon to have a very characteristic aroma and flavor. Spaniards also enjoy their versions of candy bars, the most popular among all of which are Valor Chocolate and Chocovic. If you really want to have a gustatory exciting activity with a chocolate that tastes better with every break, then try the Violet Crumble from Australia, a very scrumptious and delightful chocolate-coated honeycomb-like bar that exactly crumbles with every bite. With this treat, you’ll never be responsible for forgetting even your name with every bite.
Switzerland has the most world’s greatest number of chocolate regulars. Actually, in Switzerland, chocolate is measured a way of life. The people in this country even attribute different chocolates for diverse seasons. They have chocolate flowers for leap and chocolate mushrooms in autumn and chocolate chestnuts. Chocolate is not only good for health. It can also be measured as a universal fragility that has already became a part of approximately every country’s history. This favorite treat and its appetizing recipes have survived tragic recollections and profitable times of the earth’s story. The fact is chocolate is a portion of the world’s history with every bite.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Strawberries have a time-honored history, with references dating back more than 2000 years€¦ They have become common place in our daily lives consumed in various ways, whether on their own (perhaps dipped in chocolate), in ice cream or even salads. Yet despite their popularity, versatility and established ancestry, these wonderful little berries are still widely misunderstood and perhaps a little mysterious.
Explore with us 7 things you may not know about this scrumptious little fruit.
€ Strawberries are members of the rose family.
Should you ever have the pleasure of stumbling upon a strawberry bush, you will soon learn – they smell as sweet as they taste.
€ Strawberries aren’t really berries.
Unlike the blueberry or the gooseberry (or even the banana – but that’s another story) the strawberry is not technically a berry. A true berry has its seeds on the inside, whereas the strawberry boasts more than 200 seeds on the outside.
And to be super technical, botanists consider each of the seeds on a strawberry to be its own separate fruit€¦ Talk about your 5 a day.
€ Strawberries have a deep medicinal history.
The ancient Romans believed the strawberry, its leaves and roots alleviated symptoms of melancholy, fainting, inflammation, throat infections, fevers, diseases of the blood and more.
€ Jam-packed (no pun intended) with healthy goodness.
Were the Romans right? Strawberries are full of antioxidants, vitamins C, B6, K, fibre, folic acid, potassium and amino acids believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease and even certain cancers.
€ Strawberries contain high levels of nitrate.
Research shows this increases blood and oxygen flow to the muscles, suggesting that people who load up on strawberries before exercise burn more calories and have greater endurance.
€ Strawberries boost your sex drive.
Strawberries have had strong associations with sex for decades€¦ The French consider strawberries to be an aphrodisiac serving them to newlyweds at traditional wedding breakfasts in the form of a creamy sweet soup.
And they are not wrong. The high levels of vitamin C in strawberries help strengthen blood vessel walls, ensuring efficient blood flow from the heart and lungs to the rest of the body. And let’s face it; good blood flow is vital to a healthy sex drive.
It’s not surprising chocolate dipped strawberries have become common place in the bedroom. By combining the vitamin C in the strawberries to the Phenylethylamine found in chocolate (Phenylethylamine contains Dopamine – a powerful brain chemical that is responsible for controlling mood and movement) you have a powerful combination that will no doubt lead to some long-lasting nights of passion.
€ Chocolate Dipped Strawberries make wonderful gifts.
The heart shape of the strawberry and their decedent nature combined with chocolate makes them a beautiful and luxurious gift for loved ones; what’s more unlike a traditional box of chocolates they have less calories so you don’t have to feel quite as guilty about eating an entire box!

The History of Candy Molds

With the ever increasing popularity of chocolate candy and specialty treats available on the market it is always nice to know how they have evolved over the years. Candy molds have been around since 1880. The trends have varied in design to reflect the many different styles throughout history. The molds often took on the influences of society and culture over time. Hard candy, chocolates and other delicious edible treats have always been a big part of culture in many parts of the world.
The early candy molds were made of metal and molding using hand tools and rudimentary methods. They were often molded in shapes of fruits, and other items. There were many European influences. The molds were used to create many different types of specialty confections. These include chocolate candies, hard candy, and soft jellies similar to today’s jellies that are available.
The metal candy molds worked best for chocolate and it was not until the mid 1900’s that other material began being used for making molds. Silicone is now used for many baking and candy creation projects. The soft flexible material makes it easy to work with; especially when dealing with fruit flavored jelly candies.
The most popular material used for modern mold making is polycarbonate plastic. It is a hard durable plastic that reacts to chocolate very well. It is by far the best candy mold material available. Modern technology has also allowed for many realistic shapes to be made out of these molds. Three dimensional candy molds can now be found by many of the mold manufacturing companies.
Some examples of the most popular molds for candy making are:
Three dimensional holiday figurines
The widely popular seasonal chocolate offerings have created a demand for many molds in many different shapes. Today you can find candy molds in the shape of Santa Claus, Christmas trees, Menorah’s and a variety of other holiday themes.
Bon Bon Molds
With the increasing success of many artisan chocolatiers in business today you can also find a wide selection of molds in small shapes and designs for chocolate bon bon. Some are smooth and standard in shape. While many other candy molds are unique in shape and also have different textures. These textures create artistic effects to enhance the presentation of the chocolate bon bon.
As technology continues to advance so do the many options in candy mold making. What was once a standard metal mold in a simple shape is now available in thousands of shapes and sizes. What seemed impossible is now quite possible. Keep your eyes out for new candy mold shapes from the many different pastry supply companies out there.

Brief History Of The Brownie

In the united states at the end of the nineteenth century and in Canada during the first half of the twentieth century the brownie was introduced. It is a flat baked square or bar. The brownie is sliced from a type of dense, rich chocolate cake, which is in texture like a cross between a cookie and a cake. Brownies come in a variety of forms. They are either fudgy or cake or cookie. They can also include nuts, frosting, whipped cream, chocolate chips and other ingredients. A variation of the brownie is made with brown sugar and no chocolate is called a blondie.
Brownies are commonly found in the lunchbox too to be eaten by hand. They can be accompanied by milk or coffee. They are also sometimes served warm with ice cream, topped with whipped cream, or sprinkled with powdered sugar especially in restaurants.
At Palmer House Hotel in Chigago’s a chef there created the confection after Bertha Palmer requested a dessert for people attending the fair, it should be, she said, smaller than a piece of cake, though still retaining cake-like characteristics and easily eaten from boxed lunches. These first brownies featured an apricot glaze and walnuts, and they are still being made at the hotel according to the original recipe.
The earliest published recipes for a brownie like those of today appeared in the Home Cookery (1904, Laconia, NH), Service Club Cook Book (1904, Chicago, IL) The Boston Globe (April 2, 1905) These recipes produced a relatively mild and cake-like brownie. The name €brownie€ first appeared in the 1896 version of the cookbook but this was in reference to molasses cakes baked individually in tin moulds, not true brownies.
A second recipe appeared in 1907 in Lowneys Cook Book by Maria Willet Howard and published by the Walter M Lowney Company of Boston Massachusetts. The recipe added an extra egg and an additional square of chocolate to the Boston Cooking School recipe, creating a richer, fudgier brownie. The recipe was named Bangor Brownies, possibly because it was created by a woman in Bangor, Maine. The Bangor Brownie went on to be rated 3rd in the top 10 snacks a few years later.
A blondie (also known as a blondie brownie or blondie bar) is a rich sweet dessert bar. They are made from flour, butter, eggs, brown sugar, baking powder and vanilla. Chocolate chip blondies may contain white or dark chocolate chips, but the dominant flavour of a blondie is brown sugar, not chocolate. They may also contain walnuts or pecans. Even though butterscotch is sometimes considered the main flavour, they based on brown sugar and often do not call for butterscotch.
Blondies are a brown sugar based dessert bar which resembling the traditional chocolate brownie. They are bake in a pan in the oven similar to how traditional brownies are baked, then cut into rectangular shapes for serving. They are also sometimes referred to as blonde brownies, although are based from brown sugar, unlike brownies made with cocoa.
Like brownies, blondies may include chocolate chips. They may also contain coconut, nuts, toffee, or any other chunky candy for added texture. Blondies aren’t usually frosted, the brown sugar flavour tends to be sweet enough.
Another popular variation is the Congo bar, which contains chocolate chips with either walnuts or coconut. Blondies are sometimes served in sundaes, often topped with caramel sauce.

Wine and Chocolate, a Party Food Idea To Make Everyone Happy?

Nearly everyone has their vices. Some are less desirable, or less healthy than others. But if you can combine your favorite vices together as a party food idea, then life is good. For me, chocolate and wine fit the bill.
Imagine waking your guests taste buds with a combination like wine and chocolate. It’s an interactive scenario, with people noting their favorites and discussing the validity of each combination. But I also think it’s likely to be an instant hit. After all, who doesn’t like wine and chocolate? If they don’t, then what are they doing at your party?
OK, so maybe you have friends that don’t count these tasty treats among their vices, but perhaps you can win them over with the one-two punch of the pairing?
The key to pairing these great items is in the knowledge of each. One “chocolate educator” calls chocolate “the best known food that nobody knows anything about.” Sample for yourself before putting them on your party food ideas list.
Let me take an aside here. I love learning about food. Not just the taste, but more. Before planning your tasting event, read this about the history of chocolate from Smithsonian. It’s an interesting lesson that could be a great talking point when you serve your pairings!
The basics
One thing to avoid is having any chocolate that is sweeter than the wine. If you thought grabbing a few Hershey bars was going to cut it, think again. Nothing against Hershey’s, certainly their bars have their appropriate time for consumption. You’ll want to look for chocolate with little or no sugar. If the chocolate is too sweet, the wine tastes sour.
Lighter wines can handle chocolate with about 65 percent coca, but the full bodied-reds need something with at least 75 percent. If you are a fan of the sweeter white chocolate, then try pairing that with a white wine. The high cocoa butter content in white chocolate can help neutralize the acidity of the wine.
You’ll want to begin the tasting with the lighter chocolates combined with the lighter-bodied wines. Then you can work your way into the stronger pairing selections. About.com notes that darker chocolate will display more tannins, but if paired with a wine that has stout tannins, it will “overshadow, or cancel out the wine’s tannins on the palate and allow more fruit to show through.”
The bottom line: Know your wines, and know your chocolates before creating a pairing. Your party food idea could fall flat if you aren’t careful. Once you’ve done your research, and have sampled many varieties (which I highly recommend) you can confidently create your pairings.
If you like it, it’s good
There may be some debate about whether wine and chocolate are even a worthwhile duo. Read this blog and ensuing comment exchange just for giggles – I refer to it as whining about wine and chocolateIn my mind, if you like the way things taste together, then by all means, enjoy. Wine and chocolate are among many people’s favorites. If you simply love the two and want to put them together, then give it a whirl.