Saturday, November 5, 2011


It’s bonfire night and seven years to the day since I got the keys for my flat – to celebrate I’m listening to (but sadly can’t see any) fireworks go off somewhere in the distance and feeling sorry for myself because my back aches – oh how it aches, seven years ago I was more resilient and better off... Ah the rewards of home ownership. One thing I wouldn’t swap though is having my own kitchen in which to make as much mess as I like and with no consideration of anybody else’s needs. It is the best thing about living alone, which truthfully I don’t much care for, but god knows I would hate to share a kitchen again.

My last really quite messy experiment was of a suitably celebratory nature for an anniversary – I have finally braved the mysteries of tempering and made my own chocolates (not chocolate, that was made by Green and Black’s and very nice it was too). This is something I’ve wanted to have a go at for years but it’s always looked quite difficult (or at least fiddly) and the gubbins to do a good job (chocolate thermometer, moulds, maybe a marble slab, a suitable brush, a scraper thing if you’re going to use a slab, dipping forks, and of course ingredients) well by the time you’ve collected them the smartest offering from Charbonnel et Walker or Rococo begin to look like real bargains. Or so I thought.
 ‘Miss Hope’s Chocolate Box’ suggested some handy shortcuts and after a long time procrastinating over the price of moulds and a thermometer online I found satisfactory but cheaper equipment in a kitchen shop. (I was delighted, and so were they – both items had been flying off the shelves). The end result is that I made the salted caramel sea shells I’ve been dreaming about since I first read the book. It was a bit fiddly, you have to work quickly and it’ll take a bit of practice to get the chocolate shells a uniform and satisfactory thickness but it turned out not to be too hard or to take as long as I thought so I plan to make lots more...


  1. Well done! Being able to make your own chocolates is very admirable...and dangerous!

  2. You made those?! I am in awe. Well done!

  3. Darlene, I'm coming to the conclusion that making your own chocolates is quite diet friendly - you start with quite a lot of chocolate and end up with rather less having splashed it all round the place...

    Helen - I felt so clever when they worked out, it's just the sort of messing around in the kitchen I love - fiddly enough to be absorbing, but not complicated, and a definite wow factor at the end.

  4. Home made chocolates! I'm impressed. They would make wonderful Christmas presents.

  5. Vintage Reading - I doubt they'd last long enough ;)