TEN FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT CHOCOLATE…

Ten fascinating facts about chocolate…

1.The scientific name for the tree that chocolate comes from, Theobroma cacao, means “food of the gods “.

2. The smell of chocolate increase theta brain waves, which triggers relaxation.

3. It takes approximately 400 cacao beans to make one pound (450g) of chocolate.

4. The English chocolate company Cadbury made the first chocolate bar in the world in 1842.

5. M&Ms were created in 1941 as a means for soldiers to enjoy chocolate without it melting.

6. Nutella was invented during WW11, when an Italian pastry maker mixed hazelnut into chocolate to extend his cocoa supply.

7. Theobromine, the compound in chocolate that makes it poisonous to dogs, can kill a human as well. However, a lethal dose to a human being would be 10 kilograms (22lbs).

8.The ancient Maya are believed to be the first people to constantly grow cacao trees and drink chocolate.

9. Contrary to popular belief, mice prefer chocolate over cheese every time. Mice love sweet smelling food so they would be more tempted by a piece of chocolate than a chunk of cheddar.

10. Chocolate is the only edible substance to melt around 93° F, just below the human body temperature.

TOP FIVE CHOCOLATE TEAS WITHOUT THE CALORIES…

If you are true chocaholic like me then when they invented chocolate tea you went to heaven and back. The trouble is there are now lots of chocolate teas to choose from so of course I had to sample them. Getting your chocolate fix without the calories has to be a winner for any chocolate lover. Here are my top five chocolate teas.

1.Teapigs Chocolate Flake Tea Made With Whole Leaves (1 Pack of 15 Tea Bags) These are an award winning blend of chocolate flake tea which is a black tea with a hint of dark chocolate. Absolutely perfect for a treat with a dash of milk. They are made up in a biodegradable bag (hooray) and their packaging has been certified plastic-free by A Plastic Planet and at only £4.15 for 15 tea bags it will soon tickle your fancies.

2.Yogi Teas – Ayurvedic Organic Fairtrade Choco Tea Bags 17bags – these are delicious. They contain pure South American cocoa shells and ginger and cinnamon. To get the best taste allow the tea to steep for 7 minutes in boiling water. The only trouble with these are that I want another cup the minute I have finished my first one. Another great price at £3.02 for a bag of 17.

3.Suki Tea have a Chocolate Tea Bundle to die for. They say this bundle provides all the chocolate indulgence without the calories so I was straight in there. It has Mint Choc Chai, a black tea base with all the spiced flavour you would expect in a chair, with rich, dark cocol beans and fresh peppermint leaf. Enjoy it with steamed mill and you will be heaven.

Raspberry Ruffle, Black Tea with Coconut, Chocolate & Raspberry, yes please! The rich dark chocolate accentuated with the nostalgic combination of sweet coconut and a dash of zingy raspberry makes this amazing tea. 

Dark Cocoa Tea, Black tea and cocoa kernels blend for a rich chocolatey cuppa. The whole bundle for £14.80 for serious chocolate lovers.

4.Whittard’s have a Dark Chocolate Loose Tea Pouch, which is a blended loose leaf black tea from India and Indonesia with a (very) generous helping of cocoa nibs, creating a tea that’s full-bodied, aromatic and seriously chocolatey. It is truly indulgent and another one that you will probably drink two cups of. And, yet another they say is a sugar-free chocolate fix. What more could we ask for us chocaholics. The cost is a reasonable £6.00 for 100g.

5.Twinings Nutty Chocolate Flavour Assam Loose Tea – if you love a bit of nuts with your chocolate then you will enjoy this one from Twinings which is a Hazelnut and chocolate flavour black tea. Inspired by tea & chocolate, a match made in heaven.  Rich Assam loose leaf tea is a perfect partner to the flavour of delicious chocolate & hazelnuts. A 125g pouch is £9 another great price to get your chocolate fix without the calories.

THE BEST CHILDREN’S AFTERNOON TEAS…

Yes, there is a guide to the best Children’s Afternoon Teas. The guide is written by The London Mother and although we can’t enjoy these lovely places at the moment it doesn’t mean we could make up our own at home. Here are just a few from the guide to the best Children’s Afternoon Tea in London.

Little Ones Afternoon Tea | Lanesborough Hotel

The Lanesborough has created a yummy tea for children up to age 12 that starts with hot chocolate or fruit juice and includes honey roast ham, mint yoghurt and cucumber cheddar cheese and strawberry jam sandwiches.Sweet treats include American pancakes with Nutella, Smarties and marshmallows, and homemade plain and raisin scones with strawberry jam and clotted Devonshire cream.

Children’s Afternoon Tea at Dorset Square Hotel 

Kids get to decorate their own cupcake at the Children’s Afternoon Tea in The Potting Shed Restaurant. Flex their creative muscles with different icing and toppings on their cupcakes and tuck into a selection of finger sandwiches, cakes, fruit and ice cream.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych 

This Roald Dahl inspired tea is just as fantastical as you’d imagine his afternoon tea with children to be; think fizzy drinks, snozzberry jam and chocolate milkshake mixed by waterfall. Tuck into not-quite-as-it-seems salmon and beetroot macaron and cheddar scones with bacon toffee jam, luscious lemon floss and plates piled high with wondrous cakes, sweets, mousses and scones – all washed down with chocolate or lemon sherbet tea or swimming pool fizz.

Rock n Roll Afternoon Tea | The Gore

Afternoon tea isn’t all hearts and flowers, older kids will enjoy Rock ‘n’ Roll afternoon tea. The unique afternoon tea experience is inspired by artists like The Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, Queen and David Bowie.

Lots more to look through on The London Mother site but plenty to inspire you here.

LESSONS ON AFTERNOON TEA A GIFT FOR CHRISTMAS…

If you have never enjoyed an afternoon tea, or if your an enthusiastic lover of afternoon teas then I’m sure one of the course from the company English Afternoon Tea,’ will be suitable for you.

They specialise in traditional afternoon tea courses and you learn in a friendly, informal environment and the courses are designed to introduce you to the world of afternoon tea.

They offer one-to-one tuition, covering baking through to the social history of tea. Course varies from one to five days. The courses, which take place in Sandgate, Kent offer are One-Day Gluten-Free Baking Course, One-Day Cream Tea Course, One-Day Brief History of Afternoon Tea with Baking, One-Day Academic Course and a Five-Day English Afternoon Tea course with a tea party.

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR AFTERNOON TEA IN THE VICTORIAN ERA…


Instructions for an afternoon tea in the Victorian Era

Serve rolled bread and butter, sandwiches made of ham paste, potted ham, tongue or chicken.

The crusts of the bread should be cut off, and the sandwiches cut into three corner shapes or fingers.

Anchovy sandwiches or those made with cheese paste are liked by Gentlemen.

Salads are allowable nowadays at afternoon tea; egg, oysters, or chicken are suitable with brown bread and biscuits.

Cakes for this purpose should be very small.

Wine and cordial should always be on the sideboard, claret cup or champagne cup on the table.