Posts Tagged ‘Callebaut chocolate’

It’s turning into a chocolate Christmas!

Despite the hot weather, I’ve been tempering bowls of chocolate daily, and little boxes and bags of wrapped goodies are starting to litter the living room (the coolest room in the house).

Above is our first attempt at a chocolate house.  Moulding the pieces was easy enough, but having enough tempered chocolate at the right temperature to glue it all together was tricky.  As was handling the pieces without them melting in our 30°C kitchen!  In the end it took both of us to assemble the finished cottage – a little rustic perhaps, and I’m not sure the roof was watertight, but it was eaten before it passed building inspection!  This was a trial run – we’re going to try to make one for Christmas day as well.  For any Aussies interested in giving this a go, the mould was only a few dollars (you need to buy two) from Roberts Confectionary online.

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Some other chocolate happenings in our kitchen include…

Ginger chocolate – crystallised Buderim ginger coated in a dark (about 65%) Belgian chocolate blend…

A dark chocolate wreath…

…and some musical notes – Big Boy plays the french horn and Small Man the trumpet, so finding a chocolate mould with both instruments on it was very exciting!

A dozen golden tickets are wrapped and waiting to be given away!

I’ve filled Turkish bowls with treats – don’t they look festive?

Our newest chocolate for the season are these little fruitcake truffles, made by blitzing fruit cake and glacé fruit in the food processor and then mixing the crumbs with melted dark chocolate and dark rum.  These were shaped into balls, then dipped in dark chocolate…

And my find of the season – treasure no less – are these French glacé orange rind strips, a new item from Harkola.  At $15 a kilo, it’s quite expensive compared to mixed peel, but massively better.  It’s also perfect for dipping into dark chocolate!

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Chefs’ Warehouse, in the inner-city suburb of Surry Hills, is one of my favourite places to shop in the whole world.   Last time I was there, they kindly let me take photos to share with you.

They’re only open Monday to Friday, and if you live in Sydney and you’ve never been there, take a half-day off work and go. Make sure you take plenty of money with you, because you’ll need it!

This is Sydney’s premier hotel, restaurant and catering supplier, and the cheapest source I’ve ever found for Callebaut Belgian chocolate.  It’s available in 5kg blocks, or in callets (choc chips) in 2.5kg or 10kg bags (they’re the huge sacks on the bottom shelf).

My friend Dot insists that this is the best vanilla extract in the universe.  As we make our own, I’ve never tried it…

…but I can vouch for their vanilla beans, which are always plump, juicy and ridiculously cheap when bought in bulk.  500g gives you well over 100 vanilla beans, making them less than 75c each.  I bought a packet last year and gave half to Maude for her birthday.

There is a wonderful assortment of unusual food items (on this visit I found French hazelnut oil)…

…and more bakeware than you can poke a stick at.

All the best cookbooks are there, at great prices…

…as are top of the line kitchen machines.  This is just a small sample; there are also slicers, icecream makers, pasta machines, sauce makers and much more.

Up high, an array of copper pots and pans glow

…contrasted by this large selection of black paella pans and burners.

As well as the hazelnut oil, I came home with a Spanish terracotta plate (see the photo at the very top), some Australian sea salt and a tub of fabulous fondant patissier from France.  Can you see why it’s one of my all-time favourite places to shop?

PS. Don’t be put off by the “Trade Only” sign at the front door.  They do sell to the public, but trade get an additional discount.

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Chefs’ Warehouse
111-115 Albion St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9211 4555

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You know how some people have white kitchens?  Everything is white and stainless steel and elegant.  That is so not the case at our house. Sure, the benches are white, and we serve dinner on white bone china, but the advent of silicone and plastic has added glorious colour to the room.  On a dull and overcast day, just opening the kitchen drawers can put a smile on my face.  I thought you might enjoy seeing the colours of my kitchen.

Here are the browns – chocolate, dutch cocoa, and more chocolate.

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Pete’s magnificent jams are always jewel-like and luminescent. If they didn’t taste so good, I’d keep them on the shelf as decorative pieces.

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I have a pair of Emile Henry tagines in flame red which I am completely besotted with.  Food always tastes better cooked in these – I’m sure the colour makes a difference…

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My friend Robyn gave me a Herbie’s Spice Kit for my birthday, and Pete V brought  back saffron for me from their trip to Spain.  I find the colour of  the spices appealing – particularly the red and terracotta toned ones.  The saffron is so alluring that whenever I need some for a recipe, I have to spend ten minutes admiring it first…

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And finally, here are my customised Fig Jam and Lime Cordial Welding Gloves.   You know you’ve hit the big time when you have branded merchandise, although it’s a little sad when you have to make it yourself.  I found these welding gloves at a great price, and can you guess why?  How many welders do you know who would front up to a construction site wearing bright orange welding gloves?  Which is a shame, because these are day-brighteningly gorgeous!

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