|Photograph courtesy of Le Méridion Hotels|
I have travelled over much of France, but I have never been to the Côte d’Azur. I have a friend who grew up there and now lives just across the border in Italy. He has waxed lyrical about the region ever since I first knew him as a teenager. As well as the azure seas and beautiful scenery, it’s meant to be a foodie paradise with olives and lemons being very much to the fore.
Whilst we were away in the New Forest last month, I was given the remainder of a bag of wholemeal sliced bread to take home. This is not something I would normally buy as I make my own bread, so I was keen to use it up quickly. I also had some ancient Nutella that has been sitting in a jar since I don’t know when and I thought it was time to remove it and make a bit more room in my overcrowded cupboard.
Why not kill two birds with one stone? The solution: an indulgent breakfast of French toast.
Well I know it’s very hard to make brownies healthy, but I have done my best to make these ones as healthy as possible whilst still retaining their essential sweet fudgy brownieness. I used coconut oil and cashew nut butter instead of butter and rapadura instead of sugar. And to top it off, my flour of choice was freekah. Freekah, Rapadura? Read on.
Despite my love of chocolate, cakes, biscuits, puddings and most things sweet, I do not, as it may seem, indulge all day long or even every day. Most of the time, I try to eat healthily. One of our regular breakfast ingredients is kefir, which CT has been making for many years now. We drink it as it is, use it in smoothies, on muesli and add it to porridge. I woke up one Sunday morning thinking, why don’t I try making pancakes out of it – not a revolutionary idea I’m sure, but I’d not thought of it before.
For those not yet in the know, kefir is a fermented milk beverage, similar to yogurt but easier to make and with its own distinctive taste. The culture comes in the form of strange cauliflower like pieces and it grows. It comes from the Caucasus region and is highly regarded as a probiotic.
I first came across Chocolate by Miss Witt when visiting CT’s mother in Lymington on the edge of the New Forest. You can read all about it on my Unexpected Find in the Forest post. Suffice it to say, that I’m not likely to miss an opportunity to pay a visit to her pop-up-shop at Lymington’s weekly market if the occasion arises. And arise it did last Saturday.
Miss Witt is a true artisan chocolateier and makes an intriguing range of handmade chocolates. Unusually, she eschews cream and butter for the virtues of spring water, yes, her chocolates are all made with water ganache.
It was a bitterly cold day and Miss Witt was well wrapped. CT managed to polish of a fair few of the tasters as we chatted. My attention, however, was focused on hearing of the latest developments in the world of New Forest chocolates. A number of stores in Lymington are now stocking her products. I came away clutching a collection of chocolate goodies to try in the warmth of my own home.