It’s that time of year again and lots of us are starting to wonder what we can get Granny, Uncle Fred, the girl next door, an unexpected guest or Little Harry for Christmas. I may not be able to help much with Little Harry other than a stocking filler, but these are some of the items I’ve received and appreciated recently. You should find something of interest in this Tin and Thyme Christmas Gift Guide 2016 to suit most adults.
There’s something rather wonderful about the aroma that wafts out from a good box of chocolates when you lift the lid off. Hotel Chocolat never fails to disappoint in this regard. This beautiful gold box, embossed with coppery gold oak leaves and acorns, is the Autumn Sleekster. It’s just made its way onto the shelves in time to help us through the shortening days.
For those of you that love fine chocolate, I have the pleasure of presenting a guest post from the award winning Highland Chocolatier. Founder and director Iain Burnett is on the board of the Academy of Chocolate and so only uses ethical and fairly traded chocolate in his creations. As you’d expect from the name, the Highland Chocolatier is based in Scotland at Grandtully, Perthshire. You can visit in person of course, but for those of us who can’t quite make it, the chocolates are also available online. I am very much looking forward to trying some of them.
Chocolate is an all year round necessity in this household. We have our favourites of course, but we also like to change things up a bit and try new brands, styles and flavours. We get especially excited by those that reflect the seasons as they pass. The Hotel Chocolat Summer Collection does just that.
Raw chocolates are easy to make. They are also said to be much better for you than regular chocolate; more of the beneficial active ingredients in raw cacao are retained. However, I find plain old raw chocolate on its own can be just a teeny bit boring. So I’ve come up with a few ways to make them a bit more interesting.
When the British Hamper Company got in touch with me and explained that they worked with small, artisan and independent food producers, my e-ears pricked up. It wasn’t too much longer before a Divinely Decadent Chocolate Hamper arrived at my door. Woohoo!
I’ve been a supporter of Fairtrade Fortnight for many years now, from when I was an active Co-Operative member and helped out in store to my current position as a food blogger. This year the campaign is focusing on Sit Down for Breakfast, Stand Up for Farmers and runs from 29 February to 13 March. With this in mind, I’ve prepared a delicious Fairtrade Fortnight Breakfast using a number of Fairtrade products as well as baking a breakfast banana bread.
Monday saw the start of one of the most interesting weeks of the year, especially if you are a confirmed chocoholic – I’m saying nothing! It’s National Chocolate Week (12-18th October) – don’t tell me you didn’t know. Last year I gave you an exclusive chocolate review every day of the week and I got to try some mighty fine chocolate. This year I’m highlighting just one company and to share the general chocolate love, I’m offering a selection of their products as a giveaway.
Trying out new foods and products is one of the joys of being a food blogger. Food Bites is an occasional series showcasing some of the edible offerings that have landed on the kitchen counter at Tin and Thyme recently. This month it’s mostly about liquids: alternatives to meals as we know them, condiments, dessert wine and then wrapping up with a few sweet treats.
Every so often I like to bring you a taster of some of the chocolate that has passed through Tin and Thyme HQ. You can find plenty of additional chocolate review posts if you fancy seeing a few more unusual and artisan confections.