La Manafucture de Chocolat

On a recent work trip to Paris I was very lucky to get access to the kitchens of the relatively new La Manafacture de Chocolat from Alain Ducasse and to chat with the head chocolate maker Nicholas Berger, a warm and knowledgeable chef who didn’t seem to mind me disrupting his day for an hour, at all. To say I was excited about this is an understatement. I love working with chocolate and have visited many production kitchens, but I’ve never been in the kitchen where chocolate is actually made so I could not wait to see it.

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I don’t often run competitions on the site but I really wanted to share this with you. I’m very lucky that when I visit my publisher I sometimes leave with a copy of a new release and last week I was given a copy of Annie Riggs fabulous new book, Sweet Things, a book packed full of candies, sweets and chocolates. Its a beautiful and inspiring book, it definitely got me itching to try out the recipes and get in the kitchen.

I like the book so much I asked for another copy so I could give one away. To go with the book I also have a Thermapen to give away too. Thermapens are one of my favourite bits of kitchen kit, useful in baking, cooking, and of course candy making. I have been using them for my macaron classes for two years and they are the best thermometer I have used! So to win the book and the Thermapen leave a comment below or pop onto twitter and retweet my tweet about the competition (To win a copy of @AnnieRigg‘s new book Sweet Things and a @Thermapen_ RT this or leave a comment on this post

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Egg Custard Tart

This recipe is total taste of my childhood. When I was growing up we had a classic, old fashioned British bakery in the village, one of those shops that sold chocolate dipped flapjacks, cream horns and of course custard tarts, and these were my favourites. Making them at home isn’t difficult you are just making a sweet pastry and a very simple custard but to guarantee success and to avoid a soggy bottom my recipe has a few hints and tips and they are definitely worth that little extra work. Along with the recipe I have filmed a video to show you how to make it, so if you have any fear about pastry or custards this video should help you out. Do check out my YouTube channel and subscribe for lots more recipes and how-to’s and if you have any ideas on what you would like to see leave me a comment and I will do my best to film it for you. Continue reading

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