Posts tagged chocolate
What You Make Of It

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The last few days have been so very challenging.  It seems everything we look at breaks, dies or just goes wrong. My patience has all but disappeared as we leap from one catastrophe to the next.

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I've mentioned before that I love to wallow.  Oh yes, give me the hint of excuse and I will whine and moan and sulk with the best of them.  My particular talents - throwing things in a rage and sobbing on the floor.

And so yesterday, as the destruction reached comedy levels, I wanted to shut the children in the lounge in front of a DVD and mope.  Fighting against that primal urge, I grouped us un the kitchen where we spent the afternoon listening to Michael Buble's Christmas album at full blast, making salt dough ornaments and peppermint crisp.

 

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And yes, it was 800g of the cheapest chocolate I could find at Lidl. No I didn't have any peppermint extract. And so what if the candy canes were from the Pound Store and obviously very close to their use by date. And no, the salt dough did not set at all. But actually, the ingredients matter very little on days like yesterday.

 

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Because, in the end, its what you make of them.

 

 

The Cafe of My Dreams

Come close...I have something to tell you.  Its my favourite secret daydream, so don't tell anyone.

I have always wanted to own a cafe.


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Something unique.  With handmade cakes served on mismatched china.  Tea served in old cups and saucers.  Opulent deserts.  Local ingredients. Old school jazz playing in the background. Customers who linger (and eat copious amounts of food whilst there, keeping me in business).

However, as I have no capital for investment, no business experience, no professional cooking qualifications, a relative disdain for Health and Safety...oh, and having never even worked in a cafe, this dream has remained a comfortably distant but delicious daydream.

Which is fine, because I spent this afternoon in the physical embodiment of the cafe of my dreams.

Whilst visiting Tantie, we wandered down to the Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh and had coffee and cake in the utterly delightful Chocolate Tree cafe. It is heartbreakingly perfect--down to the Ella Fitzgerald playing in the background and the gorgeous confections served on vintage china.

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The coffee machine sits on an old mirrored dressing table. The seating and the tables are all mismatched and vintage.  What must be a life-sized copy of the Creation of Adam from the Sistine Chapel hangs along one wall. THe wallpaper is mismatched, flocked and floral. There must have been 7 or 8 different kinds of hot chocolate alone, not to mention teas and coffees galore. There are two cases of sweets, one full of the most gorgeous black, brown and ivory chocolate gems, the other laid out with cakes that the gods must have dreamt up.

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However, unfortunately, most of the cafe's wares were unavailable to me.  For I, like others, have had to go dairy and soy free to help my little girl's little tummy. 

You can imagine my drool when Kevin tucked into a latte and a berry chocolate truffle cake with cream (which I may have INSISTED he ordered, so I could lick his spoon). Even though he was forced into ordering it, he said it was perfect...with the tart berries cutting through the thick, claggy, rich chocolate cake and cream base.  I bet you can hear my "oooh" and "ahhh" as Tantie devoured a strawberry cheescake with a nut base.  I am sure you can picture my face as they drank their lovely milky, frothy coffees.

And I am sure you can imagine what will be in my dreams tonight...