Why have something average when we could have something special? We only have one life and it’s up to us to make the most of it. The whole ethos of this blog is to suggest ways we can make ourselves feel happy and fulfilled. That covers ways we can look better, feel better and eat better – I’m on a mission to find the best of the best.
One of my biggest indulgences is chocolate. I love the way it perks me up in a positive way, taking the edge off negative emotions. I love the rich scent before I take a bite and I love how it melts on the tongue as I savour it in my mouth. I enjoy it on its own in milk or dark form but it’s fun to experiment with flavour combinations like chilli, salted caramel and a bit of alcohol. I mean chocolate and champagne is the perfect combo, right?
I first discovered the Handmade In Ealing chocolate company in December 2016 when I stumbled upon founder Lucy Savage selling the most delicious rocky road at a Christmas Market. Fast forward to the summer of 2017 when our paths crossed again at a chocolate and wine pairing night at the Abbotshill Deli. It was there that I discovered that Lucy really knew what she was talking about when it came to chocolate and flavour, like a modern day Willa Wonka except with better fashion sense and style.
After finding out that her chocolates were constantly stocked in the All Original shop in Ealing, I often went out of my way just to find an excuse to walk past the shop so I could pop in and treat myself. I’ve never ever been disappointed by one of her chocolates, in fact I’m constantly blown away by the imagination and invention that goes into the chocolates. The stock in All Original is constantly changing so you just never know what you will get.
I recently tried the Mother’s Day cocktail collection, which included a fantastic lime mojito truffle (top row, second left and far right). Not only was the citrus tang a perfect complement to the rich cocoa but the graffiti swirl on the shell made it look beautiful.
The strawberry daiquiri (top left) was better than an actual cocktail. The filling was plentiful and the taste stuck in my mouth for ages. A raspberry and chambord martini truffle had a naughty kick, making my eyes widen (in a good way) as I took a bite. However, my absolute favourite was the blood orange and cardamom heart. I’m not used to cardamom and chocolate but I could definitely get used to it. A Terry’s Chocolate Orange is my guilty pleasure and this trumps it by a thousand.
My advice is to have half, savour it and then finish it off as looking at the lovely truffle filling is half the pleasure. Put it in your mouth in one go and you miss out on that extra sensory delight.
There is a reason these chocolates are better than the rest and that is the quality of the ingredients. Lucy uses fresh fruits, spices and excellent quality alcohols and Belgian chocolate with a high cocoa content. She makes the chocolates look like works of art as we do all eat with our eyes before our mouths but the visual attraction is not at the expense of taste.
At Easter, cheap chocolate is everywhere we look and it makes me feel quite sick. Supermarkets are loaded with piles of giant eggs or deals like 3 for £5. I don’t want 3 eggs, I would much rather indulge in one artisan Handmade in Ealing chocolate creation than several thin, bland, low-cocoa chocolate supermarket eggs. You don’t get eggs or chicks like this in a supermarket:
Photos: Instagram – @pamwadephotography