London, Whole Foods, Saf & Raw Chocolate Pecan Bark

Hi everyone!  I hope you all had a great weekend!

I was lucky enough to start my weekend a day early, with a trip to London on Friday to spend the day with my gorgeous friends Helen and Naomi, and Naomi’s beautiful 9-month old daughter.  It was really good to see them, and I had such a great time! 🙂

I met them in Kensington and we headed to Whole Foods which is located in the historic Barkers Building on Kensington High Street.

I’ve heard so much in blogging world about Whole Foods and I never thought that I would actually get to go there myself.  It was health food heaven!!!  It was so beautifully laid out.  Just visiting the store was an incredible experience in itself!


But just as I thought the day couldn’t get any better, we hopped in the glass elevator and went upstairs to the Saf Restaurant.  ‘Saf’ stands for ‘Simply Authentic Food’ and also means ‘Pure’ in Turkish. You can find out more about their mission and philosophy on their website.

I just couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the menu.  It was 100% plant-based!  That means I could eat anything on the menu!  That is seriously a first for me!

Everything sounded so delicious that I wish I could have tried it all.  To be fair, I did manage to get through quite a lot of the menu 😉  Between the three of us, we ordered a range of dishes to sample, which included the following…

Curried Kale Crisps – Raw marinated and dehydrated Kale crisps flavored with curried coconut flakes

Saf Cheese Trio – A selection of their signature, olive, herb and smoked paprika ‘cheeses’, served with flax crackers, raw quince jam and drizzled with herb oil

Spinach and Date Gyoza – Organic madjol date, spinach, caramelized onion and chive dumplings, served with black vinaigrette

Saf Banh Mi – Kentish flute baguette with their trademark vegan mayonnaise, kimchee, roasted aubergine, maple glazed tofu and torn fresh mint and coriander

Vietnamese Wrap – Rice paper wrap with pickled daikon radish, maple glazed tofu, mixed salad leaves and their own miso-sambal sauce

Saf Burger – Seasonal vegetable patty, grilled onion, gherkin, tomato, gem lettuce with homemade tomato fig jam and special tarragon aioli served on a wholegrain bun

… plus 3 different salads!

I was totally blown away by the food!  I don’t think I’ve tasted anything like it before.  So, so tasty!

After a breather to let our meal go down, I couldn’t leave the restaurant without trying one of their desserts.  Well, two actually 😉

Chocolate & Orange Torte – Raw cocoa & cashew cream ganache with cocoa nib & cashew crust served with orange bubbles

Butternut Cheesecake – Butternut & cashew cheese with a coconut & lemon zest base served with champagne sabayon

I nearly didn’t try the latter because the name put me off.  Butternut cheesecake?  Mmm, didn’t sound very appetising but I was intrigued.  It turned out that the cheesecake was absolutely stunning.  Probably the best cheesecake I’ve tasted in my life!  I would so love to try and re-create it at home.

Saf has an Iphone app which provides the recipes for a selection of their dishes.  Unfortunately, I haven’t got an Iphone myself but hopefully I’ll be able to borrow a friend’s or ask a friend to download the recipes for me.

In summary, Saf is a fantastic plant-based dining experience in a beautiful environment.  If you’re ever in London, you must check it out!

After a wonderful day in London with my friends, I returned to Bath fired up with enthusiasm for plant-based cooking and experimenting with new recipes.  Not least because I was armed with a brand new cook book that Naomi had bought me for my birthday called ‘Veggiestan’. Thank you Naomi!

The author writes a blog under the same name, which is really worth checking out.

My family loves middle-eastern food, so I can’t wait to start trying out Sally’s recipes.  The book is beautifully designed and makes a great read.  I actually started reading it in bed on Saturday morning with a cup of coffee.  Is that sad or what?  Please tell me I’m not the only one that sits in bed reading cook books!!

So, all fired up, I spent this morning in the kichen creating a variety of baked goods for this week’s lunchboxes and some raw chocolate goodies.  As well as making some goji hearts to send to Becca (the winner of my giveaway 🙂 ), I also made some raw chocolate pecan bark. Using raw ingredients allows the chocolate to retain all its wonderful antioxidants and other nutritional qualities.  I also opted to use Sweet Freedom Fruit Sweetener instead of sugar.  The result? A home-made chocolate bark that’s packed with nutrients, low GI and suitable for diabetics.  Happy days! 🙂

It also tastes scrumptious!

And it’s super quick and easy to make!

Fancy having a go?

Here’s the recipe:


Raw Chocolate Pecan Bark

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooling time: about 30 minutes

65g / 2 1/3 oz raw cacao butter
50g / 1 3/4 oz raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp vanilla powder (optional)
2-3 tbsp Sweet Freedom fruit sweetener, to taste (agave syrup will also work)
1/2 cup pecan nuts, chopped
Pink Himalayan salt (optional)


  1. Add a small amount of water to a saucepan and place a heat-proof bowl on top.  Gently heat the water.
    Note: Throughout the chocolate-making process, make sure that the water stays on a very low heat.  You don’t want the water to be boiling or for steam to be escaping out the sides of the saucepan.
  2. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or non-stick baking paper.
  3. Finely chop or grate the cacao butter and place it in the heat-proof bowl.
  4. Once the cacao butter has melted, whisk in the cacao powder.  Add the vanilla powder (if using) and 2-3 tbsp liquid sweetener, to taste.  Mix in half the chopped pecan nuts.
  5. Tip the chocolate onto the prepared tray and use a knife to spread to the desired thickness.
  6. Sprinkle on the remaining pecans and lightly press into the chocolate.  Sprinkle on some Pink Himalayan salt, if desired.
  7. Allow to cool before transferring to the refrigerator.  Once set, cut to the desired size using a sharp knife, or break into pieces. (For me, the ingredient quantities yield 20 bite-size squares).

[/print_this]So where can you buy raw chocolate making ingredients?  Some local health food shops stock them.  In Bath, you can buy them from Harvest, on Walcot Street.  I also buy my ingredients from Elements for Life, which has on online shop.  For those interested in trying out raw chocolate making, the Elements for Life Raw Chocolate Making Starter Kits are great.  They include raw cacao butter, raw cacao powder, Sweet Freedom fruit sweetener and a heart silicone mould, all for just £14.99.  These also make great gifts for dark chocolate lovers.

Lil’ L absolutely loves raw chocolate and, given its fantastic nutritional profile, I’m happy for him to eat it on a regular basis.  In fact, I would even encourage it.  As well as the raw chocs, I also add raw cacao powder to his smoothies and use it in desserts.

Since visiting Saf, I’m fired up to try making more raw desserts and treats.  I’ve already got a few ideas for new recipes, so I’ll test them soon and let you know how I get on.  Are you a fan of raw desserts?  If so, what’s your favourite?  Please send me links to your favourite recipes so I can check them out.

Have a great week everyone!  The Olympic Torch arrives in Bath tomorrow, so you can imagine how buzzing the city is at the moment!



A Weekend of Treats, Rounded off with a Raw Chocolate Orange Chia Dessert!

Hi everyone!  I hope you are having a great week so far! 🙂

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday but I was busy all day taking photographs for “the book”!  My aim is to get all the photos finished by Easter, which isn’t far off considering how quickly the weeks are flying by!

So how was your weekend?  For us, it was a weekend of “treats”!  Lil’ L had the treat of going to stay for a night with his lovely nanny in Dorset, while M and I went for our belated Valentine’s night away at Carey’s Manor in Brockenhurst, Hampshire.

This place is pretty special…


and has the most beautiful Thai-style spa with hydrotherapy facilities.


Okay, I’ll stop the photos now 😉

This was our first ‘date night’ in months and it was nice to go somewhere special and spend some quality time together.  We reduced the costs as much as possible by staying on the Friday night (thus avoiding the Saturday night supplements), and we also took advantage of the hotel’s special free evening meal offer.

We were booked into the hotel’s Manor Restaurant for our evening meal, and I can happily report that the chef rose to the challenge of meeting my dietary requirements 😉  I didn’t take any photos as it wasn’t the type of restaurant where you can whip out your camera and start snapping the food , but here’s a quick run down of what they served me:

Entree – strawberry sorbet (M was given a white onion cappuccino which sounds bizarre to me, but apparently it was really nice!)

Starter – beetroot carpaccio with mushrooms, rocket and a balsamic dressing.

Main course – wild mushroom risotto…which they made with soya milk for me!

Dessert – pineapple carpaccio with shredded basil and coconut sorbet.

All courses were totally delicious!  I really want to have a try at making both the beetroot and pineapple carpaccios as they were stunning!

After our meal, M and I stayed in the lounge until 1 in the morning chatting.  We haven’t had an opportunity to do that in a long time.  It was really nice! 🙂

The next day, we met my mum and Lil’ L in Burley.  Every time I visit this village, I have to stop at the Old Farmhouse Tearooms for a soy cappuccino and slice of their ginger cake.  That cake is dairy free and gluten free… and totally scrumptious!

We then took a circular walk on the common to walk off our cake.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue, it was warm enough to not wear a coat.  Is this really February?  The crazy weather continues!

Along the walk, we saw lots of this beautiful yellow gorse…

We warned Lil’ L that it’s really prickly but you know kids.. they have to find out for themselves 😉

We also came across lots of these beautiful little New Forest ponies.  So cute!

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend.  Lil’ L loved his time with nanny and, since M and I rarely go on dates these days (perhaps 2-3 times a year?), we really cherished our night away.  M has suggested that we do it again later this year and I’m totally up for that!

As you can imagine, I did very little cooking this weekend …. but I did make a raw chocolate orange chia pudding!  I’ve only recently started to buy chia seeds as they have been hard to come by in this country.  Local to me, they’re now available from the Harvest Health Food shop in Bath.  I also purchase them from online stores including Healthy SuppliesElements for Life, and Earthfare.  I find that the cost of chia seeds can really vary from one store to another, and at different times of year, so I always make sure I shop around.


These seeds come from the beautiful chia plant, which belongs to the mint family (salvia hispanica).


I’ve read so much good stuff about them on the Internet.  Here’s a quick rundown of its nutritional profile:

  • Chia is a very rich source of omega 3 essential fatty acid
  • It is a good source of protein, and contains all 9 essential amino acids.
  • It is high in dietary fibre.
  • It’s easily digested and absorbs more than 9 times its weight in liquid when soaked, helping to regulate blood sugar and hydration.
  • Chia is a good source of minerals, notably phosphorus, manganese, calcium and zinc.

They sound like another “super food” to me!


The seeds have been eaten throughout Central and Southern America for thousands of years, and were part of the staple diet of the Aztecs and Indians.  The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that chia seeds have a history of safe use as a food.  However, for some reason (which I’m yet to fathom out) these little seeds have been classed as a “novel food” under the EU Novel Food Act 1997.  This means that when you buy chia seeds in Europe, they have a big label on the packet that they can only be consumed as an ingredient for baked goods comprising a maximum 5% of the content!

Since I haven’t read anything on the Internet about chia seeds being harmful and, on the contrary, have read time and again about the health benefits of this little seed, I’ve joined my fellow American and Canadian health foodie friends in eating chia seeds raw 🙂  If you bake them, you lose the omega 3 content which, to me, defeats the object of eating them in the first place.

And in their raw form, chia seeds make the most AMAZING chocolate desserts!  Chocolate orange is my current favourite flavour, but I’m looking forward to trying mocha and hazelnut versions.  The possibilities are endless!

It’s so simple to make.  Here’s how I do it:


Raw Chocolate Orange Chia Dessert

Serves 2
Prep: 5 minutes (+ 1-2 hours chilling time, preferably overnight)

2 tbsp raw chia seeds
1/2 cup water (or you can use non dairy milk)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp raw cocoa powder
2 tbsp Sweet Freedom fruit sweetener (or other natural liquid sweetener, such as agave syrup)
1/2 tsp orange extract
grated orange rind and raw chocolate shavings, for garnish


  1. Mix the chia seeds and water together in a small bowl. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours (or overnight). The mixture will transform into a gel.
  2. Blend the chia gel, freshly squeezed orange juice, cocoa powder, fruit sweetener and orange extract to a smooth consistency.  Place in small dessert bowls, and sprinkle with orange rind and chocolate shavings.  Chill until ready to serve.


Do you eat chia seeds?  If so, what is your favourite way of serving them? Please add links to your favourite recipes in the comment section below as I’d love to try them out!

What do you think of the EU law on chia?  Do you think it’s right to class chia as a ‘novel’ food when it’s been around for thousands of years? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great week everyone! xx


Raw Chocolate Coconut Cup Recipe & Giveaway Result!

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great weekend! 🙂

As promised, today I’m going to share my recipe for raw chocolate coconut cups.  I’m not sure if the name is an accurate description of what these chocolates are, so if anyone can think of a better name, please let me know!

Raw Chocolate Coconut Cups

They are so simple and quick to make.  If you guys do make them I would LOVE to see the pics! You could post them on my FB page or send them to me on Twitter (@GoodStuffSharon).  I’m sure your pics will be amazing! 🙂

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • raw cacao (cocoa) powder & raw cacao (cocoa) butter
    These can be bought from health food stores (such as Harvest in Bath) or online
  • creamed coconut
    I use Patak’s creamed coconut sachets, which are available from major supermarkets here in the UK.  Creamed coconut is pure coconut flesh, which is pulverised and formed into a solid block.  It’s a common ingredient in Indian cooking, hence why Patak’s sell it.

I’m sure that coconut butter will be a fine replacement if you can’t get hold of creamed coconut.

  • Goji berries, almonds & brazil nuts, finely chopped (I whizz them in my mini chopper).  As you probably know by now, I’m a huge fan of goji berries.  They not only taste wonderful, but they’re packed with goodness too 🙂  These can be bought from health food stores, some major supermarkets (Asda are currently selling them for £1.47/100g compared to £2/100g at Waitrose) and online.


  • Petit Four cup cases.  I double these up and use 2 cases per chocolate, to help them keep a nice round shape.

Apologies in advance to my US friends for not giving you quantities in cups. I wasn’t convinced by the online converter I found, so if anyone can recommend a decent one then please do let me know.


Ingredient quantities
60g raw cacao butter, grated or finely chopped & divided in half
50g raw cacao powder, divided in half
3 tbsp Sweet Freedom fruit sweetener (or agave syrup)
50g creamed coconut (or coconut butter)
2 tbsp finely chopped goji berries, almonds, brazils (optional topping)
12-14 petit four cup cases (or 24-28 if using 2 cases per chocolate)


  1. Arrange the petit four cup cases on a tray or in a freezable container (I use a plastic container)
  2. Prepare a bain marie (double broiler) and place 30g cacao butter in the bain marie bowl. When it has melted, mix in 25g cacao powder and sweetener to taste (I use 1.5 T Sweet Freedom or 1T agave syrup)
  3. Pour 1 tsp of the chocolate into each petit four cup (I find that there’s enough for about 13 cups). Place the chocolates in the freezer until they solidify (about 10 minutes)
  4. Meanwhile, wash up the bain marie bowl and utensils, and dry thoroughly.  Prepare the coconut layer by grating or finely chopping the creamed coconut.  Place the coconut in the bain marie bowl and allow it to gently melt.
  5. Remove the chocolates from the freezer and pour 1tsp of the melted coconut into each petit four cup. If there’s any coconut left over, share it between the cases.  Place back in the freezer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Wash up the bain marie bowl and utensils again and dry thoroughly. Prepare the final chocolate layer by melting the remaining 30g of cacao butter in the bain marie bowl. Mix in the remaining 25g of cacao powder and 1-1.5 tbsp sweetener.
  7. Remove the chocolates from the freezer and pour in the final 1tsp of chocolate into each petit four cup.  Sprinkle with the finely chopped goji berries and nuts, then place back in the freezer for a final 10 minutes.
  8. Voila! Beautiful (and scrumptious!) raw chocolate coconut cups 🙂



Valentine’s Giveaway Result
Thank  you so much for all the lovely comments you left me on Valentine’s Day 🙂  So who’s the lucky winner of my Valentine’s giveaway?

Well, I organised the comments into chronological order and pressed the magic button on 

The winner is the lovely Rachel who writes the fabulous blog My Naturally Frugal Family

Congratulations Rachel!  Six of  my raw chocolate coconut cups will be on their way to you shortly.

Have a wonderful week everyone!  xx

Sharing the Love with a Raw Chocolate Valentines Giveaway

Hi everyone!  I hope you’ve all had a great day so far!  I’ve had the most amazing afternoon making raw chocolate coconut cups whilst listening and singing along to Lana Del Rey’s album (which a certain person bought me for Valentines 😉  ) Oh, and I’ve also been acting as an assistant to the family’s principal Star Wars Lego Ship builder 😉

Anyway, this is just quick post to share some love <3.  Do you fancy trying some of the raw chocolates that I made today?

They really are scrummy 🙂

There’s are five ways you can enter my giveaway to win a box of six raw chocolates.  Each way counts as a separate entry.  So, if you do all five, you’ll increase your chances of winning five fold 🙂

  1. Leave me a comment below.
  2. Follow me on Twitter and leave me a comment below to let me know that you do.
  3. Tweet about the giveaway and leave me a comment below.
  4. ‘Like’ my blog page on Facebook (you can click the button on the top right hand side of my homepage) and leave me a comment below.
  5. Subscribe to receive notifications of my posts by email, and leave me a comment below.

A winner will be selected at random on Friday 17th February, 9pm GMT.

Good luck everybody!

I’ll leave you with today’s top Lana Del Rey sing along track.  Enjoy! xx

A Snowy Day in Bath & Raw Chocolate Making

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great weekend!

Lil’ L was very excited when it started to snow on Saturday !  It came down thick and fast for a few hours, and we had a beautiful walk with friends along the Kennet and Avon Canal into Bath.

The snow arrived Saturday pm and the canal was completely frozen. 24 hours later, the snow had disappeared and the canal had thawed! Talk about rapid transformation!

From the canal, we cut through Sidney Gardens and stopped in the Holburne Museum’s Cafe to warm up with coffees and hot chocolates, along with brownies, millionaire shortbread, apricot & orange cake, apple and walnut cake and rocky road!  It was all super delicious and I’d love to have a try at making healthy, dairy-free versions of those treats.  Does such a thing as healthy rocky road exist?  I need to find out!

Today, I’ve been making heart chocolates for my sister’s birthday and for a certain person’s valentines gift ;).  As you probably know by now, I’m a huge fan of raw chocolate.  Not only does it taste incredible (if you’re into dark chocolate), but it’s also super good for you!  What a bonus!

People have been asking me how I make my home-made raw chocolates, so I thought that I’d post some step-by-step instructions.

As far as I can tell, there are no hard and fast rules on ingredients and quantities, but here’s what I use:

– 65g / 2 1/3 oz / 1/2 cup cacao butter, very finely chopped
– 50g / 1¾ oz / 1/2 cup & 1 TBSP cacao powder
– 2 1/2 – 3 tbsp Sweet Freedom natural sweetener (this is low GI and suitable for diabetics.  Agave syrup can be used as an alternative)

You can then add natural extracts, nuts and dried fruits, as you so wish.

In my heart chocolates, I add a mix of finely chopped almonds and dried goji berries.

Here are the steps I take…

1. First, finely chop the nuts and goji berries (I use my Kenwood mini chopper for this job).

2. If, like me, you don’t have a ‘double boiler’, simply add a small amount of water to a saucepan and place a heat-proof bowl on top.

It is really important to make sure that no water gets into the bowl and that all the utensils and moulds are completely dry, as water and chocolate don’t mix!

3. Gently heat the water. Throughout the chocolate making process, make sure that the water stays on a very low heat. This is really important! If you have a gas hob, once the water is boiling turn off the heat and just give it a quick blast every so often if necessary.

4. Measure out the raw cacao butter.  Finely chop or grate it, and place it in the heat-proof bowl.

5. Once the cacao butter has melted, whisk in the raw cacao powder.  Add the liquid sweetener, to taste (I tend to use 2½T of Sweet Freedom fruit sweetener or syrup.  Agave syrup is sweeter, so 2T should be enough).

6. I now mix the goji berries and nuts into one half of the melted chocolate.

Once mixed together, it looks like this:

7. The chocolate then gets poured into the mould.  I use 2 teaspoons so that I can direct the liquid chocolate more accurately and avoid too much spillage.  I begin by pouring a little of the plain chocolate into the mould so that the chocolates have a smooth top, then back-fill with some of the chocolatey nut & fruit mixture.

8. I allow the chocolates to cool before placing them in the fridge. (I find this helps to prevent condensation forming on the chocolates).

9. When they’re set, pop the chocolates out of the mould and enjoy!

Chocolate Goji Almond Hearts 3 - 500


Home-made chocs make a great Valentine’s, Birthday, Christmas or ‘Thank You’ gift for loved ones.   I also love sharing them over coffee with friends and family, or as an after-dinner treat. 🙂

Where to buy raw chocolate ingredients
Finally, another question I’m often asked is where to buy raw chocolate ingredients.  If you live in or near Bath, the ingredients can be bought at the Harvest Health Food Shop on Walcot Street.  Otherwise, they can be bought online.  Elements for Life not only sell the individual ingredients, but they also have these fantastic raw chocolate making starter kits.

Goji berries and Sweet Freedom are also available in major supermarkets and health food stores.

Making home-made chocolates is so simple, and I find it to be a really relaxing, therapeutic experience.   If you haven’t done so already, you must give it a try!

Next week, I’ll give instructions on how to make my chocolate coconut cups.  Another super simple, but truly scrumptious recipe 🙂

Have you tried making your own chocolates?  If so, I’d love to hear what your favourite home-made chocs are (and please send links to recipes!)

Have a wonderful week everybody! xx


Weekend Photo Journal… and a Raw Chocolate giveaway!

Hi everyone!  I hope you had a great weekend!

We had lots of fun again this weekend! 🙂  Here are a few of the highlights…

On Saturday, Lil’ L and I went to Glastonbury for the day with our lovely friend Joni.  Glastonbury is one of my favourite UK market towns.  It’s full of magic and mysticism, druids and pagans.


Glastonbury has some beautiful old buildings.  The George and Dragon Pilgrim’s Hotel dates back to circa 1492.  Can you spot St George at the hotel entrance?

I love all the little independent shops in Glastonbury.  Their window displays are so beautiful!  The Green Man is one of my favourites.

 The book in the centre of the window display caught my eye.  It might just have to make its way onto my Christmas list 😉

Another favourite shop of mine is the Speaking Tree book shop.  It has such a wonderful array of books, that I literally end up losing myself for hours in that shop!  They have some great bargains and I never come out empty handed.  This time round, Lil’ L and I bought 5 books for a total of £11!

We stopped for lunch at a wonderful little cafe (opposite 100 Monkeys).  We also munched some of the crackers that Rachel sent us from the USA.  They were so nice, and I’d never tried anything like them before, so thank you Rachel!

While all the browsing, shopping, coffee drinking and lunching was wonderful, the main reason that we came to Glastonbury was to see the Tashi Lhunpo Monks who were visiting from India.  Unfortunately, I’d missed their visit to Bath this year as I was helping out at the Macmillan fund raising event, so I was delighted to be able to see them on the final leg of their European tour at Glastonbury.

Check out the sand mandala that they were creating…

Isn’t it stunning?

It was such a privilege to see the Tashi Lhunpo monks again.  I must say a huge thank you to Joni for taking me there to see them.  I so appreciate it! 🙂

Another highlight of the weekend was the purchase and decorating of the Christmas tree.  I set M and Lil’ L the challenge of finding a tree that fulfilled three criteria.    Basically, I wanted a tree that was:
a) locally grown
b) beautiful, lush and ‘bushy’ (as opposed to tall, skinny & twiggy)
c) cheap
I never dreamed that they would actually find such a tree, but they did!   Only 10 minutes from where we live, they managed to purchase a tree that was grown in Dorset, is beautiful, lush, green, elegant… and only cost 20 quid!  I was totally impressed! 

 Lil’ L also got his Christmas books out this weekend, and we’ve enjoyed snuggling up and reading them together.  The current ‘chapter book’ that he’s reading is ‘Secret Santa, Agent of X.M.A.S’ by Guy Bass (US version here).  He’s absolutely loving this book.  It’s a great one for boys as it’s got secret agents, baddies and battles in it, as well as lots of humour!  At under £4, it’s also a great bargain.


Lil’ L also wrote his letter to Father Christmas to tell him how good he’d been and a few ideas of what he’d like for Christmas.  I think Father Christmas will be pleased to find that he’ll be able to buy most of the presents at Amazon (should he need to 😉 ) 

Top of his list are:

  1. Star Wars Battle of Naboo lego set
  2. Wolverine animated DVD
  3. A board game
  4. Smurfs DVD
  5. Smurfs Trumps

I also did a spot of Christmas present buying and making this weekend.  When I asked my mum what she would like for Christmas, she said she’d like some of my home-made raw chocolates.  I was very happy to oblige 🙂

I find chocolate making so relaxing.  I might even describe it as ‘therapeutic’.  When I’m melting and stirring the chocolate, I often slip into this daydream where I’m Vianne Rocher in my little French chocolate shop in France.  All I need now is for Johnny Depp to walk into my kitchen and take a bite of my chocolate hee hee 😉 

 This weekend, I made some heart shape chocolates…

 and some orange segments….

  They both have a mix of almonds, brazils and goji in them, and the orange segments have a drop of orange oil, while the hearts have vanilla extract.

If any of your friends or family are dark chocolate lovers, Elements for Life sell these fantastic raw chocolate making kits for £14.99.  The kits are suitable for vegans and diabetics.  Here’s a list of local stockists.  They can also be bought online.  Details of the last postal dates for Christmas deliveries can be found here

 I think this would be make a great Christmas gift for chocolate lovers.  It could also be paired with a raw chocolate recipe book, like Jessica Fenton’s Raw Chocolate Recipes (this is on my Christmas list 😉 )


And a MUST for all chocolate lovers out there… a copy of Joanne Harris’s Chocolat (US version here).  This is one of my all-time favourite novels.  You can literally smell and taste the chocolate as you’re reading this book.  It’s truly delicious!

And finally….


 I would like to give all my lovely readers the opportunity to win ten of my home-made raw chocolates.  To have a chance of winning, leave me a comment below stating one thing that you’re hoping Santa will bring you this Christmas 😉

The giveaway is international.  Closing date Friday 16th December, 9am GMT.

Good luck everybody!