Tag Archives: Lindt

Chocolate + Vegemite= ?

Rumoured as a hoax…a hoax almost as legendary as first reports of the duck-billed platypus, Cadbury has released its Vegemite-flavoured chocolate.

Cadbury made the announcement on Twitter, along with three other new flavour combinations: golden toffee, pretzel & peanut and salted caramel.This is part of its #ChocPlusWhat campaign, where it asks consumers what flavour combinations they would like to see.

Yet, although it’s called “Vegemite Chocolate”, the centre is actually filled with caramel but not the classic sort of caramel like you’d expect in say a Caramello. It’s almost like the texture of their Turkish Delight filling. Moreover, this caramel isn’t as sweet as a regular caramel and has been compared to salted caramel.

According to the ABC, Australian palates have grown more adventurous in recent years, with food mash-ups that would once be considered bizarre becoming ubiquitous — think the match-made-in-heaven that is salted caramel.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-08/cadbury-chocolate-vegemite-combine-social-media-food-mash-up/6454050

Despite all that media hype, I can still hear you ask: “Vegemite and chocolate????”  in utter disgust, confusion and dismay. Isn’t anything sacred?!! Yes, indeed. We are a weird mob! You do have to wonder what someone or someones were thinking when they came up with the stuff. It really does seem like the ultimate April Fool’s Day prank. Yet, it’s real.

Ad for Vegemite.

Ad for Vegemite.

Vegemite is more than just a household name throughout Australia. First developed in 1922, it’s become part of our psyche. Generations of Aussie school kids have been brought up on the humble Vegemite sandwich, which according to the song, turned us all into “Happy Little Vegemites” www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yA98MujNeM.

The most famous Vegemite ad of all time produced in 1954.

The most famous Vegemite ad of all time produced in 1954.

I have heard of Vegemite and cheese, Vegemite and lettuce sandwiches and even adding Vegemite to dishes to give added flavour but I’ve never heard of anybody mixing Vegemite and chocolate together before.Not even my kids and they’ve made some weird concoctions in the kitchen when the patter of little feet suddenly went eerily quiet.

That said, while I was living in Heidelberg Germany after finishing university, I was attending a Church picnic where someone put a Tupperware container filled with Vegemite on the dessert table. I think it was initially a bit of a mix-up. However, one poor unsuspecting American kid who thought it was chocolate sauce, ate an entire tea spoon of the stuff straight. Now, most Americans I’ve seen try the stuff barely dab their finger in the Vegemite and they’re writhing in agony on the ground like yours truly eating chilli. So, you could well imagine the look on that poor kid’s face. It was priceless. The prank worked so well that he just had to try it out on his unsuspecting sister…Ha! She smeared the stuff all over her choc chip cookie and ate it. Needless to day, her brother was lucky to escape with his life.

You really do need to be, in effect, “desensitized” to like Vegemite. Or perhaps you just have to be Australian…tough as nails and as mad as a cut snake.

Anyway, I don’t know how the whole concept of Vegemite chocolate was first conceived or what crazy notions were stirring in someone’s dare I say “lateral” imagination. What were they thinking? It’s seems like they were playing a game of mis-matched pairs! Yes, we’ll mix the parrot with the hippopotamous.  That said, tit could well be the result of a committee decision. That said, these weird food “mash-ups” do seem to be all the rage.

Regardless, it’s not a bad marketing strategy because  Vegemite Chocolate is attracting quite a bit of interest. Posts from brave and intrepid taste testers are appearing on Facebook and not being one to be left out of the action, I had try it out. Indeed, this was an experience the whole family could enjoy.

Despite my background in market research, I didn’t develop questionnaires to record all our responses but I did have Geoff filming and I really did anticipate a few “yucks” “Err yucks” and total revulsion.I truly was expecting it to taste so bad that it became some kind of “survivor” challenge where men, women and children all earnt bragging rights “I’ve survived Vegemite Chocolate!’. Yes, iyou defintiely had to  earn the T-shirt!

Taste Testing Cadbury's Vegemite Chocolate.

Taste Testing Cadbury’s Vegemite Chocolate.

However, to the perfectly honest the chocolate was a bit of a let down, Even though I quite liked it., I was looking forward to tasting the Vegemite flavour in the chocolate but I couldn’t pick it at all. For me, this wasn’t Vegemite chocolate but something else. Miss says it was “yummy” and that it tasted like caramel. Both Geoff and Mister could detect the Vegemite flavour but they don’t touch the stuff!! You see, I’m quite heavy-handed with the amount of Vegemite I smear onto my Saos each nigh so I must have built up some kind of resilience!

This is how I love my Vegemite. No wonder I couldn't taste it in the chocolate.

This is how much I love my Vegemite. No wonder I couldn’t taste it in the chocolate.

Vegemite Chocolate. It was out of this world!

Vegemite Chocolate. It was out of this world!

Now, getting on to the question Cadbury posed about potential chocolate combinations. I guess I really should come up with something. Chocolate with potato chips? In the interests of combining health with chocolate, apple chocolate or indeed “Diet Coke Chocolate”. Yes, that’s the suggestion I’ll tweet through to them. I can see “Diet Coke Chocolate” being a winner! After all, how often do you see people drinking diet Coke with something utterly fattening like a greasy hamburger, KFC or chocolate.

Yes, Diet Coke Chocolate definitely has my vote!

Have you tried the Vegemite Chocolate? I’d love to know what you think. Also, could you please let me know if you spot it overseas.

Bon Appetite!

xx Rowena

Chocolicious Chocolate!

Throw out your copy of: How to Win Friends & Influence People. If you want to be popular, the answer is chocolate. Not just any ordinary, garden-variety chocolate but the good stuff. The stuff that is so good, that it’s literally evil.

After all, as my husband explained:

“Life is too short to waste it eating mediocre chocolate.”

While definitions of such superlative chocolicious indulgences can be quite subjective, I’m yet to find someone who doesn’t fall head-over-heels in love with Australia’s Tim Tam Biscuit. All rules of social restraint and decorum go out the window where Tim Tams are concerned. Even the most disciplined health nuts have confessed to inhaling an entire packet of Tim Tams and it’s pretty much a given that  once you open the packet, they’ll all be gone in the blink of an eye. Tim Tams are so good that there was even an advertising campaign showing why a Tim Tam is better than a man.

Simply Irresistible Tim Tams

Simply Irresistible Tim Tams

The Tim Tam is so popular that a sacred ritual has evolved: “The Tim Tam Explosion” or “The Tim Tam Slam” although when I was at university, it was known as “The Tim Tam Suck”. These all describe the same scrumptious and daring ritual where you bite off opposite corners of a Tim Tam and dunk one corner in a hot cup of tea or coffee and suck it like a straw. The drink fills the biscuit and it metamorphoses into a sloppy, delicious mass, which you can hopefully get into your mouth before it disintegrates and falls in your drink. Of course, the chocolate coating melts all over your fingers so this is definitely not the done thing around “polite society”. It’s probably, not recommended on a first date, either!!

However, when it comes to chocolate, there are those special occasions when Lindt is in order and Lindt Balls have a special place in our hearts. Geoff and I took them bushwalking for our first Valentine’s Day together. Being a scorchingly hot, Sydney Summer’s Day, the Lindt Balls were liquid and have been known ever since as “Lindt Smears”. Therefore, indulging in Lindt Smears is rather hazardous during a Summer and you’re lucky if you can get the wrapper off before it disintegrates and implodes. I must admit that I do enjoy a gooey Lindt Ball but there’s a fine line. You can get a lot of heartbreaking wastage as the chocolate merges with the wrapper.

Who can argue with Snoopy?

Who can argue with Snoopy?

Another favourite chocolate indulgence, is a Hot Chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows. I first discovered these when I was backpacking through Europe back in 1992 and ordered a Heiss Schockolade mit Sahne in Koln (Cologne). Wow!! Since then, I have found what I believe to be the world’s very best Hot Chocolate located at the Perisher resort where we go skiing. Their Toblerone Hot Chocolate comes with snowman with three marshmallows on a stick which you dunk into the hot, creamy hot chocolate. There’s also a stick of Toblerone and a cigar biscuit. Just amazing.

Sumptuous Chocolate Soup

Sumptuous Chocolate Soup

Recently, I found a scrumptious chocolate cake which was almost drowning in chocolate soup. That reminded me of the wonders of chocolate sauce. You can read about it here:

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/therapeutic-indulgence-a-rendez-vous-with-laksa-and-a-saucy-chocolate-cake/

Being a keen baker, I have also made quite a few chocolate treats and I encourage you to have a go. In our household, we had a tension between the kids who prefer milk chocolate and the adults who prefer dark and so now I tend to make half of each to keep everybody happy.

Here are some indulgent chocolate recipes for you to try:

Yummy Chocolate Cupcakes.

Yummy Chocolate Cupcakes.

Easy-Peasy Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache:

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/easy-peasy-chocolate-party-cupcakes/

White Chocolate Rocky Road:

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/white-chocolate-rocky-road/

Flourless Nutella Cake:

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/too-much-chocolate-temptation/

Two-Faced Chocolate Caramel Slice (milk and dark chocolate):

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/two-faced-chocolate-caramel-slice/

Chocolate Hazelnut Indulgence Cake:

https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/chocolate-hazlenut-indulgence-cake-my-own-creation/

After writing about all that yummy, scrumptious chocolate, my mouth is watering and I’m seriously considering breaking into our stash of Easter eggs. Something tells me, resistance is futile and as any true chocoholic will confess, when you eat your eggs quickly you can always poach the slow poke’s bulging stash.

However, if you are more more virtuous than I and can get through the entire Easter season without even a nibble of chocolate, perhaps you like to read about it instead and should get hold of: Chocolat by Joanne Harris…or even the movie http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk/books/chocolat/.

A great Easter read and also a fabulous movie, which will leave you craving for artisan chocolate and a trip to France.

A great Easter read and also a fabulous movie, which will leave you craving for artisan chocolate and a trip to France.

Easter always seems to bring rain on Australia’s East Coast, at least, and so it’s a great time to curl up with a book, a movie and eat chocolate:

“The greatest tragedies were written by the Greeks and Shakespeare…neither knew chocolate.”
― Sandra Boynton

If you are participating in the A-Z Challenge, what was your C and feel free to provide a link and share your topic.

Love & chocolate moustaches,

Rowena

Oh Christmas Boot!

Oh Christmas Boot!
Oh Christmas Boot!
Your tinsel shines so brightly!

After breaking my foot the other night, there weren’t going to be any fancy high heels for me this Christmas. Oh no! As my witty daughter pointed out, I was off to the “Bootique” instead.

This boot might be kind of grey, clompy and unattractive but I’ve never been so happy to see a boot before in my life. It was almost an instant fix… a miracle cure. I still took painkillers for a couple of days but wearing the blessed boot made a huge difference. I can walk around and I’m not going to have a near-death experience tripping over myself on a tangle of crutches. As you could imagine, if I could break my ankle on a relatively flat stretch of grass,I would have killed myself on crutches!!

Being 8 years old, our daughter wanted to sign my boot. Even though I didn’t have a cast, that’s what you do when you’re an 8 year old kid whenever one of your friends breaks anything. You have the fun of signing the cast while the other kid endures all the pain.

MIss decorating my foot with love.

MIss decorating my foot with love.

So instead of signing my cast, my daughter and I set about turning the boring grey, boot into a Christmas tree. She wrapped it in red tinsel and added decorations. While we were snapping away taking photos, I even threw a Santa hat over my foot. Yes, we were really getting into the Christmas cheer. Just had to wait til the kids went to bed so Geoff and I could get stuck into our box of Lindt dessert chocolates which were conveniently on sale before Christmas. Last night, there was also a glass of chilled Moscato! Now, we’re really living it up!!

Carpe Diem: Seize the Day!! It's are rare occasion that I'm able to wear heeled shoes but I wore these fabulous beauties to my cousin's engagement party at Circular Quay.

Carpe Diem: Seize the Day!! It’s are rare occasion that I’m able to wear heeled shoes but I wore these fabulous beauties to my cousin’s engagement party at Circular Quay.

What I particularly liked about our creative and Christmassy makeover of the boot, was that we were taking something bad and perhaps not turning it into a positive but certainly turning things around. Turning sadness and pain into a smile, a laugh..even if it’s only for an instant. As you have no doubt found yourself, laughing at adversity and bad luck is strangely healing…even when we hurt! It might be a cliche, but whatever doesn’t kill us, does make us stronger and I’ve been through much worse than the broken foot! This means that if and when we break a foot, we can still get up on stage and perform. We can push through the pain to see our children stand up on stage and sing, dance, play their guitar, before we collapse in a screaming heap. I’ve been home all week and the kids have now been dispatched to their grandparents but we are okay. We’ve acknowledged the bad stuff and worked through it. Laughed and poked fun at misfortune and we’ve kept going.

The kids were so loving and sweet. Mister brought me over a foot rest but Miss decided to be the foot rest herself.

The kids were so loving and sweet. Mister brought me over a foot rest but Miss decided to be the foot rest herself.

It just would have been nice to have had a hassle-free Christmas this year after going through chemo last Christmas and spending Boxing Day in hospital. After all, as much as you can put a positive spin on a chemo Christmas, it’s still what it is. As much as that chemo saved my life and brought us hope at a very dark hour, there are still many, many other places I could have been. Yet, that’s okay. I am always thankful. The chemo didn’t hit me as hard as I’d thought and instead of being in a cast this Christmas, I have a removable boot and I can get my feet wet. This is a very significant point when you’re spending summer at the beach.

In other words, I can acknowledge my gripes without becoming another Grumpy Cat.

Whatever happens in life, we have to keep moving and keep turning our bad luck into our funny stories, jokes and anecdotes. That, along with my faith and knowing that God is with me no matter what…these are the things which sustain me along the road and give me hope.

By the way, I must admit that I’ve felt mixed emotions eating Lindt chocolates after the siege. I live near Sydney and Martin Place is at the heart of our city…particularly now as it overflows with floral tributes, tears and love for the hero hostages who lost their lives in the siege. Is it okay to enjoy a beautiful Lindt chocolate when those precious people lost their lives in the Lindt Cafe? Shouldn’t I be more noble, self-controlled and simply go without?

I have given this a bit of thought and decided that it is okay to both eat Lindt and give Lindt this Christmas. It’s not that I believe in just getting on with it but I think it’s okay. You can’t blame a chocolate for such evil…only for the usual temptations of over-indulgence. Perhaps, this is being presumptuous, but I don’t think the hostages would want us to stop buying Lindt on their account. They were all lovers of Lindt which is why they were in that cafe in the first place. I also have to admit that I have terrible willpower and what with my broken foot and dreadful cough, there’s no better remedy than chocolate…especially Lindt!!

After breaking my foot, I’m particularly hoping a chocolate a day will keep the doctors at bay…especially before Christmas!!

xx Rowena

PS: It is a strange irony that I managed to ski at Perisher for 5 days without falling over and yet broke my foot simply walking along the grass at school.

Skiing down the mountain at Perisher in August 2013.

Skiing down the mountain at Perisher in August 2013.