And the password is....Chocolate

It's 11:35pm in the evening on a Saturday night. Lounging in the sofa with DIY SOS Big build on the TV, laptop on my lap, marble cake on the kitchen counter sliced in half waiting for the double cream to make ganache. There is always one thing that's missing from the shopping list. This time was the cream. Tomorrow is another day. 

My lovely boyfriend went out to meet a friend from South Africa to catch up and for sure tell him about his Amazon jungle adventures in Peru. I missed him a lot but supported him 100% on him going by himself to Peru for this retreat to celebrate his 40th birthday. I have travelled around the world on my own lots of times but he hasn't. It's so important to be comfortable with yourself and go explore knowing that life is there for you to grab it. My mother is from that generation that if you don't have a partner, you don't do A or B because you should do it with your better half. What if you never find it? What if you do have one but your schedule is not the same? Or your friends are married with kids and have other priorities in life? 

Is it bad timing? Is it unfortunate? Not really. Their life is theirs. Their journey. Mine was made of a job that meant I needed to travel and live in different locations for work. Ireland, France, China, Spain, Portugal, USA. And yes, sometimes it was lonely living in hotels and being away from friends and family. But what I was missing never stopped me because I always believed I was gaining a lot by doing that. I was seeing the world, meeting new people, new cultures, new food, knowing myself and my limits, my fears, my sense of adventure or lack of it. 

My boyfriend's journey was radically different from mine. Stable family, long term relationships, marriage. So, never alone. And when we met I told him I found that weird. That he never spent time by himself. At that point I was not sure my wise words would go against me, but they didn't :-) We are very much together but he's realising that being with someone doesn't mean being glued to the other person 24/7. We are two individuals coming together where the point is to complement each other without annulling and annihilating our own personal tastes and desires. Respect and trust are key. And so he went to Peru and I went to Lisbon a few days to visit family and friends. 

It's been a couple a weeks now since his return. Happy days. And today we went to Angel in Islington to check out the Chocolate Festival. Hummmm......We had never been in the Business Design center but it's quite a good venue. The exhibits of chocolate were OK. 

I confess that close to Easter I was expecting a lot more from it. Spectacular creations and art sculpture made of chocolate, in addition to beautiful cakes, truffles and other mouth watering chocolate products. But what we saw was a few stands of chocolate brownies, Easter eggs, hot chocolate (made with water) and a few other products. All good but in my view not nearly enough to Wow me.

But regardless I did take a few photos to showcase the products and the best thing was the tasting. It was also good to see new business showing and promoting their products. There were some known brands but mostly there were young people developing new ideas and their view on the usage of chocolate and presenting it to the public. That is always positive. 

I came out with a sample bottle of Baileys chocolate and a bag of tea from TeaHuggers. Dino helped me choose the tea because he's trying to get into herbal teas but so far it's not working. More for me :-) He doesn't go beyond Roibbos, his trusted South African tea.

Me, I can't have anything with caffeine so no choice really, but despite that I do like herbal infusions and very happy with the tea we bought. 

Tomorrow cannot forget to buy the double cream for the ganache and finish my test. 

A layered marble cake with a crunchy bottom (made of feuilletine, praline paste and chocolate), marble sponge and ganache. The idea is to add different textures and make the cake less dense by breaking it up a bit. Let's see how it works out.