Tal’s day out sampling Divine at Kennards deli

22 October 2010

Here’s a post Tal wrote about her Chocolate Week activities:

In LAMB’S CONDUIT STREET one of the loveliest streets in London, sits Kennards…

A modern grocer for food lovers that appreciate quality when they see it. Hence no surprise that Kennards is now run by Philip & his partner and stocks the entire Divine range. It seemed like a perfect destination to sample our chocolate. And it proved right. Between 11:00 and 15:00 I was offering our two new varieties: ginger and orange 70% dark and 85% dark, to Kennards visitors. Some came with google maps they printed out after reading about the event online or in the paper, some were just locals that came for lunch, and were thrilled to find  some Divine choc to taste. Needless to say many added a Divine bar (or two) to their lunch order at the till. The staff in the shop got excited as well, and at the end of the day one of the talented chefs, claiming to be solely a milk chocolate fan has moved over to the dark side, after just few bites into our Ginger and Orange bar..

Divine sampling at Kennards


Comedians loving Divine

21 October 2009

We were delighted to see the cast of the fantastic play Comedians by Trevor Griffith celebrating Chocolate Week in style by chomping on Divine!

Described as a “stunning performace” by the Guardian, the play is showing until 14th November at the Lyric Theatre.

Matthew Kelly

Matthew Kelly

Mark Benton

Mark Benton

Reece Shearsmith

Reece Shearsmith

Michael Dylan

Michael Dylan


Sam Stern’s Chocolate Orange Recipe

19 October 2009

posted by Sam Stern

Sam Stern, the Teenage ChefMy self-catering flat at Uni is pretty small and basic. But every Tuesday, 12 or so mates come round for a slap-up dinner. Everyone chips in a couple of quid and we cook together. So far, we’ve had a couple of big roasts with all the trimmings, chicken curry, homemade burgers.  We’re usually eating late so pudding’s not the priority but there’s always chocolate.  To celebrate Chocolate Week, we’ll be making Chocolate Satsumas this week. They’re easy to shop for – take your choice of Divine 70% dark or milk chocolate bars and get hold of some lovely sharp tasting new season satsumas.

Here’s what to do.

Sam Sterns Chocolate Orange

  1. Buy one good Satsuma (or seedless Clementine) for each person expected.
  2. Peel.  Try to get as much of the bitter white pith off as you can but don’t go mad.
  3. Put a saucepan of water on to boil then reduce to a very gentle simmer ie the water is just about moving.
  4. Sit a bowl into the top of the pan. Don’t let it touch the water.
  5. Break up a load of Divine 70% Dark Chocolate and drop it into the bowl.  Judge how much you’ll need by making one for yourself ahead of the event.
  6. Let it melt very slowly without stirring.  Once it looks soft and malleable, take it off the bowl. Stir till creamy.
  7. Dunk one fruit at a time into the melted chocolate and turn to it’s coated. Maybe use a couple of large spoons.
  8. Sit the fruit on greaseproof paper/non-stick baking tray/foil, to set in a cool place.  Special occasion? Melt a bit of white chocolate as above to decorate/write messages.

Awesome.


Chocolate cocktails, chocolate cupcakes and chocolate canapés at The Gore Hotel

15 October 2009
Natasha Kaplinsky & Joanna Yarrow with Divine Martinis

Natasha Kaplinsky & Joanna Yarrow with Divine Martinis

Last night we hosted a cocktail evening for food bloggers and online friends to celebrate Chocolate Week. Held at the sumptuous Gore Hotel in Kensington, guests enjoyed Divine cocktails made by The Gore’s exuberant mixologist. A couple of days before the event Charlotte headed over to the hotel to meet the mixologist and try some of his Chocolate Week creations – the results were fantastic! A Divine Martini made with Divine’s dark chocolate bar, Baileys, Kahlua, Absolut Vanilla and vodka. The Strawberry Crush was a more fruity option made with fresh strawberries, raspberry liqueur, cranberry juice, vodka and Divine’s dark chocolate. Divine’s resident chocolatier David Greenwood-Haigh had spent the afternoon creating some wonderful truffles. Guests were in for a surprise as David also showcased his new chocolate creation – chocolate-coated cherry tomatoes! Cupcakes were provided by the lovely Helena Corvin-Swahn of Mallard and Swahn – words cannot describe how utterly gorgeous these miniature morsels of choccy heaven were. She had even decorated some of the cupcakes with a beautiful golden Divine heart – the heart-shaped symbol in the centre of the Divine logo which is a traditional Ghanaian emblem meaning revival and learning from the past.

It was great to meet people face to face – representatives from Daisy Green, Ethics Girls, The Londonist, Netmums, The Culinary Guide, Mumsnet, Green My Style, Joanna Yarrow of Beyond Green with friend Natasha Kaplinsky. We hope everyone enjoyed the evening as much as we did! Happy Chocolate Week everyone and thanks for joining us … we’ll be doing it again soon! To see photos from the event visit our Flickr page.

Choosing cupcakes

Choosing cupcakes


Divine on the Plinth

13 October 2009
Kelly Amost makes her point on the Plinth

Kelly Amos makes her point on the Plinth

We were recently approached by two people independently wanting to use the slot they’d been given on Anthony Gormley’s Trafalgar Square plinth project to promote fair trade, and use Divine to make the point.

The message wrapped around the Divine bars Kelly handed out

The message wrapped around the Divine bars Kelly handed out

Thank you to Kelly Amos and to Marcus Gilliver for making their hour on the Plinth Divine!

Marcus Gilliver ensures there's a bigger message during Chocolate Week

Marcus Gilliver ensures there's a bigger message during Chocolate Week


Choc a block!

13 August 2009
Divine Chocolate Fudge Cake - mmmmm

Divine Chocolate Fudge Cake - mmmmm

Its all go here at the Divine office!

My favourite event of the year, Chocolate Week is on the horizon (October 12th – 18th) and we are busy organising events up and down the country. Divine has been the proud sponsor of Chocolate Week for six years in a row and we are delighted to be working with some of our old favourites such as the wonderful Pudding Club in the Cotswolds made famous by Rick Stein, Terre à Terre in Brighton, winner of the Observer Food Award’s Best Vegetarian Restaurant 2008, and the very exclusive Sanderson hotel in London’s West End.

We are also pleased to welcome some new kids on the chocolate bloc too! Couture cake-maker to the stars, Mich Turner from the Little Venice Cake Company will be producing bespoke Divine cupcakes and we’ll be bringing a Divine tasting experience to Livia Firth’s Eco Age store in Chiswick.

To tickle your taste buds in preparation for Chocolate Week, I wanted to point you towards a fantastic recipe from last year. Chocolate Fudge Cake by Michelin star chef Michael Caines, how Divine!


Divine flies high with Virgin Atlantic

20 July 2009
Divine stand at Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

Divine stand at Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

Hotshot Sir Richard Branson has long appreciated giving Virgin clients classy, memorable experiences, whether they’re staying on his ultra-lux Carribean island in the British Virgin Isles or closer to home: as Virgin Atlantic flyers in Heathrow’s Terminal 3 to be precise.

David and I spent the day in the upperclass lounge, aka the Clubhouse, of Virgin Atlantic at Heathrow airport, hosting a Divine chocolate masterclass, wowing and wooing the taste buds of passengers and staff alike making knockout white chocolate & tequila truffles and plenty more Divine-style treats besides.

Virgin Atlantic planes from the outside terrace

Planes from the outside terrace

Virgin Atlantic and Divine have worked together for a number of years now.  Today our National Account Manager and trained chocolatier David and I were to host a series of Divine cookery demos throughout the day.  So we set up our stand at the end of the bar and spent the day chatting to interested passengers and staff about the company and cooking with Divine.  And of course there were plenty of samples to go round.  At various intervals during the day we demonstrated how to make truffles.  David’s very own creation, Divine White Chocolate Tequila Truffles, was a unanimous hit.  They combined melted white chocolate, cream, tequila, lime zest and juice.  After cooling in the fridge the mixture was then moulded into balls which were then dipped into a vat of melted pure 70% chocolate.  After a second dipping in the melted chocolate, the truffles were left to set.  Finally they were sprinkled with a few grains of sea salt and a little lime zest.  A Divine take on a tequila shot!!  See the full recipe here.

Tequila Truffles

Tequila Truffles

We also demonstrated how to make dark chocolate truffles – nothing more technical than making a ganache by melting Divine 70% Dark Chocolate with some double cream, using a melon scooper and your hands to roll into truffle balls and coating in Divine Cocoa Powder.

Later in the day the Virgin Atlantic kitchen gave us some strawberries so that passengers could dip them in our cauldron of melted dark chocolate (actually a rather clever tempering machine which keeps the chocolate at a steady temperature so that it remains in melted form).  David got some passengers to sample a square of the 70% bar with a few granules of sea salt – he said it really brings out the flavour of the chocolate and both myself and the passengers were really excited to learn this.  I remember now the most incredible pudding I ate at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze once – a chocolate fondant with sea salt ice cream – makes sense now!

Tempering

Tempering

A number of passengers we spoke to were returning home to the US and were delighted to learn that Divine is available to buy there as well as in the UK.  After sampling the hand-made truffles, along with some of the Divine chocolate bar and gift range, they took with them a bar of their favourite flavour and some recipe cards from David.  One passenger said “this chocolate is magical!”, another was so taken with the chocolate he asked to have a bar of each of our nine flavours there and then, and then proceeded to tap away at his iphone to find his nearest Wholefoods store in the US so that he could keep stocked up on his new favourite chocolate brand.  Passengers and staff alike were incredibly interested in the chocolatey goings-on and grateful from some Divine pre-flight action.  They were disappointed to learn that we wouldn’t be returning until October in celebration of Chocolate Week.  But we’ll be providing the Clubhouse with a regular supply of Divine Mini Bars from now onwards so they won’t be missing out altogether!

Thanks to Nikki and the team for a grand day out airside and we hope you enjoyed the demos & chocolate!  I’m looking forward to returning as David’s sous-chef for Chocolate Week in October.