Category Archives: Food

Healing Your Emotional Relationship with Food

The other night I lay in bed watching Oprah’s 20th Anniversary DVD collection – a gift given to me by my best friend. Story after story of incredible people that have touched and changed the life of Oprah caused my tears of inspiration to flow. One particular person I really identified with – the story of Rudine. Rudine suffered severely from anorexia nervosa. She wanted so badly to battle and win this condition, but her emotional relationship with food and herself was so damaged.

You see, I can identify with this woman because at the age of 13, I came face to face with anorexia nervosa. It followed two very painful events in my life. Looking back, I now understand I was unable to cope with all the emotions I encountered. The anger and hatred I felt – because I could not outwardly express it – was turned inward. I began to hate my body and food became the enemy. I exercised like crazy and eventually ate only 1 small meal per day. After finally breaking that cycle, I swung to the other extreme and began to binge eat late at night. Other things replaced food until, at the age of 21, I got serious about facing and healing my emotions.

I share this with you because I think it is important to understand the devastating effects our relationship with food can have on our health. Maybe you’ve never suffered from anorexia nervosa, bulimia or obesity, but your emotional relationship with food is still worth examining. In an ideal relationship with food, you eat when you’re hungry, and you eat the healthy foods your body needs. Your body weight is healthy and you aren’t experimenting with the latest diet. Healthy eating is your way of life, and your physical wellbeing reflects that – not just your body, but your energy level, mood and internal health as well. So come on this journey with me and let’s explore some of the common emotions or situations that can trigger unhealthy eating. Pay attention to whether any of these strike home for you. If so, try substituting some of the alternatives I suggest so you can begin healing your emotional relationship with food.

Angry Eater: When you are very angry with yourself or someone else, do you turn to food? Maybe you’re mad because you made a mistake and so you beat yourself up with food. Try confronting and expressing your anger in a healthy way, and then forgive and let it go.

Stress Eater: According to Dr. Phil, “when you are under stress, your body releases hormones that automatically stimulate your appetite and set off cravings, prompting you to eat huge quantities of fattening food”. Take 15 minutes of quiet alone time or a 15 minute brisk walk instead.

Convenience Eater: You don’t have time or don’t feel like making something healthy to eat, so you grab whatever is convenient – fast food or take home, chips, donuts, etc. Keep healthy and convenient foods around the house and at the office – fruit, granola bars, Lean Cuisines, string cheese, and yogurt.

Tired Eater: Morning comes around or the afternoon energy runs out and you need a kick of sugar to keep you going. You load up on cookies, cake or other sugar snack foods and you’re off and running until you crash. Try getting 8 hours of sleep at night, exercising regularly, taking vitamins or taking a short cat nap.

No Waste Eater: Were you taught to never waste food? Were you reminded of all the poor children that had nothing to eat? Now you cannot bring yourself to leave anything on your plate or throw away any food. Put smaller portions on your plate. Give yourself permission to stop eating when you’re full. Work in a homeless shelter serving food or give food to the poor so you don’t feel guilty.

Self-Disgust Eater: You look at yourself and hate what you see; you eat or deprive yourself of food to mask the feelings you have, and so starts the cycle of abuse. Work on loving yourself in every way you can – pamper yourself, repeat positive affirmations, stick up for yourself. Invest in gaining confidence and self-esteem.

Boredom Eater: This is me. I don’t feel like doing laundry or cleaning the house. I’m tired of working, playing cars or watching TV. It’s cold outside and so I open the food cabinet. Hmmm. I wonder what I can eat. Get creative and find something fun and different to do. Switch projects and start something new. Make a phone call to a friend.

Fear of Intimacy Eater: Do you eat to hide yourself and avoid getting too close to someone? Sometimes reaching out to people can be a very scary and hard thing to do. Maybe you’ve been hurt too many times by loved ones. Seek help to heal your pain. Search for supportive and loving people that you can depend on. Take baby steps to reach out and trust someone.

Hopeless Eater: Have you just completely given up? Maybe you’ve tried too long to lose weight or given too much to your marriage, and nothing seems to change. You feel hopeless and so you just say, “Who cares? I’m just going to eat whatever I want”. Or maybe you’ve lost your appetite all together. Change your thoughts. Focus on the positive and keep a gratitude journal. Look for the bright side of everything. Search for the sunshine and you will find it.

“See Food” Eater: You know the saying, “I’m on a seafood diet. I see food and I eat it”. Are you the type of eater that constantly grazes? If the food is in front of you, you eat it without really thinking about it. You may or may not be hungry – it’s just a habit. Graze on low-fat and healthy foods. Keep the fattening foods at the grocery store. Work on being more conscious of how much food you are taking in.

The Facts About Food Intolerance

Probably one of the most annoying things in this world is food intolerance. Unlike food allergies, which can be identified with testing, food intolerance is a hit and miss proposition that can drive the sufferer crazy. We’re going to give you the facts and the truth about food intolerance and tell you how it can be handled.

The first myth that needs to be dispelled is that people who are intolerant to certain foods are allergic to those foods. Food allergies are not the same as having an intolerance to certain foods. The symptoms may be very similar, which is why food intolerance is so difficult to pin point, but the causes are quite different.

With a food allergy, your body is actually allergic to the food in question and the reaction is that of your immune system itself fighting back, very similar to if you were allergic to pollen. The sneezing is your body fighting back against the pollen in the air. With a food intolerance, the immune system does not come into play. Your body does not believe that it is being invaded by a foreign body. However, your organs, usually your stomach and intestine which is where food is digested and eliminated, will react to certain ingredients in the food in question simply because it is intolerant to that particular food.

Food intolerance usually occurs because your body stops producing certain chemicals or enzymes that aid in the digestion of that particular food. This happens to quite a number of us as we get older. This is why so many people are lactose intolerant, as the enzyme created to properly digest lactose actually decreases in production as of the age of 2. It isn’t until we are much older, however, that we start to develop symptoms, which are sometimes quite severe.

The only way to tell if you are allergic or intolerant to certain foods is to take a food allergy test. This can be given by a regular allergist. If the test comes up negative on the foods tested, and they test quite a number of different foods, then what you are suffering from is an intolerance and not an allergy.

If it is determined that you are intolerant, how do you find what foods you are intolerant of? This, unfortunately, is the hard part. The only way to do this, since there are no clinical tests, is to systematically eliminate foods from your diet and see what the effects are. Personally, I found that I was intolerant to anything with high fructose corn syrup. This was easy for me to spot. I started drinking a fruit punch that I had never drank before. I got terrible indigestion from it. I stopped drinking it and the indigestion stopped. I then looked at the ingredients, where I discovered the only thing I didn’t normally have in any of my other foods. Since that time, simply eliminating foods with high fructose corn syrup, I have not had any indigestion.

Is it easy to find what foods you are intolerant of? No, it’s not. It’s especially hard if you eat a lot of different foods. However, most reactions occur after about 30 minutes to an hour after eating. So if you eat breakfast and you’re fine but then an hour after lunch you’re not feeling so well, it is most likely something you ate at lunch that is the culprit. Simply eat the same lunch the next day, except eliminate one of the items. Eventually you will find what is bothering you. The most common forms of intolerance are lactose and wheat. This should give you something to work with.

Tips for Quick and Easy Iced Coffee

Coffee is a fantastic drink at any time of day, during any season of the year. That being said, a steaming hot cup of java isn’t always welcome once summer rolls around. Don’t let the summer heat deprive you of your favorite beverage when you can switch to iced coffee!

During the warmest months of the year, iced coffee makes for a refreshing change of pace. While most cafes and coffee shops serve these cold concoctions, you may be wondering how to get iced coffee at home. Here are my tips for serving up delicious iced coffee without having to break a sweat:

o Get ice.

This may seem obvious, but you need ice to help you make iced coffee. If you don’t plan ahead by freezing some cubes, you won’t be able to make iced coffee when you want it. While plain old frozen water will do, I prefer freezing several of my favorite Keurig coffee brews in an ice cube tray. When combined with your freshly brewed coffee, these coffee cubes won’t water the drink down.

o Brew coffee.

Next, brew your favorite coffee variety. While you’re welcome to use a regular drip brewer or instant coffee, I prefer my Keurig single cup coffee maker. To make a cup of coffee in less than a minute, all I have to do is pop one of the K Cup portion packs into the machine and press a button. This allows me to brew multiple cups and different flavors very quickly – which means I can pour the fresh coffee over the coffee cubes and start drinking iced coffee that much sooner!

o Mix things up.

Once you’ve poured your freshly brewed coffee over your frozen coffee cubes, you can either drink it straight or add a splash of your favorite liquor. I recommend the flavors of coconut rum, Irish cream, butterscotch schnapps or crème de menthe. If you’re in the mood for extra flavor but don’t want alcohol, try adding a few drops of vanilla or adding some Italian-style flavored syrups.

o Try something different.

If you’d like a more slushy drink, skip the hot coffee. Simply throw a cup of the frozen coffee cubes into a blender and give it a few pulses. Don’t over do it with the blender or you’ll end up with soup. Pour the crushed coffee cubes into a mug and serve with a straw or spoon.

Another fun idea is to create a coffee dessert by freezing your favorite brew in an ice pop mold. If you don’t have an ice pop mold, freeze plastic spoons into the coffee cubes you make in an ice cube tray. Once your coffee pops are frozen solid, remove them from the tray and enjoy. Be careful not to consume your chilled treats too quickly – it might be the first time you get brain freeze from your coffee!

History of Coffee: Part IV – Commercialisation of Coffee

For many connoisseurs, the period from the mid-19th Century to the late 20th Century is the ‘Dark Age’ of coffee. During this era, coffee lost its Middle-Eastern mystical charm and became commercialised and, quite frankly, ordinary.

When coffee was first introduced into Britain during the 17th Century, it was a drink enjoyed by every social class. While the rich would enjoy coffee almost ceremonially in their social clubs, the poor saw coffee as an essential nutrient, a hot drink to replace a hot meal, or hunger suppressant. It was only a matter of time, with the advancement of technology, that large companies would form to take advantage of the coffee commodity.

Traditionally coffee was roasted in the home or in the coffeehouse. A practice imported from the Middle-East was to simply stir-fry green beans in an iron pan over a fire till brown. Some coffeehouses used a more sophisticated method of a cylindrical unit hung above a fire with a handle to rotate the beans inside. Both these methods were only capable of roasting small batches of coffee, a couple of kilos or several pounds at most, which ensured that the coffee was always fresh.

However, with the onset of the industrial revolution and mechanisation, coffee roasting technology soon improved. Commercial coffee roasters were being invented which were capable of roasting much larger batches of coffee. It was now possible for the few to meet the coffee needs of the masses.

It was in the United States where coffee initially started to be commercialised. In 1865, John Arbuckle marketed the first commercially available packages of ground, roasted coffee. His brand, ‘Ariosa’, was sold over a far larger area then any other coffee roaster. Instead of being confined to a small area close to his roasting factory, Arbuckle was able to establish his coffee as a regional brand. Others soon followed suit and, by World War I, there were a number of regional roasters including companies such as Folgers, Hill Brothers, and Maxwell House. These companies offered customers consistent quality and convenient packaging for use in the home, but at a price: freshness. It could be several weeks, or even months, before the end product would reach the customer.

One approach to prolonging the freshness of roasted coffee was to glaze it with a glutinous or gelatinous matter. After the coffee beans had been roasted, a glaze would be poured over them, which would form a hard, protective barrier around the bean. Once such glaze patented by John Arbuckle in 1868, consisted of using: a quart of water, one ounce of Irish moss, half an ounce of isinglass, half an ounce of gelatine, one ounce of white sugar, and twenty-four eggs, per hundred pounds of coffee. Arbuckle experimented with many different glazes over the years, eventually settling on a sugar based glaze. In fact, Arbuckle became such a prolific user of sugar that he entered into the sugar business rather then give a profit to others for the huge quantities he required.

So why were customers willing to buy this coffee? Once ground, coffee quickly loses its flavour and therefore should be consumed as soon as possible (at the very latest within 48 hours). But this was the age of the brand, where consistency ruled king over quality. Local roasters would often produce excellent coffee, but they could also produce foul coffee, occasionally containing a number of adulterations. Customers wanted to trust what they were buying. They wanted their coffee to taste exactly the same, time and time again.

The first coffee brand to come to Britain was Kenco. In 1923, a co-operative of Kenyan Coffee farmers set up a coffee shop in Sloan Square (London), called the Kenyan Coffee Company, to distribute high quality coffee beans around Britain. Their shop proved very popular and their brand of coffee (renamed Kenco in 1962) soon spread throughout the UK.

Worse was to come to the brew known as coffee. As regional roasters grew into national roasters and then into international roasters, their pursuit of profit intensified. Traditionally coffee came from the ‘arabica’ variety of coffee bush. But in the 1850s, the French and Portuguese began to cultivate a different variety of coffee bush, known as ‘robusta’, on the west coast of Africa between Gabon and Angola. Robusta beans were (and still are) cheaper then arabica beans as they are easier to grow and have an inferior flavour. Coffee roasters looking to minimise their production costs started blending robusta beans with arabica beans in increasing quantities. They also used shorter roast times, to reduce weight loss stopping the coffee from fully developing its complex flavour.

However the lowest point for coffee comes with the introduction of instant coffee – a drink bearing little resemblance in taste to actual coffee. Although the first commercially produced instant coffee, called ‘Red E Coffee’, invented by George Constant Washington, an English chemist living in Guatemala, was marketed in 1909, it is Nestlé who are generally attributed with the invention of instant coffee. In 1930, Nestlé were approached by the Instituto do Café (Brazilian Coffee Institute) to help find a solution to their coffee surpluses. They believed that a new coffee product that was soluble in hot water, yet retained its flavour, would help stimulate World coffee sales. After seven years of research and frequent tasting, scientist Max Mortgenthaler finally achieved the desired results and, on 1st April 1938, Nescafé was launched, first in Switzerland and then later in Britain.

Some claim that it was the introduction of commercial television in 1956 that acted as a catalyst to the success of instant coffee in Britain. The commercial breaks were too short a time in which to brew a cup of tea, but time enough for an instant coffee. There is probably some truth to this claim as, by the 1960s, the majority of the tea industry started producing tea bags, an invention by Thomas Sullivan over half a century earlier (1904). Tea bags were seen as more convenient, simpler and quicker to use then traditional loose leaf tea and so could compete against instant coffee.

The coffee industry soon realised the association between commercial breaks and coffee drinking and started investing heavily in television advertising. Probably the most famous series of coffee advertisements were made for Nescafé Gold Blend. First aired in 1987, these advertisements focused on the sexual chemistry between a couple, played by Anthony Head and Sharon Maughan, acted out in a mini soap opera. The advertisements gripped the whole nation, featuring as frequently as Eastenders or Coronation Street as topics of conversation. This original series of advertisements ran for ten years, increasing sales of Gold Blend by 40% in the first five years (there were two further, less successful, sets of advertisements with different actors). Such was the profile of these advertisements, that they even featured as a news article on the ‘News at Ten’.

With the coffee industry focused on price rather then quality, it was little wonder that coffee sales became stagnant. Coffee drinking was now more about a caffeine fix rather then about savouring the taste, to be drunk in a break from work, rather then to be enjoyed over conversation or while reading the newspaper. Unsurprisingly the younger generations born in the 70s and 80s turned their back on bitter coffee, preferring sugary soft drinks such as Coca Cola and Pepsi for their caffeine kicks.

Organic Fair Trade Coffee Is Good for the Planet

Coffee! The eye opening elixir. Coffee! Black, drinkable, the energizing drink that livens our lives. Coffee! A long history from an exotic unknown berry to a massive commodity production, back to exotic again. And what a past this bitter black beverage has had. The dancing goats, to high volume commodity sales, to the near extinction of the finest of quality coffee beans, the art of growing and handling coffee berries has never died. It has only been altered though out time.

Coffee! The eye opening elixir. Coffee! Black, drinkable, the energizing drink that livens our lives. Coffee! A long history from an exotic unknown berry to a massive commodity production, back to exotic again. One must hand it to that little coffee shop from Seattle that now encompasses the globe. They sure did take the world by storm. In one fell swoop that little coffee company took a commodity beverage and cast it back into the exotic drinkable realm where it was born from as well as distorting the beauty of specialty gourmet coffee for future generations. What is now perceived as a quality coffee bean has traveled back to the art of commodity coffee. The competition on the street corner for a drinkable cup of coffee has become fierce. Each brewer says that their brew is the “perfect cup of coffee”. However they all grab from the same commodity level stocks. Of course without these commodity grown stocks coffee would be in greatly diminished supplies. Yes, coffee is in diminished supply. That is the supply of good quality coffee beans had almost vanished over the last couple of decades as corner boutiques converted to the ravishing corner coffee shop.

There is a change! Finally there is a change in the air. The very small boutique coffee shop and coffee roaster is finally allowed the glory of finding high quality coffee beans once again. Small farm and niche green coffee beans are now becoming available to the fair trade coffee market. Quality organic coffee is being selectively grown just for the small independent coffee roasting operations.

Finally we have coffee drinkers who care more and more about the people of the Earth and the planet that we live on. We now have coffee drinkers who care about the survival of coffee farmers and the lands on which the coffee bean is grown. There are specialty coffee drinkers who cherish the survival and health of our mother earth.

Sustainable Organic Fair Trade Coffee is finally becoming a household request. Fair trade is good for the people. Organic coffee is healthier for you as well as giving health back to our planet.

Fair trade coffee provides a fair platform for the whole supply chain of this wonderful drink. Fair trade coffee beans mean fair prices for those who drink it. It may not be the cheapest coffee to buy however for the quality and sustainability the prices are equitable. It also provides better wages and living conditions for those who grow and produce the sought after bean. Fair trade is an agreement between farmers, workers, shippers, and consumers to care about each other and everyone involved. After all that is what community and health is all about.

Foresight by coffee growers proved beneficial. The few that saw a future for renewed exotic demand set course with new direction. Armed with a brighter knowledge these coffee plantations moved away from the distorted massive commodity market left to flounder by that little coffee shop from Seattle. These foresight seers set their sights on a smaller specialty marketplace. This knowledge was that there would be a need for finely grown and carefully cared for coffee beans. They knew that the land was important, that their community was important, and the survival of quality coffee was important. There would be a need for carefully grown, hand selected, artistically roasted, and rushed to the discerning consumers waiting coffee grinder and brewing system coffee. Out of the fair trade coffee supply grew the expertise to market the perfect cup of coffee. Quality fair trade organic coffee beans are available. Still a consumer can find the organic coffee they seek for their cup of coffee at the corner commodity brewer. Astute coffee drinkers find it a poor substitute for the real experience of fine coffee.

Those coffee drinkers with the discerning desire for the perfect bitter tinged elixir must still seek the out of the way roasters to fulfill their needs. They must discover the hidden gems in the coffee roasting world. And, yes, there are those little gems and merchants, imports, roasters, and sellers. And yes there are many who like yourself desire their cup of coffee to stand out as the pure enjoyment of a cup of coffee should be. After all tingling taste buds and allowing your senses to dance around the flavors of coffee is what life is all about. Allowing your mouth to wrap around the delicate chocolate or nutty earth flavors of the coffee bean and the smoky power of a fine roast is what we seek as a coffee drinker.

If, and when, you find that little quality niche coffee shop hold onto it tight allowing it to grow and become sustainable. Seek out the online coffee merchant that has done the leg work of finding the best roasters and fastest service. Get that cup of coffee. Get your organic blend. Get the roast you desire. Get the fair trade coffee beans you deserve. Don’t let go.

Yes, people drink coffee to stimulate their minds for the long stress filled hour of the day. Stimulating the senses is more important as well. Awakening the olfactory system with quality flavor from specialty hand selected coffee puts the shear aspect of the lowly commodity coffee production into a totally insignificant perspective. Hum drum becomes the everyday ordinary cup of coffee sold at all of the corner coffee shops. Taste bud boredom is a crime of depriving the human senses of ecstasy that we all crave and deserve. Alive taste buds cause the human being to be alive, excited, and adventurous in our every day activities. Start your day with an eye opening sense grabbing cup of coffee and know that your day will be brighter more enjoyable and full of experience. And further know that when you purchase great organic fair trade coffee that you are caring for the planet that gives us our daily life.

Health Food Stores Battle Food Allergies

At health food stores, customers are complaining about food allergies more often now with statements like, “I can’t eat this”, or “I can’t eat that.” Why do so many people, especially those who frequent health food stores, believe they have food allergies? It’s funny, I’ve never heard anyone say, “I’m allergic to coffee, cookies, cakes, popcorn, pizza or candy”, and yet these are things that people ingest regularly without a second thought. So, what’s up with all these health food store shoppers who have food allergies?

Food allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to a protein molecule in the offending food. This can happen even with those who stick to food from health food stores. The body is unable to break down that particular protein molecule, so it reacts by trying to “get rid of it”. It produces a chemical called ‘histamine’ and symptoms appear in the form of rashes, hives, itching, wheezing, breathing problems, and lots of mucus being expelled through the mouth, nose, ears, lungs, or sexual organs. More serious reactions from food allergies are: vomiting, diarrhea, loss of consciousness, drop in blood pressure, or even death.

Intolerance to certain foods is different than true food allergies, and this is a more common complaint at health food stores. With food intolerances like lactose intolerance, where a person has difficulty breaking down the sugar in the milk, the symptoms are much milder. One may have some bloating, excess gas, cramping or diarrhea. While food intolerance is unpleasant, it is not life threatening like food allergies can be in some severe cases. The usual distresses are intolerances to wheat, soy, dairy and anything at health food stores that the shopper feels is too expensive.

The question that customers at health food stores ought to ask is not, “What food am I allergic to?” But rather, “Why is my immune system reacting to what should be health food?”

When determining specific food allergies and intolerances, some factors to consider are:
1. What is the trigger food?
2. When am I eating the trigger food?
3. Am I improperly combining fruits and vegetables or grains or meat and dairy?

The list can be quite exhaustive to hunt down the offending trigger food and how it is being consumed. In fact, most food allergy experts will tell you to keep a diary of everything you eat, and when you find the trigger food to just avoid eating it. Well, that sounds simple, but if you react to many things, including those that should be health food, it’s not so simple? Of course, you can eliminate the most common triggers to food allergies like: corn, wheat, eggs, dairy, and peanuts, but if that doesn’t work, then what? The truth is, your immune system can overreact to many substances. The best way to address food allergies is to strengthen your immune system and get in balance with all the systems of the body. Shop health food stores for specific foods to feed your 5 main systems equally: immune, endocrine, digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems. This may be difficult at typical health food stores, but searching online will produce results.

When you feed all your body parts with healthy, whole food nutrients, and eliminate the fake, processed foods in your life, your 5 systems can come into a perfectly natural balance. Then you can eat what you know you should be eating. It is better to strengthen the body’s systems with properly combined health food and ward off illness and disease the natural way. When you consume the right nutrients, the body operates at optimum levels for a more relaxed, healthy life. You have access to so much good nutrition at health food stores and plenty of options for avoiding food allergies or intolerances that it’s a shame to limit your choices unnecessarily.

Low-fat milk is also good for making bread

Bread is a variation of the cake that was not too difficult to make, and the ingredients were easily obtainable. Herman Ahmad, Baker PT ASA Food (manufacturer of bakery Pane del Giorno) reveals the main ingredient of bread making are only four types, namely wheat flour, water, salt, and yeast (yeast).

“This is the main ingredient. Yet in its development, there are other additives that are used to make it more tender and delicious. Example eggs, butter, and others-others,” said Herman, currently cooking demonstrations in Sentul, Bogor.

Other additives are also used to make bread to be more savory, tender, and delicious is milk. Basically milk with any formula, both liquid and powdered milk, can be used. But really notice when making dose milk. In addition, the milk of any kind either skim milk or full cream milk can also be used as you see fit.

Perhaps you think that milk is full cream milk the most appropriate to make bread, because it is more savory. The savory flavor of creamy milk is due to the high fat content in it. Then if skim milk is not good to make bread?

“It is often mistaken. Was true fat milk will make it more enjoyable. However use any kind of milk will have no effect because both are equally milk contains fat,” he added.

Skim milk that is lower in fat than full cream milk. However, this does not mean that skim milk does not make the bread so much more enjoyable.

“Do not forget that you also add the butter or margarine into the dough. Dough is formed between skim milk and butter will be the fat that makes it more delicious. So might as well use the full cream milk,” he said.

Besides as good with full cream milk, skim milk adding the batter can also make your own bread is healthier and safer for you who are on a diet.

Banana toffee cream tartlets

Banana toffee cream tartletsPreparation time:
20 mins plus 20 mins cooling
Cooking time:
2 hours

Ingredients

395g can sweetened condensed milk, unopened
3 bananas (1 very ripe,
2 ripe and firm)
8 small shortcut pastry cases (7-8cm in diameter)
120g 70% cocoa dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
300ml thickened cream
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 whole nutmeg
Juice of ½ lemon
Extra brown sugar, to serve

Method

1. Put unopened can of milk in a medium saucepan. Fill pan with water, cover and boil for 2 hours. Top up with water, if needed, to keep can submerged. Remove can from water and set aside for at least 20 minutes to cool (to prevent caramelised milk bursting out when can is opened).

2. Spoon caramelised milk into a blender. Add very ripe banana and process briefly to combine.

3. Put pastry cases on an oven tray and pour caramel mixture into cases. Set aside at room temperature or put in fridge to cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, put chocolate in a food processor or spice grinder and pulse until finely chop. Transfer to a small bowl and toss through cocoa powder.

5. Put cream in a large bowl and whip until thick. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and 6 grates of nutmeg, then fold through to create a swirling pattern.

6. Finely slice remaining bananas on an angle and squeeze over lemon juice to prevent browning.

7. Top each tartlet with banana slices and a dollop of cream. Sprinkle over extra brown sugar and chocolate mixture to serve.

Gourmet Foods and the Use of Alba White Truffles

Whenever you think about culinary arts and skills, think gourmet foods and white truffles. Gourmet foods come with high quality and taste. These dishes are very common in the United Kingdom, despite being originally from Alba, Italy. They are as well among the most highly upheld and traditional foods of exotic cooking that have been passed down from one generation to another by the Roman culture.Read more

Books on Candle Making

Making your own candles is a favorite craft and hobby many individuals. They find the process to be enjoyable and relaxing. Candle makers have been know to turn to their hobby in times of stress. For some candle makers, once they learn the basics they are ready for new challenges. Purchasing books on candle making can provide you with everything from basic instructions, tips, and creative ideas to make beautiful candles. Most candle making books offer wonderful illustrations as well as step by step instructions.Read more