The Cottage Smallholder

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Chocolate treats

Photo: Chilli chocolate

Photo: Chilli chocolate

When I was very small my mum used to give us a sweetie bar on a Sunday morning. It was a well defined bribe. If we kept very quiet and let her have a lie-in we were investing in the reward of a treat for next week.

We’d wake to a bar laid on our pillows. We savoured the sweets and always tried to keep silent. Even the wrappers were opened with care. Nowadays there’s nothing like luxuriating in bed on a Sunday morning with the Sunday paper and nibbling chocolate very slowly to make it last.

I once went to stay the night with the Italian girl who looked after me when my mum was out at work. The idea seemed exciting and so grown up. But not having even started school I had no idea what to expect. We travelled to her flat on the bus. It was a long journey. Her large extended family welcomed us warmly. Of course they ate far later than I was used too and eventually I longed to go to bed.
“You must wait until my brother comes home. He’ll love you.”
“Can’t I meet him in the morning?”
“No he’ll be out at work early.”
Looking back they must have been working so hard.

In the end I totally lost it and demanded to be taken home (I was only about four after all). I can still remember the silence of the drive home. Cringing in the back of the car, knowing that I had made an unpopular move. I think it was the unfortunate brother who was at the wheel.

My mum opened the front door in her dressing gown. As she tucked me up in bed she murmured that she hadn’t got any sweets for me in the morning. I didn’t care. I was home. But I do remember glancing over to my sister’s pillow. There, in all its glory, was a bar of Turkish Delight.

Years later, when Danny was working away for a week at a time, I used to put a bar of chocolate on the mantelpiece for his return. Once he made a blunder and brushed past me to dive for the mantelpiece. He never made that mistake again!

Mike introduced me to chilli chocolate when I was working down in Saffron Walden last year. He had tiny individual bars in a bowl in his kitchen.
“It’s wonderful. Why not try one.”
I wasn’t at all sure what to expect. Having been brought up in San Diego, Mike loves very spicy food. How much chilli was actually in this chocolate?

I discovered that the combination of dark chocolate and a waft of chilli is the perfect combination. The elements transmogrify into something amazing.

My mum now buys us expensive chocolate treats regularly when I take her shopping. Danny is given milk chocolate which is guzzled fairly fast. I am given chilli chocolate. It’s secreted into Jalopy’s glove compartment and a square is savoured each afternoon. A perfect indulgence.

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  1. jubilant cerise

    Cocoa Camino ( makes a really wonderful chili chocolate. All their chocolates are delicious, I quite love the mint and bittersweet ones. Highly addictive and recommended! 😉

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