Sweet thoughts about edible “packaging”
To channel obsessive thoughts about chocolate and it’s potential deliciousness, I’ve been researching new developments…
It strikes me that this is one confection that most of us– foodie or not – can agree is scrumptious. But chocolate is chocolate and doesn’t really lend itself to clever innovation. Or so I thought, until I discovered the recently launched chocolate teapot that’s thick enough to hold hot cocoa.
This logic-defying teapot is handmade from 58% dark chocolate by Schokolat and launched by a website called Firebox (www.firebox.com). Apparently, you simply fill it with hot water and cocoa powder to make a scrummy drink and then pour it into a cup. When you’ve had your fill, add more hot water to melt the teapot into a chocolate fondue and dip banana, strawberries or marshmallows into the chocolatiness.
Inspired by this, I carried on my research and discovered London’s first dessert restaurant has just opened its doors. The menu at The Cafe at Cafe Royal (www.hotelcaferoyal.com) gets straight to the point, offering sweet treats such as Rhubarb Crumble, Jaffa Cake, or Snickers Chocolate Malt Shake with a wine pairing (even better).
Executive pastry chef Sarah Barber reckons that although desserts have “got huge” in the past five years, there is still a gap in the market in London: “Here, cake is at the forefront — and all of the dishes are light so you can eat more of them,” she said.
She’s right about the consumer’s sweet tooth. In Blighty alone, 91% of females and 87% of males eat chocolate. But various studies show its popularity is growing in previously indifferent countries such as China and India, too.
But to end on a healthy note, my chocolate trail led me to a more vitamin-packed venture. In January, a Colombian couple, Diego Leon and Jenny Lopez, have opened a restaurant called Fruit GI in the US town of Grand Island in Nebraska (Facebook: Fruit GI).
As you’ve just guessed, all you will find here is a menu of exotic fruit dishes. But don’t fret, it’s not as healthy as it sounds. Fruit GI offers 13 combinations of Colombian fruit salad and some of them sound very naughty indeed. Check out Merengón, a meringue dessert filled with whipped cream and guanabana, which is a prickly skinned Latin American fruit.
Sweet dreams …
Rosalind Mullen is a freelance journalist specialising in the hospitality sector. One of her great passions, however, is independent travel.