why are we offering Christmas present

If the popular tradition is that gifts are given on December 25 that has not always been the case. Christmas was not always synonymous with wrapped packages, from the gifts the Romans offered themselves, as we know them today, through the orange or the lump of coal.
Every year, young and old stop in front of the showcases of the big brands to admire automatons and carefully staged scenery. But this has not always been the case, and the tradition of giving gifts is actually quite recent.
It was at the end of the nineteenth century that the «Christmas gift» entered into customs. Encouraged by Haussmann’s work and the arrival of department stores, he became increasingly popular among aristocratic and bourgeois families. The practice is that on Nativity Day presents are offered only to children, as the Historia magazine recalls, and that adults exchange gifts on New Year’s Eve instead. The practice of buying Christmas presents dates back to ancient times, when the Romans celebrated the winter solstice and the arrival of a new year. One offers oneself Strenae (in Latin) wishing oneself a prosperous, happy and healthy year under the good guard of a goddess of health Strenia
An orange for wise and deserving children
The arrival of department stores and “the rise of the triumphant bourgeoisie have made Christmas one of the family’s great annual gatherings, gradually disguising the religious feast as a profane celebration,” explains Point Martyne Perrot, author of the Christmas present. Story of an invention (1). The child becomes heir to the family lineage and Christmas is the occasion to celebrate it.are offered to boys and girls. Lead soldiers or a mechanical train for one, sewing kits or a fake stove for the other. To these objects is added the notion of gift paper born also at the end of the 19th century – and with it, surprise and impatience at the sight of colored paper.
For children from more popular backgrounds, however, the gifts are more modest: cookies, gingerbread or small crafts toys. The wise and deserving children are fortunate to receive an orange, an extremely rare and expensive fruit at the time. The less wise receive a lump of coal.

Stories to wait for
Before Santa Claus took the role with flying colors, the families celebrated, according to the region and religion, Santa Claus (among the Protestants), Father Janvier, loaded with gifts in his winemaker’s hood, or the fairy Arie, deprived of baguette, according to Historia. All are supposed to come overnight to drop off the gifts to the children and are figures of benevolence and generosity.
Santa Claus, in his reindeer-drawn sleigh, was first sketched by an American pastor, Clement Clarke Moore, in 1823. The bishop’s mitre worn by Saint Nicholas is replaced by a cap and its handle trocked against a stick of barley sugar. His red costume was designed by illustrator Thomas Nast in 1860.
However, it is only at the beginning of the 20th century that Santa Claus will be a global success, to the great displeasure of the Catholic Church. Faced with the frequent confusion between the birth of Jesus and Santa Claus, an official warning was issued in 1952 by several bishops. A replica of the one the Americans call Santa Claus is even burned on the square of the church of Dijon. Since then, we know thatChristmas of Gifts has largely triumphed.

the best chocolate cake recipe

I did try many recipe before finally find this one. It’s originally a Devil’s cake. A Devil’s Food Cake is an American classic. With its almost black color, it is probably the most ‘chocolately’ of the chocolate cakes. To go with that rich chocolate flavor is a cake with a wonderfully soft crumb that is dense and moist. For a double dose of chocolate we fill and frost this cake with a fudgy chocolate ganache.
While no one knows for sure how it got its name “Devil’s” Food Cake, one opinion is that it’s because it is the polar opposite of the light and airy white Angel Food Cake. Others say it’s just just too sinful to eat. We do know that recipes for this cake started to appear around 1900.

This cake is moist and has the perfect crumb. I cannot imagine making a chocolate cake using any other recipe. It is so easy to make and puts doctored cake mix recipes to shame. I’m eating a piece of the cake as I’m writing this, drooling all over my keyboard. It is insanely delicious. A decades search was worth the wait. Every…decadent…bite. Who wants cake?
Ingredients :
Devil chocolate cake

butter 340 gr
Coffee or assam tea 340 gr
Cocoa powder 85 gr
Dark chocolate 170 gr
Brown sugar 455 gr
Vanilla
salt 4 gr
eggs 6 pcs
Egg yolk 45 gr
Cake flour 255 gr
Baking soda 13 gr

Melt butter add it to the coffee. Mixt in the sieved cocoa powder and chocolate finely chopped. Add brown sugar, salt, vanilla, the baking soda with flour.
Bake at 180C for about 20 minutes.

Let rest aside
Prepare the ganache chocolate
ganache chocolate
ingredient
dark chocolate70 % 140 gr
milk chocolate 40% 47gr
milk 112 gr
honey 22 gr
butter 10 gr

Method
Heat up the milk at cover at 50C
Pour the milk over the chocolate already melted , mixt with a Wisk till it s cool down
Slice your cake in 3, fill it up with the chocolate ganache, enjoy !

one of the best cake shop in Singapore

We get awarded to be one of the best cake shop in Singapore by timeout magazine.

This is what’s timeout posted about us.

This award-winning French pâtisserie carries a spread of sweets for your picking, but it’s best known for its rich, sinful cakes. Its black forest ($53/whole) is bursting with cherries and Kirsch – the fruit brandy that gives the cake its signature alcoholic kick, while its best-selling chocolate truffle ($53/whole) is a multi-layered confection of moist chocolate sponge infused with raspberry and dark chocolate mousse. To get a taste of its sweet treats, head down to its boutique for a selection of tarts, coffee, cakes and its made-to-order soufflés.

 

a big thank you to timeout for this article, it s always great to be noticed, making the best everyday is hard work, so when someone put you on list it s feels great.

We have new cakes coming out this month, stay tuned for more !

black forest birthday

what is bean to bar chocolate ?

What exactly is bean-to-bar chocolate? is it better than chocolate ?

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Bean-to-bar is a term used to inform the consumer but its use is currently not regulated at all. As I understand it, a bean-to-bar manufacturer oversees the chocolate production chain, from sourcing the beans to making the actual bars. Some may argue that a bean-to-bar chocolate-maker has to produce chocolate in small batches but there is no reason, in my mind, why the term should be associated with a specific production scale. At that point large corporation can call their chocolate bean to bar, it is not a quality label.
A bean-to-bar chocolate-maker will therefore be responsible for sourcing the beans before processing them through each of the following steps:
• Sorting
• Roasting
• Cracking
• Winnowing
• Grinding
• Conching
• Tempering
• Molding
Yet it is possible to buy beans which have already been roasted, cracked, and winnowing. At that point you just have to grind and you can call it bean to bar, avoiding the conching to save time and money.
The whole process takes days.
The next question would be: how do you recognize a bean-to-bar chocolate? My answer: all chocolate comes from a bean ! It is completely impossible to recognize .

 
all chocolate are made from cacao beans, but, it is not always made by the company whose name appears on the bar. I like to say that chocolate-makers express their personality by making chocolate and chocolatiers by making chocolate confections.
Now comes the trickier part. Some makers actually make chocolate from a product called “cocoa mass” or “cocoa liquor”, which is what you call cocoa after it has been ground and melted.

in conclusion the bean to bar chocolate is more a marketing trick than anything else, a bad cacao bean, poorly stored will make a poor chocolate, if the beans has been roasted , grinded poorly it will also affect the taste. a bean to bar chocolate can be extremely bad.

there is now the” tree to bar chocolate”…. for the one growing himself the tree, sometimes all that sound absolutely ridiculous.imgp5767

 

How to celebrate mother’s day

Mother’s Day is one of those celebrations we should take time out of our busy lives to recognize. After all, we all have (or had) a mother and without her, we would not be here today, she deserves all your love, respect, and attention. Depending upon what your mom likes, there are several fun ways to celebrate Mother’s day with her .
Breakfast in Bed

It may  not be the best idea, hopefully you won’t mess up the kitchen .Start her day by offering breakfast in bed. Make her favorite food such as pancakes, scrambled eggs or bacon and serve with a cup of coffee. Important: Leave a sweet note in the food tray to tell your mom that you love her most, add a flower or 2.
Pamper Her
Let her rest and relax, it would be great for your mom. Book a spa session for her in the nearby salon. Offering a relaxing massage, refreshing facial, pedicure, and manicure is best to pamper your mom on Mother’s Day. It would definitely help her avail some much-needed me-time and make her skin glow like sunshine.
Give Your Mom a break
On Mother’s Day, give your mum some free time. Encourage her to sit back and relax or go out with her friends and have some fun that she always wanted to do but couldn’t do somehow due to busy schedule.
Give Her Flowers and chocolates
After all mother’s day was created by flower shop. Flowers are always brighten up people’s mood and make them happy. A handmade bouquet, made by you, would be absolutely perfect to wish your mom on Mother’s Day and show how much you love her from the core of your heart.

Throw a Party
Throw a surprise Mother’s Day party at home with the help of your dad and siblings. Make your mom’s favorite snack and cocktails. She would be quite thrilled as she wasn’t expecting anything like that. Your love and care combined with a chocolate box will make it the most special and memorable day of her life.
Spend a Day Together

Spending quality time together is really important, take her to her favorite café or restaurant, or just go for a simple relaxing walk, spend time outdoor if possible, a picnic, bike ride can be lots of fun, or go through old family pictures, or just play some fun games at home. Have a great time together.

Simple Celebration
Making a Mother’s Day celebration memorable and unique doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. It could be as simple as heading to your favorite local ice cream and cake shop and sharing quality time together.

Surprise Her with a Lovely Gift
Everyone loves to receive gifts. A mere drawing from a little one can be enough, if your saving is gone. If you know your mom’s choice, then it will be really easy to buy a gift that she would love. Ranging from cakes, jewelry, accessories, apparels, handbags and so on. There are plenty of gift ideas that you can offer her on Mother’s Day as a token of love, yet the best is the one you will make for her.

best coffee award !

We are very thankful for this best coffee award presented to Laurent s café  by wine and dine magazine.it recompense years of hard work, we all very  proud to receive this award.

the line bellow are extracted from wine and dine magazine.

The coffee scene in Singapore has come a long way from the smattering of cafes serving just a traditional cup of joy.
Increasingly well-travelled consumers are a lot more discerning about their coffee, and cafes have stepped right up to the challenge, offering specialty brews that are prepared with patience, dedication and a whole lot of craftsmanship. Some cafes even offer curated coffee flight experiences, where in-house baristas guide drinkers through tutored tastings, sharing details from harvesting and roasting processes to terroir and flavor profiles.
Thanks to these café owners and industry professionals, who are investing a lot of their time and resources into creating a higher quality experience at their coffee joints, we now have a vibrant and sophisticated café scene that we can all be proud of.
In this inaugural issue of SG Top Cafes featuring more than 100 cafes, we celebrate and thank these heroes for their hard work, commitment and, above all, their passion.
The sheer number of cafes made reviewing them a gargantuan task. Thankfully, we had a trusted board of panelists who scoured the island conducting incognito tastings.
We hope you’ll pick up a copy of the guide available at major bookstores now, and enjoy browsing through our list of the most noteworthy cafes in Singapore.
Before we go, here’s a shout-out to all the cafes who picked up one of our Special Awards (list below), and a big cheers to great coffee and even better conversations in the days and months to come!

why Easter eggs are made of chocolate ?

The first chocolate eggs appeared in France and Germany in the 19th Century, but they were bitter and hard.
As chocolate-making techniques improved, hollow eggs like the ones we have today were developed.
They very quickly became popular and remain a favorite tradition with chocolate-lovers today.

easter 2007 013 resiz
The chocolate Easter egg
The chocolate Easter egg has developed from the simple type wrapped in paper to the beribboned variety wrapped in brightest foil and packed in a box or basket.
The first chocolate Easter eggs were made in Europe in the early 19th Century with France and Germany taking the lead in this new artistic confectionery. A type of eating chocolate had been invented a few years earlier but it could not be successfully moulded. Some early eggs were solid while the production of the first hollow chocolate eggs must have been rather painstaking as the moulds were lined with paste chocolate one at a time!
John Cadbury made his first ‘French eating Chocolate’ in 1842 but it was not until 1875 that the first Cadbury Easter Eggs were made. This may have been because he was not sufficiently impressed with continental eggs to wish to compete with them or because he was too busy with other aspects of his growing business. In fact, progress in the chocolate Easter egg market was very slow until a method was found of making the chocolate flow into the moulds.
The modern chocolate Easter egg with its smoothness, shape and flavour owes its progression to the two greatest developments in the history of chocolate – the invention of a press for separating cocoa butter from the cocoa bean by the Dutch inventor Van Houten in 1828 and the introduction of a pure cocoa by Cadbury Brothers in 1866. The Cadbury process made large quantities of cocoa butter available and this was the secret of making moulded chocolate or indeed, any fine eating chocolate.
The earliest Cadbury chocolate eggs were made of ‘dark’ chocolate with a plain smooth surface and were filled with dragees. The earliest ‘decorated eggs’ were plain shells enhanced by chocolate piping and marzipan flowers.
Decorative skill and variety soon followed and by 1893 there were no less than 19 different lines on the Cadbury Brothers Easter list in the UK. Richard Cadbury’s artistic skill undoubtedly played an important part in the development of the Easter range. Many of his designs were based on French, Dutch and German originals adapted to Victorian tastes. From Germany came the ‘crocodile’ finish which by breaking up the smooth surface, disguised minor imperfections; still used today by some manufacturers, this was the forerunner to the many distinctive finishes now available.

easter 2007 004