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

trip to cocoa plantation in vietnam

I recently went to visit a cacao -plantation un sud Vietnam, we first traveled to HCM ex Saigon to go further south to Mekong delta, in Ben Tre area. This plantation is organise as  a cooperative, the profit made from the cacao is use to finance a school for disabled  individual, some of them are blinds or deaf.

by using this chocolate we contribute to a better environment .

 

removing the impurities, selecting the bean manually is a long process.

imgp5776cacao bean are stored in bags before after been dry .imgp5771imgp5759 the cacao bean after fermentation, the drying  process is essential to a good conservation, if too much humidity left, the beans will get spoiled. imgp5766

during the fermentation process, the beans are covered with banana leave, this operation is important, it s where the cacao will develop it s aroma.

 

imgp5804imgp5800

why should you offer chocolate to a girl on st Valentin

Want to win a woman and melt her heart? Present her with a box of chocolates or candy. This traditional romantic gift is a sure-fire winner in pleasing a woman. Women adore and crave chocolates at all times, all seasons, all occasions and for all excuses. “Forget love, I’d rather be in chocolate” must have been said by a woman.
Chocolates gives people a high of a different sort altogether and when your girl is eating chocolates you’ve gifted her, she’s also thinking of you. So you get associated with the high she experiences and the rich taste of chocolate. Quite a nice association, don’t you think?
With their brown color, chocolates look gorgeous and smell heavenly. Their flavor is greatly mood elevating and improves the taste of any ordinary dessert, drink or snack. A chocolate melts in your mouth as it has an apt melting point. It comes in variety of tastes like milk, dark and white. Women adore these wonderful flavors. As someone quipped tongue-in-cheek, “I think women like chocolate, coffee and men; though not necessarily in that order, but they’ve all got to be rich.”
Chocolate consists of a number of raw and processed foods that originate from the bean of the tropical cacao tree. It is a common ingredient in a variety of foods like biscuits, sweets, candy, ice-creams, cakes, pies etc. It was discovered by the early Meso-American civilization and cultivated by the Aztecs and the Mayans. The words ‘choclat’ is derived from the Aztec language, from ‘chocolatl’, the name of a drink made from roasted cocoa beans, chile and honey and considered an aphrodisiac. The cocoa tree is named ‘theobrama cocoa’ in which theobroma is Greek for ‘food of the Gods.’
And today, it is the favorite food of the fairer sex, as surveys reveal. A survey by Candy USA, exploring women’s special relationship with chocolates, America’s favorite flavor for desserts and sweets, found that most women not only enjoy chocolate regularly, they also do not feel guilty about consuming their favorite food. A majority of women preferred milk chocolate to dark chocolate. Sixty nine percent of women never felt guilty gorging on chocolates and sixty five percent enjoy chocolate candy or desserts regularly every week, while 15 percent enjoyed it daily. Eighty six percent felt that eaten in moderation, chocolates fit a healthy lifestyle and 52 % said that chocolates, consumption made them happy. Forty percent eat them as a pick-me-up and a majority of women have received chocolates as gifts on various occasions.

There are three varieties of cacao beans used in chocolates: Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario. Criollo, the variety common to Central America, the Caribbean and northern South American states, is the rarest and most expensive. Forastero is found in the Amazon basin has a classic chocolate flavour. Trinitario is a hybrid of the other two and originated in Trinidad and has a wide range of flavors.
Chocolates contain various elements, which are attributed different properties useful and harmful to humans and animals. They contain Theobromine, which is a weak stimulant for the human body but toxic for animals like cats and dogs. Theobromine is useful for cough relief. It also contains flavonoids believed to possess cardio-protective properties.
Chocolatespicture 018 contain Tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is a precursor to Serotonin, an important regulator of good mood in humans. But most of all, it contains what is called ‘Love chemical’ or’ Phenyl ethylamine.” It is the same chemical that is released when you fall in love, leading to a pounding of the heart, the feeling of a sudden gush of excitement. It is believed that it releases the chemical Dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain. It is also responsible for the beguiling smell of the chocolate.
That is why chocolates are identified as aphrodisiacs by romantic lore. Chocolates also have other medicinal properties. 1) To treat emaciated patients to gain weight, 2) to stimulate the nervous systems of feeble patients, 3) to improve digestion and elimination of waste.
Giving chocolates as gifts on Valentine’s Day has become a universal and popular phenomenon. Women all over the world are wooed with red roses and luscious chocolates. But in Japan, curiously enough, the role is reversed. It is the women who express their romantic interest in a man by gifting chocolates. So on Valentine’s Day in Japan, neighborhood streets are transformed into colorful chocolate markets. To counter this day, a White Day is celebrated on 14th March, when men reciprocate their Valentine’s Day chocolates with soft, fluffy marshmallows.
Not surprisingly, chocolates and candy remain the number one food item that will melt a woman’s heart and soul anywhere around the world.

why should you buy chocolate for st Valentin ?

picture 008Why do women love chocolate so much?
I know that most people, including men, love chocolate but why do women crave them so much?
Why do some women say chocolate is better than sex!!
The key to understanding this riddle is to know that men and women are so different when it comes to the operation of their minds and to the hormonal changes that happen to them.

chocolate box 36
Reasons why women love chocolate so much
Chocolate helps the body generate serotonin, which is the happiness hormone that regulates the mood, reduces mood swings and that even prevents depression!!
Chocolate also helps the body generate dopamine which is a hormone that helps people feel mentally alert. The lack of dopamine might cause lack of attention, lack of concentration and bad moods.
So the question is, if chocolate assists in making people feel better then why do only women love them so much?
The hormonal levels of women keep changing every now and then as a result of the menstrual cycle and this makes them more vulnerable to mood changes. Now the more the person’s mood changes the more he becomes in need for anything to regulate his mood and this is where chocolate comes into play.
Women love chocolate so much because it helps them regulate their mood as a result of the hormonal changes they experience.
Do Women love chocolate more than men?
While that’s a bit of an exaggeration some researchers claim that chocolate helps the body generate phenylethylamine which is the chemical the body releases when you are in love!!

picture 018
Moreover it was found that Chocolate affects the brain of women in a different way. The brain of some men and women were scanned using MRI and it was found that chocolate affected the activity of the amygdala more in the brain of women. The Amygdala is a part of the brain that can affect emotions and sexual desire.
So the conclusion is that women love chocolate so much because it can help them stabilize their body hormones.

birthday cake quote

truffle cake birthdayBirthdays are important times to be with loved ones, give gifts, and celebrate the past while looking forward to the future. They’re also excellent opportunities to enjoy cake—whether you’re turning 16, 21, or 40. Adding a special message in frosting is a way to personalize any birthday cake, whether you made it yourself or picked it up at the cake shop. Happy birthday is a fine message, but why not try something more unique? A quote about getting older and making the most of the future can communicate happiness, humor, and of course, celebration. There’s no better way to convey your sentiments in just a few words.
A birthday cake message should be short and sweet. After all, it has to fit on the cake, and someone—you or the pastry chef—will have to write it out in icing. The quotes below are perfect for the occasion.
Richard Cumberland
“It is better to wear out than to rust out.”
Benjamin Disraeli
“Life is too short to be small.”
Jonathan Swift
“May you live all the days of your life.”
Bernard M. Baruch
“Old age is 15 years older than I am.”
Art Buchwald
“The best things in life aren’t thing
Pablo Picasso
“Youth has no age.
William Shakespeare
“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”
Anthony Robbins
“Live with passion.”
Anonymous
“Turning 30 is a piece of cake.”
Jean Paul Richter
“Birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time.”
W.B. Pitkin
“Life begins at 40.”
Aretha Franklin
“Every birthday is a gift. Every day is a gift.”
John Lennon
“Count your age by friends, not years.”
George Meredith
“Don’t just count your years, make your years count.”
Franz Kafka
“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”
Alexander Pope
“Count each birthday with a grateful mind.”
Charles Schulz
“Once you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed.”
Dr. Seuss
“There is no one alive who is you-er than you!”
Irish Proverb
“The older the fiddler, the sweeter the tune.”
Frances McDormand
“With aging, you earn the right to be loyal to yourself.”
Henry Ford
“Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
Emily Dickinson
“We turn not older with years, but newer every day.”
Gertrude Stein
“We are always the same age inside.”
Betty Friedan
“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”
Clint Eastwood
“Aging can be fun if you lay back and enjoy it.”
Groucho Marx
“Getting older is no problem. You just have to live long enough.”
George Sand
“Try to keep your soul young and quivering right up to old age.”
Oprah Winfrey
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
Cora Harvey Armstrong
“Inside every older person is a younger person—wondering what the hell happened.”
Booth Tarkington
“Cherish all your happy moments; they make a fine cushion for old age.”
Luis Bunuel
“Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.”
George Patton
“Live for something rather than die for nothing.”

dark chocolate, a guilty pleasure, not

What do dark chocolate, broccoli and almonds have in common?
They are good for the heart, along with healthy essentials like soya bean and wholegrains.
While a balanced diet should also cover heart-healthy nutrients, there are some variations to watch for.
Natural sources of soya, such as tofu, tempeh and natto, are better than textured soya protein, said registered dietitian Ujjwala Baxi, founder of nutrition consultancy Poshan – Cure thru Diet.
Natto tends to be genetically modified and made from soya beans which have been stripped of healthy fats.
Soya beans, which are packed with polyunsaturated fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals, have been shown in studies to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol. It also helps to lower blood pressure.
Meanwhile, wholegrains contain antioxidants, such as phytoestrogens, that protect one against coronary heart disease.
“Try to include soluble fibres like oatmeal, barley, beans and red rice as they help to lower LDL,” said Ms Ujjwala. “Pick rolled oats over quick oats, and coarser broken wheat over refined versions like couscous and semolina.”
And while nuts can help lower the risk of heart disease by 29 per cent, according to a study, be wary of salted nuts as they may raise blood pressure, she said.
The common refrain that vegetables are good for you also applies to the heart. And leafy greens rich in chlorophyll, like broccoli, spinach and kale, may be especially beneficial for those on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, she said.
This is because the medication can interfere with the production of a molecule called co-enzyme Q10, and chlorophyll can help to regenerate it. Co-enzyme Q10 is an important antioxidant that fights against heart disease, she said.
Chocolate, on the other hand, contains flavanols. Research has shown that flavanols may potentially benefit vascular health, such as by lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow to the brain and heart.
But dark chocolate trumps other varieties, such as milk and white chocolate, as it boasts a higher concentration of flavanols, as well as less sugar and fat.
This is because of its higher cocoa content. Dark chocolate contains 30 to 90 per cent cocoa, while white chocolate has only about 20 per cent.
For non-chocolate lovers, there is a wide variety of other options – cranberry, apple, onion, tea and red wine are also rich in flavanols.
Some foods to avoid are butter, sour cream and mayonnaise, which are high in saturated fat and can raise bad cholesterol levels.
“Chips and fries are among the worst foods, according to research,” said Ms Ujjwala. “They contain saturated fat, which causes your gut to expand and puts your heart in the danger zone.”
It is also wise to lower salt intake, which can elevate blood pressure.
One simple way is to use lemon juice instead of adding another dash of salt.
“Do not add salt to boiling water for pasta or vegetables while cooking. Instead, add it to the dish as its impact will be stronger.”

Poon Chian Hui