On our most recent summer mini-break in Paleohora, we stayed in one of these hotels. I got may hands on The Lollipop Shoes (by Joanne Harris), which is the sequel to Chocolat, which most of you reading this blog will know from the highly successful film by the same name. This time, we find Vianne (the heroine of Chocolat) with a new identity and a new chocolaterie, living in Paris close to Sacré Cœur, which is what initially endeared me to the book, as this is where we recently spent a most enjoyable family holiday, staying near the metro station close to this spot in Montmatre. The story deals with the power of chocolate once again, mixed with spells and cantrips in the occult world, with a similar group of interesting characters as those in Harris' earlier novel. I found the 600 pages of The Lollipop Shoes more gripping than the 300 pages of Chocolat, and couldn't put it down; it was the perfect way to spend my time under a wide straw beach umbrella on Grammenos Beach.
Chocolate is part of global cuisine. Nearly everyone knows it and eats it. The book was filled with tempting descriptions of chocolates of all kinds: fudge squares, coconut truffles, rum truffles, peach brandy truffles, mendiants du roi, hazelnut rolls, chocolate cake, lavender brittle, hot chilli squares, white chocolate angels, chocolate mice, coconut macaroons, violet creams, all calling out to the reader: try me, taste me, test me.
Working with chocolate is not like cooking a family meal. Different forms of chocolate have different temperature and handling needs. The result of a chocolate project is often a work of art. I had a little bit of leftover 70% bio-chocolate from when I made Elizabeth Bard's molten chocolate cakes, which I decided to use in combination with the peel of some organic oranges from our own orange orchards. The basic recipe for the sugared orange peel is from Kiki's blog, which appears in Greek. I have adapted it to make one of the chocolates described in The Lollipop Shoes: chocolate-coated candied oranges.
At this time in the season, the oranges in our fields are in a bad state; Greece is too far away from Northern Europe for her high quality products to warrant attention, while she is too close to Turkey, a major producer of citrus, to compete with them for their market share.
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