Sunday, 9 February 2014

simple pleasures - coffee & chocolate

Another foodie post... mostly because it's been a busy few weeks and the posts I have in the pipeline need some more work and also because, coffee AND chocolate. After the success of my snickerdoodles (from a Ms Cupcake recipe), I decided to make the brownies in the book too. I miss chocolate a lot and it can be hard to find vegan chocolate in a hurry so chocolate treats tend to be a bit more planned than they used to be. This is great for the waistline of course (no more mindless eating) BUT what about when you want a really chocolatey hit? 
Seriously... NO dairy in here!

These brownies are so easy to make and having done them twice to great success (they got eaten even faster in my office than the cookies did!) I can honestly say they are foolproof and pack a big chocolatey punch. The first time I made them I couldn't find dairy free chocolate chips so I used a bar roughly chopped up. Chips look much better though so last weekend I made a second batch:

combining dry ingredients; adding wet ingredients to make batter; adding chips; fresh from the oven

There is nothing like filling the flat with the chocolatey smell of baking, except the filling the flat with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. I'm still a coffee novice, in a 'I know what I like' kind of way. I'm still learning the difference between beans, tastes and roasting methods. I do live with a coffee connoisseur though and for Christmas I bought hm a subscription to a coffee club. I did a bit of research and chose Kopi because they supply tasting notes every month and the information looked well presented. Mr NBTR got his January coffee a few weeks ago and it's the BEST coffee we've ever had. The tasting notes talked of a 'chocolatey champagne finish' which kind of sounds a bit pretentious but it REALLY does! It's such a smooth finish in fact, that this is the only coffee I've ever been able to drink black. It would be sacrilege to put anything in it.

Kopi pack; brownies and coffee in Vileroy & Boch New Wave Cup & Plate

You can buy a gift subscription or pay by monthly direct debit for yourself and around the middle of the month you get a 250g package of coffee in a re-sealable pack, through your door. You can choose whole beans or ground coffee (you indicate your brewing method when you sign up or redeem your gift certificate so you are sent the correct coarseness) Each month you get a different coffee, selected for it's excellent taste, superb provenance, interesting story and intense aroma. Living in London we're spoilt for choice when it comes to getting a great cup of coffee or a bag of freshly ground beans (Monmouth Coffee is our other favourite) but using Kopi is a great way to discover new flavours and UK delivery is free, so its a great choice wherever you live. If you really like the roast you've been sent you can also purchase extra bags (alas, this one was so popular that they'd sold out the week after the subscriptions were sent) as well as skipping a month if you need to.

January's tasting notes

A monthly subscription is £8.95 which works out to be about 33p a cup... a total bargain in other words! You can cancel your subscription at any time so it's a great way to try them out. It's only one month in but I highly recommend trying Kopi, so get yourself some good coffee and a piece of cake and relax...

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