2018 Highlights

As 2018 draws to a close, it’s natural to reflect back on the year. I hope that you all have had a significant and positive one. 2018 for me has had some highs, such as having a new niece join our family, starting a new job, as well as experiencing fun, new things such as taking a candy making course. I’ve also been able to visit new places and had a break away with my family. My lows have been feeling unmotivated and uninspired at times to post on my blog, and wondering if it’s still relevant. I have also felt like the world is passing me by and that I have so much I still want to do.

I leave you with some of my favourite photos of the 2018 and I wish you all happy New Year and with the hope that 2019 is one of fullfillment, happiness and adventure for all of us.

Rainbow lollipop class

My sister and I recently went to a candy making class, something that we both have wanted to do. We arrived for the class and excitedly looked around the shop at the wonderful sweets as we waited for the candy to be heated to the correct temperature. Once this was done we made our way to the workshop with our instructor. It was only a small class with another woman, my sister and me and the instructor who was going to lead the class. Today we were making rainbow lollipops.

The mixture of glucose, water and sugar was really hot, and so it was only safe for the instructor to use. The instructor poured the mixture onto a specially made table that was heated to enable him to keep working with it. The flavour of the mixture was tutti frutti and it smelled great. Once the mixture was on the table our instructor started to add colour, made with natural flavourings and were vegan, vegetarian and halal which was great to know.

First the primary colours were made, and then our instructor used these to make the secondary colours. The white was stretched to add air which would then bring out the colour. All the colours were then laid out in rainbow order and wrapped around the white candy to create a long, colourful tube. We were now able to start making our rainbow lollipops.

Our instructor stretched the candy tube to make it thinner and then gave us a piece each to create our shapes. Working on heated tables and with gloves on we made a simple shape first, the swirl, and adding a wooden stick our lollipop was complete. We then made a few more shapes; starts, hearts, flowers and butterflies. I think my favourite was the duck which came out quite well. We had to work quickly with each piece of candy as it would become difficult to mold as it cooled, hardened and turned glass-like.

The class was about 1 hour long, but the time went quickly, as it always does when you’re having fun. Our instructor was friendly, and very knowledgeable, and the candy making process was almost scientific when it came to understanding the way the ingredients interacted with each other. And the best bit; we all got to take our tasty creations home with us, which was a lot more than I expected. I would definitely recommend doing a class like this, as it’s not every day that you get to have a hands on experience that involves such tasty treats.

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate

Just before Easter I went to a chocolate fair in London with my sister and niece. We were excited about all the possible chocolate creations we’d see and we weren’t disappointed! There was was a big range of beautiful and clever designs which were a treat for all our senses.

Ticket

Our favourite stall was one that had chocolate in various shapes and forms that we thought were really fun.

I think what I really like about these are that they have been dusted with cocoa to make them look rusty.

We also saw a collection of other chocolates in interesting (and slightly strange) shapes, from chocolate samosas to face prints.

Some of the chocolate looked so artistic and beautiful and just too good to eat. I especially love these colourful blocks

Chocolate

We came across other clever and pretty ideas too; chocolates named after Shakespeare’s leading ladies, elegant balls and textured cubes.

Aside from chocolate there were so many other delicious looking and sweet smelling treats; definitely something for everyone.

One of the best things was that we were able to have a taste of most of the products before buying, and we didn’t hold back!

We all really enjoyed the day, taking photos of all the lovely things to buy and taste. We bought home a range of goodies for ourselves and for family whilst trying to not to be tempted to buy one of everything! I still have lots more photos but I’ll have to post about them another time.

I would definitely recommend going to a chocolate festival for those with a sweet tooth and a love of eye candy. I’m currently thinking of going to the one that’s being held towards Christmas to see what other fun ideas that might be presented.