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April 2010

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This week marks a month since I started work, yes I’m officially all grown up now 😀 I work in the IT Industry, as a Techie fixing Computers & Peripherals remotely. I love it to pieces & am learning so so much every single day. Every single day you get different problems to fix & you have to think quick to try and resolve the problems as well as giving out advice.

We work in a shift pattern anytime between 8am and Midnight, 5 days out of 7, 40 hours a week. It’s challenging, messes with your sleep pattern & right now you’re lucky if you get 2 days off together, it’s been pretty much 1 day off at the weekend then 1 day off during the week.

Before the team went live (as it’s a new department) we had a week of training, the first few days were really scary because I was one of two girls amongst 13 men. However, I’m now the only girl in the entire Techie team as she quit last week. Even though I’m now the only girl, we all get on great, joke around & socialize outside of work, they are a great bunch! I even bake them cupcakes LMAO 😀

So there it is… a new era in my life & I’m loving every bit of it, even if I don’t want to grow up 😀

Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Cupcakes:
40g Cocoa Powder
20g Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces & melted
240ml Boiling Water
175g Self Raising Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
115g Unsalted Butter
200g Granulated White Sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Ingredients for Chocolate Fudge Frosting:
120g Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces
150g Unsalted Butter
160g Icing Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 190°c & line a muffin tray with 15 muffin cases. In a small bowl stir the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder until smooth. Add in the melted Dark Chocolate then let it cool to room temperature. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder & salt.

2. With a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until mixed well. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.

3. Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with mix and bake for about 15 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.

4. For the frosting, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. With a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the chocolate and beat on low speed until mixed well. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is smooth and glossy.

5. Ice the cupcakes anyway you wish, I used a piping bag along with a large star nozzle. Top with Chocolate Squares or Sprinkles. I put the Chocolate & Love chocolate to good use & they turned out amazing!

Chocolate. One of the best inventions in the whole wide world. Everything about it is awesome, except the fact that as soon as I look at a bar, I instantly put on tons of weight. Nevertheless, there is no way I could give the bad boy up & frankly, who on earth could blame me?

When the opportunity to taste test several types of chocolate from Chocolate & Love came up, I just couldn’t say no… for the good of man-kind I had to do it, yes sir!

I was sent a package with 5 different types of Chocolate, I was instantly giddy from the excitment or erm… hard task of actually having to sit down & eat all this chocolate. Suprisingly, my mom nominated herself as a 2nd opinion… I wonder why!


So now the hard work started….

Filthy Rich– Made with premium cocoa from the Dominican Republic and Peru along with cane sugar from South America and a hint of vanilla, this bar of 71% organic extra dark chocolate is very intense. The aftertaste it left in our mouths was great, it was very smooth on your palette & this is coming from someone who has never really loved dark chocolate. From dark chocolate I’ve tasted before, they are usually very bitter which this was not & had to be one of my favourites from all I tried.

Orange Mantra
– A bar of 65% dark chocolate combined with orange extract from cold pressing ripe peels in Italy giving the Orange Mantra a wonderful fresh orange flavour & smell. When we unwrapped this bar from it’s packaging, we were hit by the intense orange scent, which I love. The texture was very smooth, tasted amazing with the orange & was not at all bitter which made it a big thumbs up in my books.

Chocolate Tree Raspberry– This 74% organic extra dark chocolate is topped with dried raspberry pieces and handmade in Edinburgh. Unfortunately, I disliked this bar because of the sourness of the raspberries mixed with the bitterness of the chocolate. Both of us could only eat a few slices before putting it down. It’s the first time I’ve never finished chocolate & that’s sad because I tried so hard to like it.

Crushed Diamonds– 55% dark chocolate mixed with cocoa beans from Peru which are roasted & broken into small nibs giving it a crunchy texture. This was by far, my favourite chocolate bar I tried, once again the texture of the chocolate was great, the cocoa nibs an added bonus. The chocolate wasn’t bitter & a great idea for the future would be if the nibs came in different flavours such as orange & mint.

Pacari Chocolate Covered Guava– The title says it all, dried guava covered in dark chocolate. This was very suprising, I’ve never really tried Guava before & this was amazing! The mixture between the bitter dark chocolate & the sweet guava worked, complimenting eachother. Funnily enough, it was a little like eating a more exotic type of chocolate raisins & are a good size for snacking on.

So that was that…. Crushed Diamonds and Pacari Chocolate Covered Guava were my two favourites & would recommend them to anyone and everyone, especially dark chocolate n00bs! But… my tasting session didn’t end there. I decided that since I had tons of great quality chocolate, what better way than to combine it with something else I love; baking. I then created Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting using a mixture of all the chocolate’s I tried then topped them with a square of Orange Mantra. I gave some to my mom & then took them into work for the guys I work with who loved them to bits & are now dying for more!


To find out more about Chocolate & Love, the chocolate club they run, to order exotic chocolates or just be nosy then click here and let your taste buds do the talking!

Craig over at Scottish Blogger Dad tagged me in this Internet Meme where you basically have to choose five famous people who find attractive & where it would be deemed OK to cheat on your partner with and not count as two-timing lmao! If you think about it, we all have them, but it’s hard to think of just five!

So here are mine:

1. Henry Cavill. The British Actor best known for playing Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, on The Tudors. His eyes are amazing aaaah *swoon*

2. Juan Martín Hernández. An Argentinan Rugby Player who poses in the Dieux du Stade Calendar. He is hot. Need I say more?! Ladies, I suggest you click on the link! Oh yes!

3. Robin Thicke. Man this boy can sing! His voice is amazing & I could listen to him all night long!

4. Shemar Moore. He plays FBI Special Agent Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds. Once again, what can I say? He’s tall, dark, utterly handsome & has amazing eyes!

5. Last but certainly NOT least, Romain Duris. He’s a French Actor *swoon* who has starred in movies such as Le Divorce, Dans Paris, Molière & Et après. One of my favourite actors EVER, did I mention he’s French?! No? Well… he’s French! Yes, I have a thing for French men LOL

So there you go, the 5 men I am in love with. I have now noticed a certain type I’m attracted to… tall, dark haired stubbly faces with amazing eyes. So what are yours?

I wanted a way to be able to showcase my latest Recipes & Techie Tip posts on the sidebar of my blog for easy reference for my visitors (yes, you guys!) seperating them from the Recent Posts and Archives. So I found a way of using the coding for Recent Posts and adapting it to showcase a specified category ultimately highlighting a set amount of posts, in my case, 5.

The coding for this is as follows:

[cc]

And I’m a little bit lost without you
And I’m a bloody big mess inside
And I’m a little bit lost without you
This aint a love song, this is goodbye

I’ve loved this song ever since it came on the radio, not my usual cup of chai but it’s catchy. It’s from the forthcoming album “Everybody Wants to Be on TV” which is released on April 12th.

Now, everytime I listen to it (& it’s basically several times a day!) it reminds me of my friend Phil, who wanted me to blog post the song hehe so this post is for him, to shut him up *hugs* 😛

Today, I turn 28 & start my first day at work in my new job in the IT Industry. Yes, I’ve finally grown up, ain’t you proud? Maybe starting my 28th year on this planet with a new job is a good omen? I hope so anyway 😀