Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Take the Easter Taste Challenge

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Take the Easter Taste Challenge

Article excerpt

Have a cursory glance at the Easter treats available in the supermarkets and online and you might be surprised by what's on offer.

Where once creme-filled eggs, sugar-shelled treats and hollow chocolate bunnies were the norm, nowadays you're just as likely to have your head turned by chocolate 'Scotch' eggs, cheese flavoured hot cross buns and savoury 'cheester' eggs.

Adding to this alternative trend is chocolatier-with-a-difference Pana Barbounis.

The Melbourne-based entrepreneur founded Pana Chocolate three years ago, creating dairyfree, soy-free, gluten-free luxury chocolate bars containing no refined sugar. Including enticing flavours like ginger and pineapple, fig and orange and coconut and goji, the bars are now sold worldwide and stocked in more than 20 countries.

And with his first book out, Pana Chocolate The Recipes, Pana is keen to show that despite the untraditional ingredients, his raw vegan offerings certainly aren't taste and fun-free.

Truthfully, they do require a bit more welly to make - as well as some more involved searches for ingredients and, in some cases, equipment - but if you're after a different kind of Easter showstopper, this could be a good place to get cracking.

Tempted to tackle the challenge? Here are two recipes from Pana Chocolate to give a whirl...

snack attack BLOOM BARS (Makes 4, depending on size of moulds) INGREDIENTS 15g sour cherries, chopped 13 almonds, roughly chopped 3tbsp pumpkin seeds 2 dried apricots, finely diced 45g bar of Pana Chocolate Raw Cacao (or a raw chocolate bar of your choice) method 1. Combine all the ingredients except the chocolate in a bowl and mix with your fingers.

2. Press the mixture evenly into four 12x3cm moulds - the fruit should help the nuts and seeds to stick together.

3. Freeze the mixture for 30 minutes to make it easier to pop out of the mould.

4. Melt the chocolate slowly over a bainmarie. Remove the bar mixture from the moulds and, using a fork, dip the bars into the melted chocolate. 5. Tap the fork against the side of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate. Place the bar on a tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate until the chocolate has set. …

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