Remember last post? No? I’m not surprised. It was ages ago (sorry). I was just about to leave for the #FBC5 conference in London. And what a fab experience that was! I think for a food blogger, the best part of going to a food blogger conference is the fact that you can be your true self when confronted with amazing food in a room full of people. In other words, you can whip your iphone out and instagram every single step of that spoonful of chili honey, on its journey from the jar, to the top of the cheese on the cracker, all the way to your mouth. And no one will bat an eyelid. In fact, you might find a line of people behind you, smartphones at the ready, waiting patiently for you to get out of the way so they can do the same.
And of course there is all the information that you absorb, a whole load of useful tips, nuggets of advice and wisdom, ideas and suggestions. But the main thing I’ve taken home with me after those three days in the London sunshine, is the fact that I have a whole new bunch of likeminded friends. It was especially great to spend more time with my fellow Greek bloggers, who made the journey from Athens like I did. A total of 5 of us attended, which in my opinion is a huge number for such a small country. Most of them I had met before, but this was a brilliant opportunity to have a natter about our local food blogging scene, and throw about some ideas about how we can do stuff here. It was also quite funny to hear them talk about the pork scratchings they mistook for crisps… let’s just say they were not impressed. They don’t know what they’re missing…
The photos here are a collage of my Instagram feed during the #FBC5 weekend. Most are from the actual conference, with a few random London pics in there too. You can also see them on Facebook with a few comments. For a more comprehensive account of #FBC5, the sessions, the food, the sponsors, go over to the website and have a browse through all the related posts. I will just say two things. Chili honey. Maple butter. I dream about them.
I was planning on posting a recipe based on one by my new friend Janie over at The Hedge Combers. She is just the sweetest person and I’m so happy to have met her. A kitchen disaster involving falling baking trays and sticky floors made that impossible. Those amazing flapjacks will have to wait just a little longer. Since today is really hot (the air coming through the window is like a hair dryer blowing in your face) I decided to try out something else, which doesn’t involve the oven, but does use one of the goodies that came in our extremely heavy #FBC5 goodie bags. Choco Bella, a fairtrade organic dark chocolate hazelnut spread made by Italian company Damiano. It’s veeery gooood. This “cheesecake” in a glass is dead easy to make, has few ingredients, and is very light (no cream or cream cheese here – just lovely healthy Greek yogurt). The yogurt gives it a slightly tangy taste which goes nicely with the very chocolatey spread. Here goes.
Greek Yogurt & Chocolate Spread “Cheesecake” in a Glass
140g digestive biscuits (or graham crackers) + 1 extra biscuit for garnishing (optional)
20g hazelnuts, chopped
2 Tbs melted butter or margarine
200g (3/4 c.) Greek yogurt (I used 2%)
150g (about 7 ½ Tbs) Choco Bella chocolate & hazelnut spread
1 Tbs icing (confectioner’s) sugar
1. Crush biscuits in a bowl. You can use your fingers as we aren’t bothered about getting the crumbs very fine.
2. Take 4 small pinches of chopped hazelnuts and set aside for garnishing later (if you want). Mix the rest of the chopped hazelnuts into the biscuit crumbs. Add the melted butter or marge and mix with your fingers till the crumbs are coated. The mixture won’t come together as it would for a cheesecake base, we only want loose crumbs for the glass. Spoon 2 tablespoons of crumb mixture into 4 smallish glasses. Set aside.
3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the yogurt, chocolate spread and icing sugar. I used an electric whisk thinking it might make the mixture fluffier. I don’t know if it did. You can also mix with a regular whisk till incorporated.
4. Spoon 2 tablespoons of mixture onto the crumbs in the glasses. Then add another tablespoon of crumbs on top. Finally, add another layer of chocolate mixture. My last layer was just under 1 tablespoon in each glass. Sprinkle the remaining hazelnuts over the top and garnish with one quarter of the biscuit on each “cheesecake” if desired.
– The Choco Bella chocolate spread is quite chocolatey, so if you are using any other brand I would suggest starting with less yogurt (maybe the same quantity as the chocolate spread) and tasting it. Adjust according to your taste buds!
Before I go, a special mention and “lovely to meet you” for a few more bloggers from the event.
Louiza from Chez Foti
Vanesther from Bangers & Mash
Bintu from Recipes from a Pantry
Magda from Midnight Spoon
Madeleine from From the Healthy Heart
Manjiri from Slice off me
Snejana from Orange Thyme
Emma Jane from Cakes and Catwalks
Karin from Yum and More
Karen from Lavender and Lovage
And of course my Greek blogger friends
Artemis from Wonderfoodland (bilingual blog)
Athina from Sugar Buzz (Greek blog)
Nicky from Sugar Flowers Creations (Greek blog)
Elena from Elena’s Cooking (bilingual blog)