RUBY LOVES: THE HOUSE OF CHOCOLATE

HOUSE OF CHOCOLATE

For those with a similar predilection for hand made, fine chocolate, you'll be pleased to be introduced to the House Of Chocolate, a Takapuna-based chocolatier raising the bar for fine chocolate connoisseurs.

To celebrate the recent opening of our Takapuna store, we collaborated with the talented team from House of Chocolate to create bespoke, hand made chocolates, inspired by our youthful and feminine spring 16 collection, No Drama.

We caught up with Marilyn from the House of Chocolate to find out how her background in fashion lead her to become a chocolatier...

Choccy 1

Choccy 4

How did you become a chocolatier?

After completing a Bachelor of Design, majoring in Fashion at AUT, I found myself wanting to further explore different areas of design. The role for Marketing Executive at House Of Chocolate came up and it was a wonderful opportunity to be part of a team where I could explore the roles of graphic design, marketing, product design and of course, learn about being a chocolatier!

Choccy 3

Choccy + Hands

What do you love about being a chocolatier?

In my opinion, there is a gap in the New Zealand market for hand-crafted and beautifully designed bonbon chocolates. This collaboration with RUBY allowed me to explore this vision. It's still early days for us and I'm learning so much, however, chocolate is always a beautiful and delicious gift so makes it really engaging!

Choccy pour 5

Talk us through your design process? When it comes to designing a new chocolate we put together a mood board to decipher the direction we are heading in, taking into account colours, flavours, packaging, trends and different products we can use e.g. 24 carat gold flake. From there we sample, examine and refine!

What do you love most about collaborating ? I love the coming together of different visions and ideas to create one unique product. Working with RUBY was the perfect opportunity to create a feminine and youthful collection of colours and flavours. I love being able to explore these different moods while designing towards a specific idea! It's always a challenge but a lot of fun - I have met some amazing people along the way!

Marilyn 1

What are your favourite pieces from the latest RUBY No Drama collection? My favourite item is currently the Firebird Silk Dress, that silk is so luxe! It's such a feminine and flattering style!

Thanks Marilyn x

RUBY LOVES: GUILT-FREE STRAWBERRY, RHUBARB & COCONUT TORTE FROM THE RAW KITCHEN

When it comes to winter we're all about comfort food. So when Olivia from The Raw Kitchen came out with her new book, The Raw Kitchen, full of delicious, wholesome & nutrient rich recipes, we knew we'd be content hunkering down for the cooler season with a repertoire of scrumptious meals.

Cookbook

We've got one copy of The Raw Kitchen cookbook to giveaway to one lucky RUBY girl. Head to our RUBY Instagram to find out how you could go in to the draw to win. The winner will be announced on Monday 13th June at 2pm NZT.

Olivia has also created a brand new recipe exclusively for us to share with you. Enjoy!

STRAWBERRY, RHUBARB & COCONUT TORTE

BASE

  • 1 cup desiccated coconut

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds

  • ½ cup raw cacao powder

  • ½ tsp sea salt

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 cup dates (soaked for 1 hour in warm water, drained)

FILLING

  • 2.5 cups of cashews (soaked for 1 hour in warm water, then drained)

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 cup strawberry

  • 1 cup coconut oil

  • ½ cup preferred natural sweetener (coconut nectar, rice malt syrup, agave)

  • 1 tsp vanilla bean

  • ½ tsp sea salt

  • 1 tbsp psyllium husk

GARNISH

  • 2 pieces of rhubarb

  • 2 tbsp coconut chips

  • 2 tbsp freeze dried raspberry

Directions

  1. Line a 28cm torte pan, or 22cm cake tin with baking paper and set aside.

  2. Place rhubarb for the garnish onto a dehydrator tray and leave for 45 minutes at 48 degrees Celsius. Set aside.

  3. For the base, place coconut, sunflower seeds & raw cacao powder in a food processor and blend until well mixed. Add coconut oil and sea salt, and blend until smooth. Be careful the mixture does not overheat. Finally, add the dates and blend until smooth. Press into the torte case or cake pan, and ensure edges are smooth by using the back of a spoon. Place base aside.

  4. For the filling, blend cashews, water and strawberry until smooth. Add coconut oil, sweetener, vanilla bean, sea salt and blend further until smooth. Finally, add psyllium husk and blend. Quickly pour mixture onto base and flatten with the back of the spoon.

  5. Garnish with chopped rhubarb, coconut chips and freeze-dried raspberries.

  6. Place in freezer for 8 hours.

Serving

When ready to serve, take your Strawberry, Rhubarb & Coconut Torte out of the freezer and leave to sit for 1 hour.

Enjoy with a dollop of coconut yoghurt or fresh fruit.

Your cake will last for 1 week in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Thanks Olivia x

RUBY LOVES: CHIA

CHIA Image by James K Lowe

For the most of us, we are forever advocating alternative healthy food choices however we are often met by troublesome barriers such as time. Low and behold, New Zealand made CHIA, founded by Chloe Van Dyke, offers us a tasty and efficient way to consume omega 3, antioxidants and essential nutrients all from one good looking glass bottle. CHIA has become a definite favourite of ours at RUBY HQ since its inception in 2012.

We caught up with Chloe's right hand woman and sister, Florence Van Dyke to find out more about their delicious and salubrious drinks…

CHIA Drinks

How did CHIA come about?

CHIA began in our family kitchen. We grew up eating healthy foods - Dad is an age-group champion swimmer and I compete in triathlons so eating nutrient-dense wholefoods has always been important to our family. Chloe, who has a post graduate diploma in neuroscience, travelled to the Himalyas for a trekking expedition in 2011 and took chia seeds with her. At high altitudes she hydrated the seeds and mixed them with blackcurrant powder for sustenance. The impact of the chia seeds was immediately noticeable - they provided sustained hydration, slow release of nutrients and the magnesium eased muscle cramps. Once down from the mountain, Chloe returned to Nelson, teamed up with our father, Ben and they started playing around with the formula. The natural drink business of CHIA was born!

What are both of your roles within the business?

Chloe is the founder of CHIA and oversees everything in the business. Her focus is both on the present and the future. She ensures that CHIA is made and delivered at the highest quality possible and looks to how CHIA can improve, evolve and grow. CHIA is an innovative brand with a focus on health. Chloe's aim is to not just lead the food and beverage industry in healthy options but to bring creativity into a highly competitive market.

My role is in export negotiations and sales. This is exciting as CHIA is growing so quickly. At the moment I am meeting with potential distributors from Australia, China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia to consider how we can best strategize entering these new markets. I am also traveling to Indonesia next month as part of the New Zealand Young Business Leaders Initiative to check out the beverage market there.

We have a fantastic team of CHIA reps across the country who help me out with sales and customer relations in New Zealand. We work hard but we also see the importance of having fun. Giving the mind a break is often when new creative ideas are formed. Giving the team the time to enjoy the outdoors and take breaks is a priority (so much so that the entire team was out of the office for the Coast to Coast last month).

What is it that excites you most about the New Zealand food industry?

New Zealand is a fantastic place to start a business. The local communities in New Zealand are innovative and willing to support small businesses. The food industry is particularly exciting because New Zealand foodies are so passionate and committed to providing a high quality product. Foods like Raglan Coconut Yoghurt and Dovedale bread are first class in their industry - we are lucky to have them on our doorstep!

What's your favourite way to enjoy CHIA?

We love CHIA every way! At the moment I am addicted to bircher muesli topped with blackcurrant CHIA and Raglan Coconut Yoghurt for breakfast (you can find the recipe below).

What’s next for CHIA?

There is so much growth happening for CHIA at the moment that it is difficult to pinpoint everything that is coming next. We have a new CHIA drink in the works. I can't spill the exact flavour but coconut water and chia seeds are the top two ingredients. We are expanding internationally which is challenging and exiting at the same time and we are supporting a whole heap of awesome athletes. One of our key business philosophies is to support people acting on their dreams.

BIRCHER MUESLI TOPPED WITH CHIA

Bircher

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1 handful of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

  • 1 handful of any other nuts (walnuts and hazlenuts are my favourites)

  • 1 cup of Carew kitchen almond milk

Directions:

  1. Mix all of your ingredients together and then add water to cover the mixture by an inch. Leave to soak overnight.

TOPPINGS

Thanks ladies x