When it comes to drinks that work well with chocolate, rum has to be one of the greatest partners.

Whether it is an aged sipping rum alongside a piece of 100% Cocoa bar or you simply love to add a splash to your favourite bakes, we recommend you experiment this summer ahead of National Rum Day on the 16th August.

To provide a bit of inspiration, we’ve linked up with Happy Skin Kitchen and Guyana’s amazing rum brand El Dorado to create these utterly indulgent, super chocolatey truffles.

The combination of silky coconut milk, rich dark chocolate, gooey dates and aged rum means these truffles are the ultimate chocolate treat. They are also ideal to make in advance as you can store them in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk from a tin

200g of medjool dates – the softer the better

75g of MIA 75% dark chocolate

2 tbsp of maple syrup

2 tbsp of El Dorado Rum – 12 year old

3 tbsp of raw cacao powder

1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste

For the coating:

1/4 cup of chopped hazelnuts or any other nut of your choice

1/4 cup of raw cacao powder

1/2 cup of cacao nibs

Method

With a third of UK consumers now thought to be cutting out or reducing the amount of meat they consume and veganism continuing to grow at a fast rate, we’re delighted to announce that our full range of MIA bars has been accredited by the Vegetarian Society.

The 8-strong MIA range has always been vegetarian- and vegan-friendly but now the bars will provide absolute clarity thanks to Vegetarian Society accreditation and on pack display of the much-coveted trademarks.

Brett Beach, MIA Co-founder said:

“More and more people are adopting a plant-based diet and paying more attention to the amount of animal products they consume. There are many reasons why people are choosing to become vegetarian and vegan but whatever the rationale, it’s clear most people want clarity when it comes to how the food they eat is made.”

“While many people wouldn’t think animal products were used in dark chocolate, you would be surprised with some producers using ingredients that we would consider vegetarian until we learn that animal products such as bone char have been used to process them. To this end, we have investigated every ingredient throughout our entire supply chain so we can provide an absolute guarantee to our customers that our chocolate bars are 100% vegan.”

Banana bread is our go-to for energy, yet it still feels like a real indulgent treat. It’s become so popular that you can see it now on nearly every café menu and blackboard but it’s so simple to make so why not try it yourself at home?

Ingredients

4 very ripe bananas

Half a bar of MIA (we prefer 75% Dark Chocolate or our Hemp & Almond)

120g of butter/margarine plus a little extra for greasing

180g of coconut sugar

2 eggs, beaten

240g self-raising flour

40g wholemeal flour

2 tbsp of maple syrup

Method

Preheat the oven to 180c and grease the loaf tin. Mash the bananas well in a large bowl until they are gooey and soft. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Next mix in the eggs to this. Chop up your chocolate into small chunks. Now add the mashed bananas and chocolate to the large mixture and stir well.

Stir in the flour through a sieve, then the maple syrup. Once this is done you can scrape the mixture into the tin and bake for 30 minutes. When you reach this time, lower the heat to 150c and bake for a further 10 minutes until it’s golden brown.

It’s not compulsary but we made a quick sweet potato and MIA spread too. Simply boil your sweet potato until soft, melt some MIA and mix together. If you want something sweeter, add a dash of maple syrup. Pure bliss!

Not only are these super tasty but they also make a protein packed brekkie perfect for a busy morning or a laid back lie in. Make a big batch and heat them up whenever you’re in need breakfast lift!

 

Ingredients

35g Coconut Flour

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Pinch of sea salt

1 ½ tsp of bicarbonate of soda

2 free range eggs

130ml coconut milk

1 tbsp coconut oil

Ingredients to pour over the top such as MIA, coconut flakes, maple syrup, berries

Method

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Next add the eggs, then slowly add the coconut milk. Mix with a wooden spoon until it’s nice and smooth. You need the batter to be runny so add a little more milk if needed.

Next heat your frying pan with a little oil and add 2 tbsp of mixture at a time. Make sure to flip half way through when nicely browned. Serve with your choice of toppings but don’t scrimp on the MIA!

 

 

Not sorted out Valentine’s Day for the person you love? Well never fear, MIA is here and this year we’re delighted to have teamed up with the incredible gang at London’s Hammer & Tongs restaurant to offer an unforgettable romantic, African experience. 

Bringing the famous South African braai to London since launch in late 2017, Hammer & Tongs is offering a special Valentine’s Day sharing menu for two with each couple also receiving a bar of MIA to finish their evening. 

The spectacular sharing menu for two comprises of the following:

Welcome

Complimentary glass of South African Sparkling Wine

Biltong & Fig Jam with Pot Bread & Grapes

Main Course

Dry Aged Dedham Vale 450gr Rib Eye Perfectly sliced to share

Chicken Wings h&T Smoked Dry – Spice Rub

Chilli Tiger Prawn Sosatie Cold Smoked Garlic, Chilli, Lime Salt, Orange

Pork Belly Sosatie Muscovado, Coriander Seed, Smoked Granny Smith Apple & Cider Compote

Skin on Dry Roast Chips (v) Sicklewood Smoked, Lemon, Garlic Salt

Couscous & Feta (g)(v)  Butternut, Pickled Raisin, Rocket

Dessert

Malva Pudding Apricot, Malva Crumb & Vanilla Ice – cream

A bar of MIA chocolate

£45pp* * excludes service charge

For further details or to book, visit www.hammertongs.co.uk/#menus

About Hammer & Tongs

Inspired by their love of traditional braai in South Africa, Hammer & Tongs offer juicy, tender & smoky cuts of meat cooked over wood.

Braai (rhymes with try) is South African barbecue. Hammer & Tongs only ever cook with Sekelbos (Sickle Bush) wood imported from Namibia. The smoke married with beef, pork, vegetables, fish – pretty much anything – creates a whole new level and depth of flavour.

South Africans have been braaing for thousands of years and over the centuries the flavours have evolved thanks to all the diverse culinary influences bought along with the many settlers. However, one thing has always stayed the same; the simplicity and skill of cooking over a wood fire.

The flavours experienced at Hammer & Tongs warm the soul. The beer bread, marinades and chutneys are all home made and inspired by the tastes of the Karoo and Stellenbosch. They source only the highest quality, local, seasonal ingredients and all of the meat is British free-range and fish comes from responsible, sustainable sources.

 

 

Serotonin-boosters, rich in antioxidant and even considered aphrodisiacs, chocolate and wine surely – have our (cardiac) interests at heart! Their consumption, in moderation, is believed to reduce cardiovascular diseases – but it’s the instant bliss from biting into a bar or sipping on cherry-like Pinot Noir that make us come back to them.

Whether we spoil ourselves after a long day at work, or with a nice meal or in front of a great Netflix series, wouldn’t it be fantastic to pair the two together and indulge in the most exuberant fashion?

Well, thanks to dashing French wine expert Jerome Boullier from Manchester-based importer Morgenrot,  you can do just that and match some wines, styles and grapes to our flavour-rich MIA bars.  Check out his suggestions below.    

MIA Cranberry & Hazelnut  matched to ‘Maury 2013’  Hecht & Bannier, ABV 16.5%

This 65% dark chocolate bar is complemented by dried cranberries, roasted hazelnuts and a touch of cinnamon.

Maury, a port-like wine from the Languedoc region, South of France, was made from old vines of Grenache Noir. The wine features notes of red cherry and raspberry, but also bramble, cocoa, roasted coffee beans, gingerbread, and candied fruits.

This is a fantastic option as it will match the sweet, woody and nutty flavours of the chocolate bar with plenty of fruit at the fore.

MIA Candied Orange matched to ‘Château Haut-Roquefort’ Michel Pion, ABV 14%

Across the river from the Sauternes vineyards lies the town of Cadillac, also famous for producing sweet wines from the Sémillon grapes. Cadillac is to Sauternes what Sidney is to Melbourne, or Pippa to Kate: bolder, with somewhat wilder and more explosive flavours.

In this bar, Madagascan 65% dark chocolate was infused with orange and dotted with candied orange pieces across its back, delivering an intense zingy citrus flavour throughout.

A glass of Cadillac will accompany this chocolate perfectly with upfront flavours of orange peel, citrus zest and ripe apricot, complemented by a honey-like sweetness. The perfect way to conclude a stylish dinner party or date night.

 

MIA 100% Cocoa  matched to ‘Xixarito’ Pedro Ximenez Bodegas Barón

Pure, uncompromised 100% Cocoa delivers deep, intense flavours derived from the beans with nuances of red fruit. Such intensity calls for even bolder flavours and texture, and that is what sweet sherries are about.

Bodegas Barón can trace its origin back to the 17th century. The two young brothers now in charge produce contemporary sherries with incredible labels, tribute to their grand-father. Pedro Ximenez Xixarito is a flavour bomb of dried fruits – raisins, figs, dates – chocolate and coffee. It boasts a velvety and creamy palate and a rich, viscous but delicate sweetness.

For further information on any of the wines showcased, visit www.morgenrot.co.uk.  

With January behind us, we thought you all deserved an extra special treat and sometimes one dose of chocolate just won’t do.  So here’s a double dose of MIA in this cracking cookie recipe, that will always put a smile on the face – whatever the weather.  We dare you to try and stop at one cookie.

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Chop up one bar of MIA chocolate into 1cm chunks.
  3. Then, take a bowl and mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and baking powder. Put to one side.
  4. Next mix together the butter and sugar until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until fluffy.
  5. Mix both bowls of ingredients together.
  6. Now the fun bit – add the MIA chunks to the bowl of cookie dough. Once everything is mixed in evenly you are ready to roll your dough.
  7. Roll small balls of cookie dough into the palm of your hands. Press down on the baking sheet. You should have roughly 10/12 cookies.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 6 minutes – just before they are fully baked. At this stage pull them out of the oven and take larger pieces of MIA and push these into the top of the soft, half-baked cookie.
  9. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes and take them out when they are just turning brown. The MIA chunk on top should not have fully melted.
  10. Let them sit for a minute before moving them carefully on to a wire rack.

 

 

If you can wait a second longer do…if not, enjoy! Let us know about your MIA creations by tagging #MIAFoodie.

We’re delighted to announce that our first major 1 for Change project called ‘Hungry Young Minds’ has come to fruition after the launch of a new school kitchen at the Mahitsy Primary School in Madagascar.

Our pioneering joint venture with Money for Madagascar was aligned with an Education for Life programme to tackle the root causes of poor educational access and attainment on the island.

 

MIA provided 33% of the funding required for the ‘Hungry Young Minds’ project via our 1 for Change programme, which sees 1% of all sales donated to development projects in Africa.     

For many students at the Mahitsy school and the other rural state primary schools in Madagascar, extreme hunger is prevalent and is a key factor in children not being able to attend school or concentrate even if they do make it to class. 

This project at the Mahitsy School will help to resolve this issue by providing hygienic, nutritious school meals, which will reduce hunger and malnutrition and help children to concentrate in class.

The new kitchen is equipped with a fuel-efficient stove, a closed water tank with a tap that can be filled from the water pump and secure storage cupboards for cooking equipment and food stocks.

Irenee Rajaona-Horne from Money for Madagascar said:

“Madagascar continues to be one of the poorest country’s in the world where hunger affects a huge proportion of children.  By being able to provide a meal at school, it’s not only a huge incentive to ensure kids attend but it means they have the fuel to concentrate, grow and develop while in class.  To many, a stove, some secure cupboards and safe worktops aren’t a lot, but to the children, the parents, staff and other volunteers at the school it will make a huge difference. It’s been great working with MIA to get this special project off the ground but I guess thanks has to go to the UK customers who bought the bars as well.”

MIA Co-founder Brett Beach said:

“We’re so excited to see our first 1 for Change project get off and running.  It’s a central part of our business and philosophy and these children will hopefully be the first of many to benefit over the coming years. We’re already seeing what a huge difference the school kitchen is having so a huge thanks to all those people who bought our bars last year.”

About MIA – Amazing Food That Does Good

With 65% of the world’s cocoa coming from Africa but less than 1% of chocolate actually made there, bean-to-bar chocolate company MIA is out to change this shocking status quo.

Set up by a group of foodies with a shared passion for the African continent, its people, wildlife and natural ingredients, MIA, short for Made In Africa, is different for its ability to deliver delicious tasting and beautiful products that are entirely crafted in Africa.

The “fair-made” MIA bars are available in Amazon, Cocoa Runners, BoroughBox and Whole Foods. The range includes a 100% Cocoa, a 75% Dark Chocolate and a variety of inclusion bars in a 65% dark chocolate base: Coconut, Almond & Coconut, Cranberry & Hazelnut, Candied Orange, Hemp & Almond and Baobab & Salted Nibs.

The entire bean-to-bar chocolate making process – including the roasting, shelling, grinding, tempering and even packaging – takes place under one roof in Madagascar to utilise the freshest and best ingredients. 

By doing this, MIA also brings three times more benefit to local communities in Africa (vs. export of raw ingredients). 

The MIA brand is partnered with Proudly Made in Africa (PMIA) to ensure that products aren’t just made on the continent but are produced with as many locally sourced ingredients and materials as possible.

MIA is committed to a 1 for Change programme which ensures that 1% of all MIA sales are dedicated to development projects in places where a little goes a long way. Whether it’s projects to help save local endangered species or to improve a community’s livelihoods, the scheme is central to the brand’s philosophy. 

For further information, visit:

www.miafoodie.com

Instagram – www.instagram.com/miaflavour/

Facebook – www.facebook.com/miaflavour

Like their fellow country people, the cocoa farmers in northwest Madagascar have a rich musical heritage. (Check out an album called Vakoka to hear a collaborative compilation by Madagascan musicians.) Each region of the large island nation has its own musical style, unique instruments and dances to match. But if you told a rural farmer that his fine flavour beans would end up helping musicians in an orchestra in London you’d be met with a great big “NO way!” But that is exactly what happened late last year. 

You may remember that when we kicked off our crowdfunding campaign in 2018, we included a Willie Wonka-style incentive where anyone investing would automatically be entered into a draw to win their weight in chocolate. 

With the incentive giveaway totalling around 800 bars, the big question was what would you do with that amount of chocolate? Have one a day for 2 years? Throw a huge party and spoil all your friends (you’d have a lot)? Most of us had crazy thoughts like this as a kid but taking on the challenge as an adult is another thing!

As fate would have it, the winner of his weight in chocolate following the completion of our crowdfunding campaign was a resident of Richmond and a lover of classical music. While he kept some bars to enjoy with family and friends, John also realised he could turn chocolate into currency to support his passion for orchestral music.

Onto the auction table MIA would go and after the bidding dust had settled, those distant Madagascan cocoa farmers in the tropics of northwest Madagascar had helped the London-based Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra further its cause to spread music as widely as possible, in particular to children and young people. 

That’s one to hum… or sing… or whistle about! 

 

 

 

 

Tiago Fragoso is a talented food blogger with a passion for teaching and leading a healthy lifestyle.  Growing up in Portugal his mother was a chef so food was always a big part of his existence.  Now through his Instagram blog – @thehealthybeard, Tiago aims to inspire and show others that leading a vegetarian diet is far from limited, even in January! These magic muffins are a must to get through the January blues and show that cranberries are not just for Christmas!

 

CHOCOLATE, ORANGE AND CRANBERRY MUFFINS

This vegetarian recipe makes 6 large muffins.

INGREDIENTS:

METHOD

  1. Begin by pre-heating the oven to 180C degrees.
  2. Separate the eggs by putting the egg yolks in a large bowl and the egg whites in a separate large bowl – whisk the egg whites using an electric whisker (or hand-held) until fluffy, then set aside.
  3. Pour the orange zest and juice, almond milk, agave nectar and olive oil over the egg yolks and mix to combine the wet ingredients together.
  4. Sieve the flour along with the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt over the wet ingredients and stir to combine the dry and wet ingredients together.
  5. Pour in the egg whites, and gently fold to form the batter for the muffins – do not over fold, then add the chopped chocolate orange pieces and dried cranberries and gently mix.
  6. Grease some deep muffins tins and pour the batter evenly, place in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool, then remove and place them on a wire rack to cool further.
  8. Once the muffins have cooled completely, melt approximately 30g of 100% chocolate and drizzle over the muffins.