Glad the Christmas stress is over!

December always seems to be a very busy month, with all sorts of things to do and organize before Christmas! Apart from the usual stress of finding nice presents for family, here are some of the things that kept me busy:

Time to enjoy Christmas markets and decorations

… in Aachen

I was kept busy with regular visits to the Aachen Christmas market! I always love meeting up with friends for Glühwein (mulled wine) during the Christmas market. The Christmas market in Aachen is said to be one of the most beautiful ones in Germany. Tourists from France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK certainly flock over to see it! Meeting up at Glühwein stalls is very popular among locals, whatever the weather!

Aachen Christmas market seen from the Katschhof square
Aachen Christmas market seen from the Katschhof square
The side of the Aachen cathedral, during the Christmas market
The side of the Aachen cathedral, during the Christmas market
Aachen Christmas market stalls on the market square, in front the of the city hall
Aachen Christmas market stalls on the market square, in front the of the city hall
Aachen Christmas market - looking at the back of the townhall
Aachen Christmas market – looking at the back of the city hall

… near Aachen at the Merode Castle

For the first time I visited the Christmas market at Schloss Merode (Merode castle), 30km away from Aachen in Langerwehe. It was such a pretty setting for a Christmas market! All the little wooden stalls were nicely lit up and arranged around the Castle. It is held every year from end of November until a few days before Christmas (Wednesday to Sundays). It’s definitely worth a visit!

Outdoor Christmas market around Schloss Merode
Outdoor Christmas market around Schloss Merode
One of the stalls at the Christmas market at Schloss Merode
One of the stalls at the Christmas market at Schloss Merode
Merode Castle
Merode Castle

… in Nantes (FR)

I wasn’t able to spend much time on the Christmas markets in Nantes, but I had a quick look at the Christmas illuminations in the city centre. Every year the city is illuminated with different lights and different colours.

Christmas decorations in Nantes' famous Passage Pommeraye
Christmas decorations in Nantes’ famous Passage Pommeraye
L'Odyssée des rêves lightshow projected on Nantes' cathedral from 23rd to 30th December 2017
L’Odyssée des rêves lightshow projected on Nantes’ cathedral from 23rd to 30th December 2016

Making chocolates

This year for Christmas I made my first moulded chocolates by myself: chocolate shells and their fillings. I am very happy with the result! 🙂 I am slowly mastering the art of tempering chocolate!

All set for starting to make chocolates
All set for starting to make chocolates
I added colour powder and melted cocoa butter to the mould before pouring the chocolate
I added colour powder and melted cocoa butter to the mould before pouring the chocolate

I made a selection of four different chocolates: white chocolate with a lavender-orange ganache, dark chocolate with an orange-coffee-cinnamon ganache, dark chocolate with a cardamom-black tea ganache and finally milk chocolate with a white chocolate ganache infused with basil. Two of the things I like most after making chocolates are: eating them,  obviously! 🙂 but also asking my friends to guess the fillings of the chocolates I make!

homemade moulded chocolates
Here’s the result! The white ones have a white chocolate lavender-orange ganache filling, the red ones a white chocolate ganache filling infused with basil, the green ones are filled with a cardamom-black tea ganache and the gold ones with an orange-coffee-cinnamon ganache

Planning my next trip

Unlike 2016, 2017 will include travels outside of Europe! 🙂 I’ve been busy organizing my travels and reading up about the places I will go to! I’m not sure if my travels will be rich in new ice cream trials, but I will share some photos and stories of my trip with you here. To make sure not to miss the next stories, you can follow my blog / subscribe to email updates or like Traveller’s Scoops on Facebook!

Useful Links

Aachen Christmas marketaachenweihnachtsmarkt.de
Merode Castleschlossmerode.de
L’Odyssée des rêves lightshow in Nanteswww.nantes-tourisme.com/fr/spectacle/l-odyssee-des-reves

How to temper chocolatewww.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/how-to-temper-chocolate-356869

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mum says:

    And we can say that the chocolates tasted as good as they looked! Mum xo

    Like

  2. Catherine says:

    Could you not have posted this before Christmas ??? It would have helped us a bit ! 😉

    Like

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