Portlebay Hot Chocolate Recipes (seriously good!)

Winter is the time for hot chocolate. It’s cold, we all like chocolate treats and we love being a big kid from time to time! So, we took the time to experiment with some Portlebay Popcorn inspired hot chocolate recipes and they were delicious! Have a read below, experiment and pop us a message about your hot chocolate experience! (It’ll be yummy we promise!)

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate with a Splash of Rum, inspired by Lightly Salted Portlebay Popcorn 

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Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

You will need:

  • 25ml of spiced rum
  • 2 tsp dulce de leche or thick caramel
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 75g milk chocolate chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Whipped cream to serve

(serves one)

Step 1: Mix the rum and dulce de leche in small bowl, until they are smooth.

Step 2: Warm the milk in a saucepan over a medium heat until it starts to simmer. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and pop in the chocolate, stir until the chocolate has melted.

Step 3: Pop the saucepan back on the medium heat until warm and then add the rum mixture along with a pinch of sea salt. Pour the chocolate goodness into a mug and add the whipped cream and raspberries!

Alcoholic Raspberry Hot chocolate, inspired by Very Berry Portlebay Popcorn 

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Alcoholic Raspberry Hot Chocolate

You will need:

  • 250ml milk
  • 140g of dark chocolate chopped
  • 100ml double cream
  • 25ml chambord
  • Whipped cream, jam and Raspberries to serve

(serves one)

Step 1: Add all ingredients excluding the Chambord, whipped cream and raspberries to a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until the chocolate is melted.

Step 2: Once the chocolate has melted continue to stir, as the mixture should thicken. Then add in the Chambord.

Step: Pour into a mug and top with whipped cream, jam and raspberries.

Chilli and Cinnamon Hot chocolate, inspired by Cinnamon Portlebay Popcorn 

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Chilli and Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

You will need:

  • 250ml milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 150g milk or dark chocolate chopped
  • whipped cream to serve

(serves one)

Step 1: Heat the milk and cinnamon stick in a saucepan over a medium heat, for 6-8 minutes or until boiling. Set aside for 10 minutes to infuse.

Step 2: Strain the milk into a clean saucepan and discard any captured solids. Heat again over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until hot (don’t boil). Then reduce the heat to a lower temperature and add the chocolate. Stir the mixture until the chocolate has melted and add the chilli powder.

Step 3: Pour into a mug and top with whipped cream! YUM!

 

 

ANNOUCING: The Portlebay Christmas Advent Competition!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of The Year!

As we say farewell to November and turn the pages of our calendars to December, there is only one thing on all our minds! IT’SSS CHRISTMASSSSSSS! Let the countdown begin!

This excitement is certainly no exception for us all in the Portlebay Poppery (our Christmas tree will be up and dressed as soon as the clock strikes midnight and December commences) and as it is truly our favourite time of year, we have decided to host the biggest, the best and the most brilliant competition we have ever had! The Portlebay Christmas Advent Competition- 24 days of competitions, 31 prizes to be won and 26 partnered companies! Give us a hell yeah!

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Take a peak at all the companies involved in our Christmas competitions

Everything you need to know

  • The competitions will commence on the 1st December and continue until 24th December
  • To enter any of our competitions you will need to visit our social media pages (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) and follow the post instructions
  • Each competition will be launched at 5pm UK time (Sorry to anyone outside of the UK, the competitions are only for UK entrants)
  • Each prize will consist of a box of popcorn and another prize provided by our partnered companies – EEK!

That’s all we can spill for now, we hope you are excited (WE ARE!) and don’t forget to enter all the competitions!

Our Bespoke Packets are in a League of their Own!

Our small Portlebay Team are beaming from ear to ear, as we are delighted to announce our new service of bespoke popcorn packaging! We are even more pleased with the result of our debut for Warner Bros. The wondrous popcorn packets are supporting the preview screenings of Justice League, and the packets look very cool (if we do say so ourselves!).

The packets feature the main characters from the film, including Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as the Flash, Ben Affleck as Batman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman and Ray Fisher as Cyborg.

Jonty White, our Chief Pop-Miester, commented on the groovy popcorn packets saying:  “As a premium manufacturer, we are constantly innovating and offering consumers new, exciting flavours and textures and this diversification into personalised packaging is another facet of our capabilities.

“For Warner Bros., we personalised packs of our extremely popular Sweet & Salty flavour with the movie’s characters.  This was a short production run, solely for the film’s three UK preview screenings, in advance of its main release to the public in mid-November.

“Popcorn is more popular than ever and Portlebay Popcorn is one of the few artisan popcorn brands that manufactures its own premium product, with sweet, salty, spicy, smoky and even fizzy options.  As such, we have the in-house capabilities to create branded, bespoke packaging and this is an area of our business which we are aiming to grow.

“We can create personalised bags of our award-winning popcorn for special occasions and events in runs of 5,000 bags and upwards.  The service can be turned around in four weeks after the sign off of artwork and it offers clients a unique vehicle through which to communicate or promote key messages.”

If you would like the chance to have your very own box of these spectacular limited edition packets, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, where we’ll be offering you the chance win a whole bunch of them on the 17/11/2017! Good luck!

 

 

Popcorn in The News

Recently popcorn has seen great criticism in the news, as the number of popcorn-related dental issues have doubled over the past three years, according to The Telegraph, and many other broadsheets and tabloids. Supposedly, popcorn has surpassed other more known dental offenders such as hard boiled sweets and toffee, as a result of the rise in popcorn consumption. Our team here at Portlebay Popcorn were surprised when this story hit the news, as we are very proud to say we have NEVER received a legitimate complaint that our popcorn has caused any dental issues!

How have we lessen the number of kernels in our popcorn packets?

In the Poppery, our popcorn experiences many different stages on it’s journey, before it even reaches the packet you see on the shelf. There are two machines that each piece of popcorn will encounter on it’s travels, that reduce the number of kernels in each popcorn batch: the sifter, and a unique Portlebay system that filters our popcorn through weight measurements.

Once the popcorn kernels have been popped in our kettles (not your average kettle that you use to make a cup of tea!) the batch is then taken away on a conveyor belt to the sifter. The sifter filters out all the up-popped kernels (traditionally called Old Maids!), like a giant rotating sieve! After the sifter, the popcorn is then tossed through a seasoning drum to add the flavour. The last step to remove the kernels is a very clever system which is unique to Portlebay. This system measures the weight of each item and will remove anything that is heavier than a popped kernel – an un-popped kernel or sugar lump! Through this process we have been able to limit the number of kernels to that are in our bags industry leading levels, and lessen the likelihood of any dental issues!

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Freshly popped popcorn on the conveyor to the sifter!

Our team at Portlebay are very proud that we have never received a legitimate dental complaint and we will continue to work as hard as we can to keep our popcorn yummy, natural and dental damage free!

Christmas & New Year 2017/18 – Delivery Dates & Office Opening Times

HOORAY, Christmas is getting closer! For all our lovely retailers here are our delivery dates and office opening times for Christmas and The New Year!

OFFICE OPENING TIMES
Monday 25th December – CLOSED
Tuesday 26th December – CLOSED

Wednesday 27th – Friday 29th December – Open (skeleton staff)

Monday 1st January – CLOSED
Tuesday 2nd January – Back to work!

COURIER – small deliveries
The last possible delivery day before Christmas will be on Thursday 21st December, any orders for this date will need to be with us and processed by midday on Wednesday 20th December.
(Please note this will be a very busy time so if at all possible please order earlier)

Wednesday 27th December – Friday 29th December there will be no Collections or Deliveries.

Monday 1st January – CLOSED
Tuesday 2nd January – Normal service resumes with first deliveries on Wednesday 3rd January.

PALLET DELIVERIES
Monday 18th December – Friday 22nd December – normal deliveries.
Wednesday 27th December – Monday 1st January – no collection from Portlebay or deliveries to customers
The earliest delivery day after the break will be Thursday 4th January

Merry Christmas & a happy New Year to you all!

 

How to Beat Those Winter Blues

Although winter is the fun and festive period of Christmas (EEK), yummy food, cosy nights and delicious hot chocolates, winter can make us all a bit down and miss those wild summer adventures! So, we have some handy tips to keep you (and us!) as chirpy and cheerful as possible!

Keep active

Although it’s super tempting to snuggle up and indulge in those tasty treats, getting out and about, and running around (walking works too!) has proven to raise spirits and keep us happy, happy, happy! Not only does staying active reduce stress, anxiety and depression, it also helps us with weight loss too- woo!

Here are a few fun ideas to get you moving:

  • Get walking and enjoy the crisp winter season
  • Convince your friends to get involved and do some fitness classes together- get competitive
  • Jump into the swing of Christmas and take to the skating rink- Ice Ice Baby
  • Remember that everything counts- run up those stairs, walk to the shops, have dance and a jiggle while the kettle is boiling
  • Get your family involved and go on a mini adventure- Castles, beaches, National Parks
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Getting involved in a fitness class at our local Super Tramp!

Make sure you spend time your friends and family

The winter is typically a time that you spend with your nearest and dearest, they know how to make you smile and will brighten your day! Socialising has a super positive effect on mental health, so get chatting over a good ole cuppa!

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Take up a new hobby

Taking up a new hobby can be a great way to keep you busy! If you choose something creative you could even busy yourself with making your friends and family Christmas goodies- cards, decorations, cookies, wreaths, there’s so much to make!

If you aren’t the creative type perhaps look to get involved with a sport. Team sports are great and there lots of sports that aren’t only for the summer periods!

Eat Happy Foods

Before the times of flicking a switch to heat up our homes and the wonderful technology we have today, keeping warm was far more difficult. As we have evolved and can keep cosy all through the chilly season, we must not forget that it is super important to maintain a healthy balanced diet. Along with our wonderful Christmas treats, we also need our good old greens! A healthy diet will help prevent that winter gloominess taking over!

Here are some foods that aren’t just healthy but have also been proven to make us happier (YES PLEASE):

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Quinoa
  • Dark Chocolate- (HOORAY)
  • Green tea
  • Apples
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Coffee
  • Oranges
  • Eggs

Checkout our blog post from September for a super healthy banana oat pancake recipe, to inspire your healthy (but still yummy) lifestyle!

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Our scrumptious banana oat pancakes! 

Let’s not let the grizzly winter get the best of us this year and make the most of what those cold and winter days do bring! Happy winter from us all at Portlebay Popcorn!

 

New Listing for Portlebay!

Rejoice fellow popcorn lovers, there’s now even more places to find your favourite popcorn! ASDA stores across the South West now stock our Sweet & Salty and Lightly Salted flavours, and you can find the full list right here for your perusal!

Bodmin

Bournemouth

Bristol

Cheltenham

Falmouth 

Newton Abbot

Plymouth

Poole

St. Austell

Swindon

Taunton

Weston-super-Mare

Weymouth

 

 

 

 

Save our Hedgehogs!

If you’re anything like us, you just LIVE for this time of year. Crisp Autumn nights are made nice and cosy with hot chocolate, sticky toffee puddings and of course a bloomin’ big bonfire that lights up the sky and warms you down to your little cotton socks.

But we’re not the only ones who love to kick up some leaves this time of year – hedgehogs come in a very close second! Right about now, they’re gorging on slugs, spiders and other creepy crawlies so they can have a nice, long snooze. Or in science-y speak, they’re about to hibernate. Unfortunately, us humans have made it pretty tricky for these balls of prickles to find the perfect bed for themselves, or do very much at all!

Right now, there are just under a million in the wild; that may sound a lot, but in the 1950’s there were 30 million of these critters running around. 30 million! There isn’t one specific cause, but loss of habitat, increased farming, busier roads and a rise in the number of badgers definitely doesn’t help.

So what can we do to help our spiky little friends? We went to Prickly Ball Farm, a farm dedicated to caring for injured or sick hedgehogs, to find out!

Build Your Bonfires Last Minute

The one time being prepared is a bad idea! Stacking all your burnable items right before you set it alight will unsure an unsuspecting hedgehog hasn’t had time to make a nice little nest in amongst the bonfire! If you really MUST be organised, make sure you give the ground underneath a gentle poke to wake them up in time!

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Keep Your Garden a Little Bit Messy

A hooray for lazy gardeners everywhere! The advice from wildlife experts is to look at your garden as a mini nature reserve – twigs, leaves and bushes are a hedgehog’s paradise. Or, if you want to give your little garden lodgers the V.I.H experience, you can make up you own hedgehog house to make sure they are completely undisturbed!

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A hedgehog oasis

Have Holes in Your Fences 

This may sound like we just want you to have a really shabby garden, but these little Tom & Jerry style holes will make sure a hedgehog can take refuge in your lovely garden! Hedgehogs travel 1-2 miles a night searching for food, shelter and mates, so the easier they can get around, the more likely they’re to survive.

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A hedgehog nightmare!

If You Find a Hedgehog…

Rejoice! You’re one of the lucky ones to have spotted one this year! It may be peckish, so offer it cat/dog meat or cat/dog biscuits, or you could also use bird seed, sunflower hearts, meal worms, unsalted peanuts, raisins and dried fruit, and only offer it water to drink!

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Donate to Your Local Hedgehog Hospital 

There’s no such thing as an NHS or private healthcare for hedgehogs unfortunately, so donating to places like Prickly Ball Farm ensure they can get the care they need if they do become ill, or lose their homes and habitat! Olbas oil for sniffly hedgehog noses, newspapers, cat food and blankets are all greatly appreciated at hedgehog hospitals up and down the country. If you do want to make a donation, you can find their info here!

We would just like to say a massive thank you to Prickly Ball Farm for letting come to visit, and in particular Danielle who is a hedgehog genius and answered all of our many  questions! The hedgehogs are lucky to have you!

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The lovely Danielle and adorable Gary