It says something when you plan your family holidays to coincide with locations of great chocolate shops. So it was that we found ourselves in the Peak District, all magnificent green and drizzle while the rest of the country baked. When I told my children we were going to Misco’s in Leek – purveyors of the legendary cake balls (from £5.50 for two) – there were no complaints. The (flourless) cake balls were still being dipped when we arrived, so we wandered round Leek while we waited and got chatting to a woman in a shop who had never had a Misco’s cake ball even though she was right across the street.
Misco’s started doing vegan truffles recently and they are absolutely wonderful (from £10.50 for eight). If you didn’t know they were vegan, you wouldn’t guess, as you feel deprived of nothing; rich and luscious as anything containing fresh cream. Current flavours include maple syrup and pecan praline; 72% mint, vanilla caramel; orange caramel and hazelnut praline. Get a mixed box (you can stipulate flavours), but my favourite was the rhubarb and custard gin, with its warming boozy hit. If you know a vegan – who doesn’t these days – who misses wonderful truffles they will be forever yours if you buy them these.
We headed to Lud’s Church, not a church at all but a near-impossible-to-find chasm, at the end of a long forest walk ribbed with tree roots and an almost hidden, ankle-twisting entry. We all hated each other by the time we got there, but when we got back, we popped open the boot of the car and sat feasting on cake balls, and all was forgiven.
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