Archive for May, 2008

on Venezuelan Black: hot chocolate

May 15, 2008

I drink hot chocolate on a regular basis. I always have. So today, it was definitely time to see how Tania and Willie Harcourt-Cooze’s choc shoc shapes up.

The hot chocolate starts off unpromisingly pale but as it heats up the chocolatey colour becomes more intense, as does the aroma that wafts up from the saucepan. It did become thicker as more steam started to rise but then I noticed the volume of liquid start to reduce. As you can see in the picture, there was nowhere near enough chocolate to fill the espresso cup. I suspect it was down to the giraffes. You see, in my experience giraffes can be rather cheeky, and I can only assume there was some secret slurping going on while I wasn’t looking.

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on Venezuelan Black: chicken mole

May 12, 2008

In the weeks leading up to Easter, Channel 4 television aired the series Willie’s Wonky Chocolate Factory. During four hour-long episodes, we watched Willie Harcourt-Cooze set up his chocolate factory in the South West of England and cook some twenty recipes. The programme also included fascinating footage from his cacao plantation in Venzuela.

Willie’s enthusiasm for Venezuelan Black (made from 100% cacao) was infectious and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a few bars. I was particularly intrigued by the use of chocolate in savoury dishes. But what would I start with? In the programme, we’d seen Willie make:

  • gaspacho with roasted red peppers
  • black turtle beans with sweet peppers served with corn bread
  • roast pork with fennel seeds and injected with ginger, apricots and white wine
  • porcini risotto
  • fish in coconut sauce
  • venison in port gravy
  • partridge wrapped in pancetta and sprinkled with thyme leaves
  • chicken mole

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back to soup: leek and potato

May 7, 2008

mrB had a wisdom tooth out this morning, bless him. He’s not feeling so good and looks a bit like Popeye. Despite the glorious weather, we’re back on soups because mrB is not allowed to eat solid food for a few days. Luckily, we’ve got plenty of vegetables in our veggie box. So it’s leek and potato for lunch and swede soup for dinner.

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