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The Meal Times Issue 1 April 2013

Q&A with Paul A Young

7 delecatble chocolate recipes to make at home


The why, what, when, how and where of chocolate - all you need to know

heck out Bristol’s Chocolate Scene!

The best chocolate products and cookery books


Editor’s Letter

Welcome! Welcome everybody to the first issue of The Meal Times. I am aiming this food magazine to be of a new kind, which tells us more about our food, where it comes from, what it’s made from, the history behind it and how we should be using it. I love food magazines, but often when I read them I find there’s not actually that much to read. It’s all pretty, well shot pictures and lots of recipes, with the occasional short article. This means that for people like me, people who actually want to write Editor and Creator: about food, there aren’t that many places we can Adelaide Newton send our work to to be published. It’s a sad fact. I wanted to create a magazine that would teach people about the food and the producers. In this issue we are delving into the dark side of food, deep down into the depths of one of the most sort after substances on the planet. Chocolate. It comes in so many shapes, sizes and disguises. It gives you spots, it makes you feel sick, it puts fat round your middle if you eat too much, yet we continue to eat, on average, 17.49lbs of chocolate per year in Britain, according to The World Atlas of Chocolate, which makes us the 7th highest consumer of chocolate in the world. In Britain we eat an estimated 660,900 tonnes of chocolate a year, which is an average of 11kg per person per year. This equates to about 3 bars a week. Thanks for the stats, Divine Chocolate. We just can’t stop ourselves from eating it. Why? Because of that blissful feeling we get when we pop a piece onto our tongue, and feel the sugary dark sensation wash over us. “It’s the same sensation in your body as falling in love,” I heard someone say once. It’s an instant high. A legal drug, that sadly only lasts for a moment and sends us scrambling back for more. In this issue I want to tell you about where chocolate comes from, how it became the sugary confection we know today, where it is best to buy it from, how to treat it right and give you some ideas how to use it in your cooking. If you want to read more of my work, visit my blog: www. And please follow me on Twitter: @GruyereGuru


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ssue 1 April 2013

The Chocolate Issue

Food History


The History of Chocolate...................Page 5

London renowned chocolatier Paul A Young gives an insight into the life of a professional chocolatier........................................................Page 26

Food and Farming

Growing and Harvesting.................Page 10


Food and Production

From Bean to Bar.............................Page 12

Food Science

Why do we crave chocolate? Is chocolate really an aphrodisiac? How should we treat chocolate when cooking with it?.......Page 15

Salted Caramel Brownies...............Page 28


Chocolate Chilli Con Carne............Page

Triple Chocolate Tart......................Page 30

Chocolate Chilli Cupcakes with a Cool Mint Icing...........................................................Page 32

Featured Foods

My pick of the best chocolate products....... Page 18

Cookery Books

Chocolate Chorizo Sausage Roll.....Page 33

Chocolate Hotcross Bun..................Page 34

Mum’s Rich Chocolate Mousse........Page 36


My pick of the best chocolate cookbooks...........................Page 21

I explore Bristol, looking at what chocolate wonders the city has to offer and look at how the city was once essential to Britain’s chocolate industry.............................Page 37


I experience some teenage nostalgia with Rumsey’s Chocolates of Buckinghamshi re............................Page 22


My pick of the best chocolate blogs Page 39


Bar Chocolat of Bristol serves up some of the best hot chocolate and cakes..............Page 25

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A Sweet and Dark Past Where does chocolate come from? How did it become so popular? And why did it once hold the same status as gold?


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Growing and Harvesting Where does chocolate grow? How is it harvested and who has the responsiblity of looking after the trees?

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From Bean to Bar If chocolate grows as bitter cacao beans, how does it become the sweet silky bars we buy on supermarket shelves?

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Chocolate’s Mythical Properties Is chocolate really an afrodisiac? Why do we crave it when we’re tired? How should we treat chocolate when we’re cooking with it?


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Featured Foods

Chocoholic Heaven My favourite chocolate products - a few of the best out there.

The Quirky The Artisan

Creightons are a unique chocolate company from Buckinghamshire, who specialise in novelty chocolates and their bars are just as unusual. Ranging from the fashionable such as Sea Salt, to the different such as Makin’ Bacon, Creightons really think outside the box when inventing new flavours. Their Toffee Apple is a sweet milk chocolate bar, with chewy pieces of dried toffee apple. The Exploder is another one of my favourites, as it sets off a burst of firecrackers in your mouth. The Sea Salted contains large pieces of sea salt, which exaggerate the sweetness of the milk chocolate, and the Freshly Ground bar is for coffee lovers, made with 53% dark chocolate and bitter ground coffee beans. All bars are priced at £2.25 per 50g.

London is the home of artisan chocolatiers in Britain. There are dozens of them hidden amongst the city’s winding streets. One that has been at home there since 1983, is Rococo. This chocolate company is run by Chantal Coady, who followed her dream of bringing her love of chocolate to the world. All of Rococo’s chocolates are made with Fairtrade and organic chocolate from the Grenada Chocolate Company. Their Gru Grococo bar (£11.95) is made with the cocoa beans from Rococo’s own small cocoa farm. It’s a dark 66% bar with a wonderful fruity undertone, which leaves your mouth tasting of raspberries. Their Sea Salt milk chocolate bar (£4.50) and Chilli bar (£4.50) are also well worth a taste!

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The Squirrel’s Bar Gnawfolk chocolates are based in Norfolk. They support the The Pensthorpe Conservation Trust, but most importantly the red squirrel, which is unfortunately diminishing in numbers on its native isle. This means that by buying any of Gnaw’s chocolates you will be helping to keep the red squirrel’s numbers up. Gnaw specialise in chocolate bars – they have 30 creative flavours. Their Peanut Butter is a gorgeous milk chocolate bar, with crunchy peanuts and a creamy nutty flavour. Their Fudge Crunch is studded with soft chunks of fudge, chewy raisins and crisp pieces of biscuit, making it a bar of multiple textures. Who says chocolate can’t be fun?

The Pie Lovett Pies are a small pie making company based in Bath and no, their pies aren’t made out of people. They pride themselves on sourcing their ingredients from local producers. Their Venison, Red Wine & Dark Chocolate pie (£3.50) has tender chunks of venison that melt in your mouth and a rich, dark gravy that has a velvety undertone. Lovett make their pies smaller than most companies, which has its advantage if you don’t want to fill too full afterwards.

The Ice Cream Marshfield Ice Cream are based just outside of Bath, in a little village called, yup, you guessed it, Marshfield. Their ice cream is made with organic milk from the cows on their farm and comes in 25 different flavours. Their Chocoholic Heaven ice cream has a creamy chocolate base with swirls of chocolate sauce and is studded with chocolate chips. It is exactly what it says it is on the tub.

Featured Foods

The Drink I can safely say that was some of the best hot chocolate I have made myself at home. Juz and Jul’s is what you need on a cold winter’s day. They have seven different flavours, all of which are made with organic chocolate, natural spices and fruit oils. Their Perfectly Simple makes a smooth, rich and creamy cup, especially if you make it with gold top milk! If you like things spicy, then try their Chilli Con Choccy, which leaves a flush of heat in the back of your throat.

The Spread This is the ultimate chocolate spread if you are both a milk and white chocolate lover. Made by Essential’s Trading, who “actively support co-operatives, Fairtrade, environmental issues and community activities”, you can be sure when purchasing it you are getting the best chocolate as well as a product that is kind to the environment. This Duo Swirl Chocolate Spread is made from Fairtrade and organic chocolate from Ghana, where it is grown as “nature intended”. It’s smooth, sweet and you get the best of both worlds with two types of chocolate.

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Cookery Books

Chocolate Pages A round up of the best chocolate cookbooks Willie’s Chocolate Bible Willie Harcourt-Cooze is the chocolate guru and his 100% cacao blocks are a revolution in the way we cook with chocolate. The title of this book isn’t an overstatement. It covers the history of chocolate, how it is grown and harvested and how it is processed from bean to bar. The 309 page volume is also full of recipes, both sweet and savoury. There are some classic recipes in there, including pain au chocolat and black forest gateaux, but also more unusual recipes that you know are from Willie’s eccentric mind, such as cacao and olive bread and roast wild duck with a chocolate and orange sauce. This book contains chocolate recipes for every occasion and if I could only have one chocolate cookbook, I would choose this one. £25 from Hodder & Stoughton

Gü Chocolate Cookbook Melt: A Book of Chocolate

Rococo: Mastering the Art of Chocolate

Chococo: Chocolate Cookbook

Gü have made a name for themselves since 2003. You can find their puddings on supermarket shelves, but their cookery book makes it possible to make their creations at home. Of course, the recipes in the book aren’t for the products they sell, but what is in there is well worth checking out. Filled with both sweet and savoury recipes and photography that makes you feel weak at the knees, it is a great book for those who aren’t very confident working with chocolate. I recommended the Millionaire’s Flapjack and the Gü-lash. £18.99 from Harper Collins

There are an abundance of artisan chocolatiers in London, but Rococo has to be one of the first. This is Chantal Coady’s second chocolate cookbook. It is a luxury item, coming in its own box. It shares with you Chantal’s chocolate knowledge, covers chocolate confectionery, desserts, tarts, cakes and savoury dishes, which are suitable for those who want a challenging recipe to make and those who want something simple. Another chocolate bible and worth investing in. £35 from Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Chococo are an artisan chocolate company run by Andy & Claire Burnet. This beautiful creation begins with the story of how Chococo came into being, it explains how to work with chocolate, where it comes and how to temper it and what sort to buy. It covers a small selection of chocolate recipes with no savoury ones, but the ones that are guaranteed to give you a chocolate fix. A mix of classic and unique recipes, this little book is perfect for making simple creations. £16.99 from Ryland Peters & Small

Located in Notting Hill, Melt has been making chocolates since 2006. Their book is definitely for the wannabe chocolatiers. There are very few recipes for a quick, easy chocolate session in the kitchen. However, if you want to learn how to handle chocolate like a professional, then this book is perfect as a starting point. It is great for learning how to make handmade chocolates, learning how to temper chocolate and contains some interesting chocolate flavour combinations. £25 from Absolute Press


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Sweet Nostalgia I talk to Nigel and Mary Rumsey of Rumsey’s chocolaterie, Buckinghamshire, about their business and what it’s like running a chocolate shop. Christmas,” Mary told me. “It sort of snowballed from there. “Our business grew organically. Some people start off with a plan and a clear idea in their head about where they want to go, but we took things slowly. We had to since we had a mortgage and a family. Nigel’s employers were very good and let him reduce his hours. Eventually he was able to hand in his resignation and go full time making chocolates.” There is nowhere else in the whole world that symbolises my teenage years more than a little chocolate shop in Wendover. Converted from an old bank, Rumsey’s is the place of dreams. It is a beautiful chocolaterie and is my ultimate place of comfort. I used to go there with my mum every holiday, including half term and several times during the summer holidays. Valentine’s Day presents and Easter gifts must come from there. Whenever I think of chocolate, I don’t think of the cheap confectionery you find on supermarket shelves, I think of a bag of handmade chocolates from Rumsey’s. Back when I was a teenager I was determined to try all of them. I have a piece of paper at home that pictures each one and I have ticked the ones I have tried. I am proud to say that most of them are marked.

During this time all of the chocolate making was being done at home. “It was taking over the house! We needed somewhere where people could buy our chocolates, and if they came a long way then somewhere they would be able to have a coffee. This is what really turned our shop idea into a chocolaterie. We managed to hit the market at exactly the right time, as the film Chocolat had just been released.”

It was a wonderful opportunity for me to talk to Mary and Nigel Rumsey, the couple who set up the chocolaterie. We sat together upstairs in their Wendover shop, to talk about how they set up their business, where they have been and where they are going. The couple set up their shop in Wendover nine years ago. They opened their doors on Valentine’s Day and have so far spread their wings to the neighbouring village Thame, where they opened another shop five years ago. Mary and Nigel work together as a team. Nigel deals with the chocolate production, the training of the new staff and Mary

Nigel was trained as a pâtisserie when he was a teenager. He worked a little with chocolate, but it was while he was a chef at Oxford University that he first started making his own. “We gave them as gifts to family and friends one

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Interview sorts out the admin.

making our chocolates in store, but we’re still smarting from the impact. However, we have a positive face for the future.”

“This is the time when people really appreciate good food,” Mary said. “With this horse meat scare, sourcing and traceability in food is very important. We make our products in our shops, which means we know what goes into them, so if someone asks whether this chocolate has dairy in it, or nuts then we can tell them.”

“We’re still holding chocolate courses and children’s birthday parties at our Thame shop,” Nigel added. “We’ve recently developed our online sales with our website,” Mary said. “We have lots of products on there so people who can’t come to our shops can buy our chocolates online. It’s hard work and it’s all about continuity. A close friend of ours is helping us with the marketing side of things. We’ve got a Twitter and Facebook account so we keep in contact with our customers.”

I did a chocolate making course with Nigel some years ago. This was at their Coco Pod school in the village of Stone. I asked the couple why they decided to set the school up. “Well, there’s a story there,” Mary explained. “We had people telling us we should open a shop here and a shop there. We needed more production space, and so decided to open the second shop. But we found we had very little space there for making chocolate, since we needed quite a lot of seating. So we left things for a few years and started looking for somewhere we could move all our production to. We found the large building in Stone, bought it, converted it and moved all our chocolate production there. “This turned out to be a disadvantage. We essentially divorced ourselves from the shops. One of the reasons people came to our shops, especially the Wendover one, was to see the chocolates being made, but because all the chocolate making was being done in Stone, people were missing it. We also didn’t think about the logistics. We were delivering our chocolates to both our shops, instead of just making them there. Also the cost of keeping the Coco Pod was high, and we had opened it just as the credit crunch began. We’ve now turned everything around and are back to

To make all these chocolates, Rumsey’s get through 5-6 tons per year. They keep the same basic range of chocolates all year round, but change four or five of them to reflect the seasons. “We tried taking some off the menu,” Nigel said, “but people would ask why haven’t we got this chocolate on sale? And why haven’t we got this one? We have about twenty chocolates which


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Interview make up our backbone. Every season we bring in a few new ones. For example, we were asked to make some Marmite chocolates. Strangely enough these were popular with the people who didn’t like Marmite, but those who did weren’t so keen on them. When we do try new flavours we give out samples to customers to get their feedback.”

where he got his from. “Magazines and TV mostly - ideas will usually just suddenly spring out at me. We’ve also been watching the Great British Bake Off and I’ve been inspired to bake my own bread to have in the shops. I’m not keen on looking at what other chocolatiers are doing, because I wouldn’t want to copy what they are doing. The result wouldn’t be me.”

“Last year we entered some of our chocolates into the London Great Taste Awards,” Mary added, “and our macadamia won a two star award, and we received some others as well.”

The life of a chocolatier is secretly most people’s dream, but eventually Nigel must get sick of working with chocolate all day? “I still love chocolate and I often have to stop myself from eating what I shouldn’t. There’s always something different going on as the seasons change. We’ve just had Christmas, Valentine’s Day is now coming up, then it’ll be Mother’s Day, then Easter. In the summer we make and sell ice cream.”

Rumsey’s also sell their chocolates to Waddesdon Manor and to Oxford University. They have just started selling wholesale through Blackwoods, who then supply the chocolates to farm shops. These chocolates have to have a longer shelf life, so Rumsey’s only sell them products such as their chocolate covered honeycomb and their buttons.

And what do Rumsey’s have planned for the future?

Like with their chocolates, Rumsey’s keep their savoury dishes the same, changing one or two dishes with the seasons.

“We want to expand only in quality and excellence, not physically,” Mary said. “We want to make what we have special.” In my opinion Rumsey’s already have something very special. Sat at home with an open book and a box of their chocolates at my right hand is perfection. My hand first fell upon a salted caramel, a round chocolate ball, which burst with sweetness. Next was a caramel florentina, which had a chewing base and an oozing caramel centre. I then came upon a creamy vanilla fudge, coated in milk chocolate and patterned with beautiful green and yellow flowers. Childhood rediscovered in one bite.

“We’re developing a range of sandwiches,” Mary told me, “but we are primarily a chocolaterie. Some people even ring to book tables. It’s good to know that there are large groups coming, but we’re not a restaurant.”

“We’ve started doing pâtisserie,” Nigel said, “which is great for me because I now get the best of both worlds. When I started making chocolates I got this buzz from having them on display – it was like they were on parade. I was proud that they were all the same size and shape.” Like writers and artists, chocolatiers need inspiration for new flavours and designs. I asked Nigel

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Bar Chocolate I take a trip to Bristol’s Bar Chocolate to taste the delights of what their menu has to offer. For those of you who have seen the film

before Easter. It was busy, but not

I ordered a brie and cranberry panini

Chocolat, or who have read the book,

overwhelmingly so. Lots of people were

(£4.95). It arrived warm and accompa-

will know the seduction and beauty of

popping in and out, either buying choc-

nied by a fresh handful of leaves. The

Vianne’s chocolate shop. Artisan inde-

olates for the next day, or stopping by

bread was crisp and there was a good

pendent chocolateries are becoming

for a coffee and a piece of cake. It was

balance of cheese and cranberry. They

more and more common in Britain, and

a buzz of activity - saying that the staff

hadn’t skimped on the cheese as it was

not just in London. Over many cities

were always on the ball. Our drink or-

oozing out from between the two layers

cafés are springing up that sell hand-

ders were delivered only a few minutes

of bread. The cranberries provided a

made chocolates, serve hot chocolate,

after ordering – our food took a little

lovely tart contrast to creamy strong

cakes and puddings, and give you that

longer, but a reasonable amount of time.

cheese. The salad dressing was amazing

same idealistic feeling as Vianne’s choc-

– vinegary and slightly mustardy.

olate shop. Bristol’s Bar Chocolat is one

Bar Chocolat take their hot chocolate

of these places.

very seriously and give you a fantastic range of choice. You can essentially create your own, choosing what strength chocolate you want, if you want to add any flavourings, toppings or extras. I recommend trying a milk chocolate with orange oil, whipped cream and marshmallows. It’s guaranteed to get you bouncing off the walls. As well as

For afters I ordered a slice of Victo-

hot chocolate, Bar Chocolat serve “fresh,

ria sponge (£2.30), because I had felt

organic, Fairtrade coffee” from Brian

rather envious after the table next to use

The café is located in Clifton Village,

Wogan, smoothies, the usual juices and

had ordered one. The sponge was light

about a 20 minute walk from the city

a huge range of tea “to suit everyone in

and evenly risen, but it is the outside

centre. The shop is glass fronted, which

all moods”.

of the cake I need to tell you about. I

floods the interior with natural light.

guessed they had sprinkled icing sugar

Inside is kitted out with soft chairs,

over the cake after it had come out the

marbled topped tables and comfy

oven, which meant the sugar had been

armchairs to sink back in and enjoy a

absorbed into the crust, making it deli-

cup of their creamy hot chocolate. The

ciously sweet.

café isn’t very big – there are about eight tables inside and three outside.

We left feeling very full, but satisfied. I

A counter at the back displays all the

would recommend a visit to Bar Choc-

beautiful luxurious chocolates that are

olat. It’s just the place to go for a lazy

on offer. It is unclear as to whether Bar

Food wise, the café offers an array of

Chocolat make their own chocolates, or

simple lunch time offerings – paninis,

whether they buy them in from another

baguettes, soup and quiche. They also

chocolatier. Whatever the case, they are

do breakfast specials, such as pastries

handmade and look just as good as any

and bacon baguettes. Nothing fancy,

artisan chocolatier’s.

but what you need to go alongside the


piece of cake you are bound to have. We visited the café on the Saturday


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Treating Chocolate Like a Professional I speak to London chocolatier, Paul A Young, about his chocolate memories and the life of a professional chocolatier.

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Take a Walk On the D


alted Caramel Brownies

113g/4oz plain flour

½tsp sea salt

One flavour of chocolate that’s recently grown on me recently is sea salt. Find yourself a really good milk


chocolate bar spotted with sea salt and it’s magical. You get


these wonderful bursts of salty sweetness alongside the

in a heavy based pan. Over a low/medium heat slowly melt

Make the caramel. Put the sugar and liquid glucose

creamy chocolate. I’m not going to pretend that this recipe is

the sugar in the glucose. It helps if you tip the pan so the car-

original, because it isn’t. Salted caramel and brownies are a

amel swirls around the outside. When the sugar has melted,

combination that many people have done before, but this is

turn the heat up and boil the mixture until it turns a golden

my version - and I think the best! I need to nod my head to Ni-

caramel brown.

gella Lawson for the brownie recipe (Domestic Goddess) and


Melt Chocolates for the salted caramel recipe (Melt: A Book of

seeds and sea salt in another pan. Do not let it boil, but the

Chocolate). The ingredients in both have stayed the same, but

cream mixture must be warm when you add it to the caramel.

I have changed the methods.


While the caramel is boiling, heat the cream, milk,

When the caramel is ready and the cream mixture is

warm, put on an oven glove and pour the cream into the carMake a maximum of 24

amel. The oven glove will protect your hand from the spitting caramel. Stir the mixture until smooth. Add the butter, stir and

For the salted caramel:

leave to cool in the pan.

25g liquid glucose


125g/4½oz caster sugar

Gas Mark 4/fan 160oC. Melt the butter and chocolate together

125g/4½floz double cream

in a pan. Set aside.

20g/1floz milk


Beat together the eggs, sugar and the vanilla extract.

seeds from ½ vanilla pod


Sifted the flour into a bowl and add the sea salt.

2g sea salt


Add the slightly cooled chocolate mixture to the

12g/½oz unsalted butter, cubed

eggs and sugar. Mix until combined. Add the flour and stir in

Now make the brownies. Preheat the oven to 180oC/

gently, until there are no flour pockets. For the brownies:


188g/6¾oz 70% dark chocolate, chopped

measuring roughly 15 x 11 x 3cm, that has been lined with

188g/6¾oz unsalted butter, cubed

baking parchment. Blob the caramel onto the brownie mix-

250g/9oz caster sugar

ture, and then cover with the rest of the batter.

3 eggs


½tbsp vanilla extract

utes. Allow to cool before cutting it up.

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Pour half the brownie mixture into a roasting tin

Shove the brownies into the oven. Bake for 25 min-


Dark Side of Cooking


hocolate Chilli Con Carne

½litre beef stock

80g 70% dark chocolate, chopped

It’s universally acknowledged that dark chocolate and chilli have a bond that is comparable to cheese


and crackers. It just works. The spice from the chilli cuts


through the bitter chocolate to give your taste buds a reawak-

water to wash away any canned liquid.

ening. We can thank the Aztec’s for the matchmaking, as they


used to flavour their cacao drinks with chilli. But we can thank

ous dash of oil. When it is hot and smoking, add the meat in

the Spanish for the invention of chilli con carne – it’s like they

small batches. Fry until browned. You may have to add more

saw the Italian’s spaghetti bolognaise across the sea and

oil between each batch, to stop the meat from sticking to the

thought, “We can do better than that!” Spice up your life with

pan. Remove each batch before adding the next.

this chocolaty take on a classic dish. I need to give a nod to


Gü puddings for this recipe, since the red wine and chocolate

been removed from the pan, turn the heat down to medium,

gravy was taken from their Gü: Chocolate Cookbook. It was

add a little more oil and then the onions, red peppers and

originally the gravy base for their Gü-lash, and it was so nice I

garlic. Cook these for 15-20 minutes until soft.

knew it would work perfectly for this recipe.


Add the spices and cook for a minute.


Put the meat back into the pan, along with the beans.

Serves 6

Drain the red kidney beans. Rinse them under cold Heat a casserole dish over a high heat with a gener-

When all the meat has finished cooking and has all

Then add the tomatoes, red wine and the stock.

Ingredients: •

1 x 400g can red kidney beans

olive oil

800g minced beef

2 onions, finely chopped

2 red peppers, cored, de-seeded and sliced

5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

a big pinch curry powder

a big pinch chilli powder

4 green cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground

3tsp hot smoked paprika

4 tomatoes, chopped

250ml red wine


Simmer gently for 2½ hours.


Stir in the chocolate just before serving.



riple Chocolate Tart

Method: 1.

To make the pastry rub the butter, flour and sugar to-

Some months ago I made a triple chocolate tart out

gether until it resembles breadcrumbs. Beat in the egg yolks

of Sam Stern’s Virgin to Veteran cookery book. It was

and vanilla extract until it comes together in a smooth pastry.

lovely, but as much as I worship Stern, I was rather disappoint-

Wrap this in greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for 30

ed by it, because the chocolate layers weren’t separate. You


had a lovely layer of white chocolate at the bottom, but then


the milk and dark layers were mixed into one at the top. It

ring and put it on a baking tray. Roll out the pastry so it fits

was delicious, but didn’t have the wow factor I wanted. This is

inside the ring. Chill in the fridge for a further 30 minutes.

where this recipe comes in. This tart has it all: a white choc-

Pre-heat the oven to 180oC/Gas Mark 4/fan 160oC.

olate mousse layer, a sweet milk chocolate layer and a thin


salty dark chocolate topping. It does take a couple of hours to

cess from around the rim. Line it with tissue paper and fill with

make – over 4 – so make sure you give yourself plenty of time

baking beans.

to make it. I have to nod my head to Paul A Young for help with


this recipe, because the chocolate layers come from various

from the oven, remove the beans and bake for a further 5

recipes of his from his book, Adventures with Chocolate.

minutes until it is a pale biscuit colour. Leave to cool on a wire

Remove the pastry from the fridge. Take a 7” pastry

Remove the pastry from the fridge. Trim off any ex-

Bake the pastry in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove

rack. Serves 4-6


Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan

of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the Ingredients:

bottom of the bowl. When it has melted, brush the pastry with

For the pastry:

a little of it as a seal.

57g/2oz unsalted butter


113g/4oz plain flour

until it is soft, but not too stiff. Fold the warm white chocolate

28g/1oz caster sugar

into the cream until it is evenly mixed through. Pour this into

2 eggs yolks

the pastry case. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours, or until it is set.

2 drops vanilla extract


Make the white chocolate layer. Semi-whip the cream

Make the milk chocolate layer. Melt the milk choc-

olate the same way as the white chocolate. Slowly warm the For the white chocolate base:

cream in another saucepan with the salt and sugar. When it

75g/2½oz white chocolate

is lukewarm pour the cream into the milk chocolate. Whisk

100g/3½oz whipping cream

together. Pour this into the pastry case. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours, or until it is set.

For the milk chocolate middle:


125g/4½oz milk chocolate, broken into pieces

into a glass bowl. Place this over a saucepan of simmering

Make the dark chocolate layer. Put all the ingredients

112g/2½floz double cream

water. Melt them together until they are glossy and thick. Pour

½tsp sea salt

this into the pastry case. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours, or until

12g/½oz light muscovado sugar

it is set.

For the dark chocolate top: •

100g/3½oz 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces

100ml/3½floz whipping cream

100g/3½oz light muscovado sugar

¼tsp sea salt


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hocolate Chilli Cupcakes with a Cool Mint Icing This recipe was first published on my blog, Gruyere

Method: 1.

Preheat oven to 180oC/Gas Mark 4/fan 160oC.


Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a simmering pan of

water. Set it aside to cool.

Guru, but this one has been edited slightly from the original.


The chilli cake and the mint icing is a great combination – the

one at a time and beat in between adding each one.

mint cuts through the heat in the cupcake. You can adjust the


Add the milk.

amount of chilli to suit your tastes. If you’re a cupcake hater,


Add the cooled chocolate and beat until incorporat-

then make this into a 7” cake.


Makes 24

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the eggs


Mix in the flour and baking powder.


Taste the mixture to test the heat. If you want to add

more chilli feel free to do so. Remember to add not too much Ingredients

at a time and to mix it through thoroughly.

For the cakes:


Spoon the mixture into the cupcakes cases.

200g/8oz chilli chocolate (I used Montezuma’s)


Shove in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or

175g/6oz unsalted butter

until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack

175g/6oz caster sugar

before icing.

3 eggs


200ml/7floz milk

the egg yolks and beat, then add the sugar a little at a time.

200g/8oz self-raising flour

Add the food colouring and mint essence and whisk until

1tsp baking powder

spread evenly through.

a small pinch of chilli powder (optional)


For the icing: •

170g/6oz unsalted butter, softened

2 egg yolks

280g/10oz icing sugar

1¼tsp green food colouring

2¼tsp mint essence

For the mint icing, beat the butter until creamy. Add

Spoon and smooth the icing onto the cupcakes.


hocolate Chorizo Sausage Roll

Method: 1.

Preheat oven to 200oC/Gas Mark 4/fan 160oC.

This recipe took a long time to get right. I must


Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle of roughly

have made and eaten more than a dozen chocolate

18cm x 23cm.

chorizo sausage rolls. I hope that this resulting recipe is the


one. Chocolate and chilli go together like cheese and grapes.

heat for about a minute, until it darkens slightly and starts to

Dry fry the paprika in a frying pan on a medium/low

They are made for each other, and the bitter sweetness of

release its aroma. Tip the spice into a bowl.

the chocolate compliments the heat in chorizo like a flirting



chopped chorizo. Fry this until it has crisped on the outside

Put the frying pan back on the heat and add the

and it has released all its juices. Add the chorizo to the bowl Makes 1

with the paprika, but discard any juices that have come off it. 5.

Add the sausage meat and chopped chocolate to


the bowl and mix all the ingredients together. Lay the sau-

125g all-butter puff pastry

sage meat at the front of your pastry. Brush the outside edges

¾tsp hot smoked paprika

with water. Roll the sausage meat backwards, so it becomes

6 slices of Spanish chorizo, chopped into quarters

wrapped in the pastry. With a sharp knife slice three slits into

2 fresh plain sausages, de skinned

the top to release steam.

9g dessert chocolate (about 50%), roughly chopped


Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and

leave to cool slightly before eating.


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hocolate Hotcross Bun

machine. (Now skip to step 3). 2.

If you don’t have a bread machine: Put the milk into

I love hot cross buns. It’s such a shame they only

a sauce pan and warm it through, but do not let it boil or

come around once a year. They’re soft, sweet, filling

simmer – let it reach the point where there is steam rising

with tart dried fruit and topped with soft nutty marzipan. This

from the surface. Add the liquid chocolate to the milk and

recipe is an alternative if you want to try something different.

stir until it has dissolved. Let the milk cool to just above skin

It keeps the traditional dried fruit of a usual hot cross bun, but

temperature. Put the flour, cinnamon, yeast and salt into a

has a chocolaty punch from the liquid chocolate and choco-

bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs, then use a

late chips. The sugar syrup isn’t essential – this can be cut out

wooden spoon to mix them into the dry ingredients. When the

if you want to reduce the calories – but it adds a lovely shine

mixture becomes too stiff, add the chocolate milk to loosen it.

to the buns.

Keep mixing until all the milk has been used up and you have a sticky dough. Add the raisins, orange peel and chocolate

Makes 8

chips and knead them into the dough. Turn the dough out onto a surface (no flour, please) and knead for 10 minutes,

For the buns:

or until you have a smooth, elastic dough that doesn’t stick to

450g/16oz strong white flour

your hands or the surface. Sprinkle with flour and shape into a

2tsp ground cinnamon

ball. Plonk into lightly floured bowl, cover with a tea towel and

½tsp salt

leave for about 1½ hours, or until it has doubled in size. Turn

2tsp dried yeast

it out onto a lightly floured surface.

57g/2oz unsalted butter, cubed


220ml/8floz milk

Divide your dough into eight equal pieces. Shape these into

5tbsp powdered chocolate

balls. Cover two baking trays with baking parchment and put

2 eggs

the buns on these.

227g/8oz raisins


100g/4oz orange peel, chopped

in a bowl, shift in the sugars and mix. Make a well in the

85g/3oz milk choc chips

centre and add the vanilla extract and most of the egg then

Preheat an oven to 200oC/Gas Mark 6/fan 160oC.

Now make the marzipan. Place the ground almonds

work the mixture until it begins to come together. If it is very

For the marzipan:

dry add a little more egg and continue to work in. Bring the

100g/4oz ground almonds

mixture together with your hands. Dust the work surface with

50g/2oz caster sugar

a little icing sugar, and roll out the marzipan. Cut into strips

50g/2oz icing sugar

(2 for each bun), brush the upper side of the marzipan with

2-3 drops vanilla extract

a little water and then place the strips damp side down in a

½ egg, beaten

cross over the buns. 5.

Leave the buns to prove for 30 minutes, or until they

For the sugar syrup (optional):

have doubled in size.

3tbsp caster sugar


6tbsp water

sound hollow when you tap them on the base, then they are

Bake the buns in the oven for 15-20 minutes. If they

done. Method: 1.

7. If you have a bread machine: Put the flour, cinnamon,

While the buns are cooking, make the sugar syrup.

Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over a gentle

salt, yeast, butter and eggs into the machine. Put the milk

heat until the sugar has dissolved, now turn up the heat and

into a sauce pan and warm it through, but do not let it boil

boil the mixture until it has formed a light syrup. You can tell

or simmer – let it reach the point where there is steam rising

the syrup is ready when you dip in two metal spoons, then

from the surface. Add the liquid chocolate to the milk and stir

press them back to back, and when you move them apart a

until it has dissolved. Let the milk cool a little before adding

string appears between the two of them.

it to the other ingredients – until you can comfortably dip a


finger into it. Put your bread machine onto a raisin dough

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

setting. When the machine beeps, add the raisins and orange


peel. When the machine has finished, turn the dough out onto


a lightly floured surface and knead in the chocolate chips. It’s best to add the chips now otherwise they melt in the bread

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Brush the outside of the buns with the sugar syrup. Serve on their own, or with salted butter. Toasting is a


um’s Rich Chocolate Mousse My mum is famed for this mousse. She’s given the recipe to dozens of people who became hooked

after one mouthful. It’s quick to make, but it must be done the day before. Don’t use 70% chocolate for this recipe, because it will be too bitter – anything as low as 39% will be fine. The higher you have your coco solids, the smaller you will have to make your servings. Serves 4-6 Ingredients: •

170g/6oz dessert chocolate (around 50%)

3 eggs

1-2 tbsp of water, strong coffee or Crème de Cacao

15g/½oz unsalted butter, cubed

a few drops of vanilla essence

Method: 1.

Melt the chocolate gently in a bowl over a pan of

simmering water, or on low heat in the microwave. Do not stir the chocolate while it is melting. 2.

Meanwhile separate the eggs, placing the whites in a

large bowl ready to whisk. 3.

Remove the chocolate from heat, add the water,

coffee or liquor and mix gently before beating in the butter, vanilla and egg yolks. 4.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff then, a spoonful at a

time, fold into the chocolate mixture. When it is thoroughly mixed pour it into small pots or a large serving bowl, cover and leave overnight in the fridge. 5.

Serve topped with whipped cream.


Bristol’s Chocolate History I go exploring around Bristol, checking out what the city has to offer in the way of chocolate, and then delve into its past to discover how the city has been essential to the British industry.


n this issue’s travel section, the spot light is on Bristol. Why? Because Bristol has a history that is coated in chocolate. Once the home of J.S. Fry & Sons and once one of Britain’s busiest ports, chocolate flowed through the streets and was an essential trading comidity for the city. Bristol has been the centre of shipping for the past 700 years, starting in the 14th century when trading started with countries such as Spain, Iceland and Portugal. In the 1300s Bristol was Britain’s second biggest port after London. By the middle of the 18th century Bristol had become England’s second biggest city, and was trading products from far off lands, such as Africa, the Caribbean, India and China. Sugar, tobacco and rum were all being shipped in and traded for exports of cooking pots and guns. It’s unfortunate to say now that amongst these exotic items were human lives – Bristol played a key part in the slave trade. Products from the new world also started to flood into Bristol harbour. This, of course, included cocoa. In 1759 Joseph Fry started to make chocolate in

Bristol, but it wasn’t until 1847 that the company produced the first chocolate bar. In 1866 the iconic Fry’s Chocolate Cream was produced. During World War One the company became one of the largest employers in Bristol, but in 1919 Fry’s merged with Birmingham chocolate company, Cadbury’s. Together they became the British Cocoa and Chocolate Company. Fry’s chocolate factory moved out of Bristol in 1923, to the Somerdale factory in Keynsham. The factory closed on 31st March 2011, when the American company Kraft bought Cadbury’s. Production previously done at the factory moved to Poland. Even though there is no large scale chocolate production in Bristol anymore, there still remain a few small independent chocolate shops that keep the city’s chocolate heritage alive. One of these is Guilbert’s Chocolates. The company was started by Swiss chocolatier Monsieur Guilbert, who set up shop in Park Street in 1910. Guilberts have since moved to Small Street, but they continue to make their chocolates in the same small batches and with the same high quality ingredients. Their 1910 collection is worth checking out – simple handmade


chocolates infused with natural oils and flavourings. Another chocolate shop is A Bar of Chocolate, which can be found in Bristol’s thriving St Nicholas Market. They don’t make their own chocolates, but they do stock handmade Belgian and British chocolates, as well as a vast array of chocolate products, from big producers such as Montezuma chocolate, to small producers such as Ooh! Chocolata, who are a chocolate company based in Nailsea. You can enjoy a pot of fresh loose leaf tea with a selection of their chocolates in their shop. Zara’s Chocolates are another chocolate company who are keeping the chocolatier tradition alive in the city, but they are a more modernised version of Guilbert’s. Where the latter are more traditional in their designs, Zara’s collection is more quirky. Her designs feature chocolate moustaches, chocolate lips, chocolate tea cups, as well as different flavours of hot chocolate on a stick. Although Zara doesn’t have a shop, you can buy her products in and around Bristol. To remember the chocolate empire that Bristol used to

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house, the M Shed have opened an exhibition that explains and explores the world of chocolate. Open from 2nd February to 23rd June 2013 the exhibition will be open to tell you all about the world of chocolate, including Bristol’s connection with it. The most interesting part is the collection of videos that play against the back wall. These films date back to the early 1900s and show Fry’s Somerdale factory in full production, as well later films showing how cacao is grown and harvested in Ghana. They have an impressive collection of chocolate bar wrappers, of both Fry’s and Cadbury’s products, as well as chocolate moulds that date back to the 1800s. But the best bit is that you get free chocolate at the end! The Meal Times


Choco Blogs A round up of the best chocolate blog to follow.

Chcoablog is the best blog to follow for updates on all things chocolate. They have reviews of new chocolate products, interviews, factory tours; they report from chocolate festivals, tasting events and have a YouTube channel where you can find videos from conferences. As well as all that they have lots and lots of chocolate recipes. It was started in 2006 by Dom Ramsey, who wanted to provide unbiased chocolate reviews, delicious chocolate recipes and in-depth features and reports.

Dying for Chocolate is run by Janet Rudolph, who, with her husband runs chocolate team building events. This blog is her basis for her chocolate passion. Most of her blog is devoted to recipes, but some of them are from old retro advertisements. She posts chocolate news, reviews of chocolate products and also the odd Q&A session with someone related to chocolate. You get a real sense of nostalgia from her blog as she revisits the times when chocolate was thought of as a real delicacy.

Kerstin Roos is the found and owner of Canadian gourmet company, Kerstin’s Chocolates. Her and her sister and business partner, Angie, run their blog together. It has updates on her business ventures, but more importantly they cover their amazing adventures to chocolate plantations. Read and I guarantee you will become envious of their travelling and chocolate tasting!

Mostly About Chocolate is run by journalist, reviewer and chocolate lover, Judith Lewis. It’s a handy little blog if you like travelling and tasting chocolate, for she has lists of the best chocolate shops in certain cities around the world. The blog is a handy source for checking out new chocolate products and cookery books. She also has some delicious looking recipes on there for chocolate. Check out her Toblerone Shortbread Pockets recipe!


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Thanks for reading!

The Meal Times - Issue 1  

Food Writing Third Year Personal Project. I did my best. A whole magazine on my own. Well, parts of magazine.

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