When it comes to getting in the mood for Christmas, nothing beats the scent of melted chocolate drifting through your home. This issue is packed with seasonal ideas.
First up is the ultimate drink for chilly carol singers: Mulled Wine Hot Chocolate from Master Chocolatier Paul A. Young. Home-baked goodies make a gorgeous and thoughtful gift. Our recipe for XXX-Rated Chocolate Cookies from Outsider Tart are simple to make and are guaranteed to delight anyone lucky enough to receive a batch.
For the big day itself, you’ll find a show-stopping recipe for Dairy Free African Chocolate Cake served with Raspberry Coulis that was kindly sent to us by Club-Chocolate members Ben and Jen. Let the feast commence…
P.S. If you’ve got a winning chocolate recipe, we’d love to see it. You can email us at email@example.com, tweet us @TheChocFestival or visit our Facebook page at The Chocolate Festival. Watch this space, Twitter and FB for our pick of the best.
Master Chocolatier Recipe
Paul A. Young’s Mulled Wine Hot Chocolate
It was inevitable that at some point I would come up with this recipe as I love both mulled wine and hot chocolate. A warming, indulgent and very boozy drink, it is definitely one for adults only.
(Makes plenty of generous cups.)
400g golden caster sugar
200g cocoa powder
2 cinnamon sticks
5 star anise
500g 67% dark chocolate from the Dominican Republic, broken into pieces
2 clementines or satsumas, skin left on, halved
1 sprig of rosemary
1 bottle of fruity red wine
Put 500ml water, the sugar, the cocoa powder and all the spices in a pan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and whisk well until the chocolate is fully incorporated. Add the clementines and rosemary and allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Add the red wine and warm through gently.
Serve warm rather than hot.
Paul A. Young enjoys a reputation as one of Britain’s most adventurous chocolatiers. He often experiments with unusual ingredients to create flavour combinations that are sometimes daring, but always perfectly balanced.
He currently owns three London chocolate boutiques: one in Islington, one in the City and since June 2011 a third flagship branch in Soho. He has appeared on BBC2’s Food and Drink, ITV’s This Morning, Sky One’s Taste and Carlton Food Network not to mention an unforgettable starring role in the 2009 The Apprentice final.
This recipe is taken from Paul A. Young’s award-winning book Adventures with Chocolate published by Kyle Books. It includes 80 easy-to-follow recipes and sets out the finer points of chocolate tasting and truffle-making, before guiding readers through Young’s inimitable approach to flavour combining. For a fabulous Christmas gift, order a signed copy for £17.99 plus P&P here.
You can watch Paul make Mulled Wine Hot Chocolate live at The Chocolate Festival in London. Ticket are priced at £5 per person and are available here.
Home-Baked Gift Idea
Outsider Tart’s XXX-Rated Chocolate Cookies
One of our favourite New York haunts, Mary’s Off Jane (now closed) called these Chubby Hubbies. Many sources trace similar recipes back to the Soho Charcuterie, one of the first gentrified outposts in a derelict manufacturing district, which called them Chocolate Gobs.
Understand that at the time the Soho section of New York City was a ghost town of run-down buildings, so the idea of anyone baking in the area, let alone to acclaim, is a bit odd. In other circles still, they could be called Chubby Husbears. We opted to renounce any affiliation and went with this simply racy moniker. Not to worry, it only refers to the three types of chocolate used.
(Makes about 8 large or 24 small cookies)
175g chopped pecans
175g chopped walnuts
115g unsalted butter, softened
175g bitter or semi-sweet chocolate, chips or chunks
75g all-purpose or plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
225g granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
250g semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
60-75g mini marshmallows
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or gas mark 4. Toast the nuts on baking sheets for 8 or so minutes, until aromatic. Cool completely. Line several baking sheets with parchment.
Melt the butter and both chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally to hasten melting, which will keep the mixture at the lowest temperature possible. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add the vanilla and cooled chocolate mixture. Continue beating on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until the dough is thick and glossy. Add the flour mixture and stir only until just incorporated. Fold in the toasted nuts, chocolate chips and marshmallows. Let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes to facilitate scooping.
With a large ice-cream scoop, drop dough balls on to the prepared baking sheets, keeping at least 5cm between cookies. Stagger them so they don’t morph into one giant lump when baking. Each ball of dough will be 115 to 150g. There should be no more than 6 cookies per sheet. Refrigerate for 4 hours or up to 3 days before baking.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops crackle and become glossy. To the touch they will seem underdone. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheets for 5 to 10 minutes before completely removing them to wire racks to cool completely.
New Yorkers David Lesniak and David Muniz are the creative brains behind Outsider Tart, an award-winning bake shop in Chiswick, West London that specializes in cupcakes, sweet pies and fresh tarts. They are credited with being the first UK stockists of whoopie pies. Outsider Tart was voted Cafe/Fast Food Outlet of the Year at the 2010 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards and named a 2010 cultural hot spot by The Observer.
Ben & Jen’s Dairy-free African Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Coulis
250 g all-purpose flour
5g baking soda
2g baking powder
350g white sugar
65g unsweetened cocoa powder
180 ml water
180 ml vegetable oil
3 eggs, room temperature
5 ml vanilla extract
120 ml water
1 punnet fresh raspberries
Preheat an oven to 175 degrees C. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans or line them with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, 180ml water and vegetable oil in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and 120ml water and beat for another 2 minutes.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake in the preheated oven until the surface of the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the raspberry coulis, blend the fresh raspberries until smooth – add a little water if necessary. Pass through a fine sieve to hold back the seeds, which can be discarded. Whisk in icing sugar until you attain your preferred consistency.
Chef Ben Merriman-Johnson and Jennie Ward have been running The Sharing Supper Club from their home in South Woodford since November 2011. As both share African roots, their supper club specializes in fusion cooking with an emphasis on flavours and spices.
“We want our guests to get stuck in and share their generous serving plates of food. With a choice of up to three dishes for each course, everyone gets the chance to see why we love serving spoons,” says Jen who describes herself as a full-time digital geek and foodie. You’ll find more of Ben’s delicious recipes on his blog where he also shares his experiences as a chef in East London and supper club host. To book a place at The Sharing Supper Club, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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