Brought up in Fife, William Curley’s career began with an apprenticeship at Gleneagles. He then went on to spend six years at numerous Michelin-starred establishments, working with respected chefs including Pierre Koffman at La Tante Claire, Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Marco Pierre White at The Oak Restaurant. William’s creations are drawn from a variety of global experiences.
His years of working in French Michelin-starred restaurants accounts for his unmistakably French-styled pâtisserie; for instance his popular ‘Mont Blanc’ and Breton Sables. His award-winning business partner and wife, Suzue Curley, inspires a unique Japanese aesthetic – their Yuzu filled chocolates and Miso and Walnut biscuits are a fine example of this. William has won numerous awards, including The Caterer’s Acorn Award, The Craft Guild Pastry Chef of the Year, The Academy of Culinary Arts Awards of Excellence and British Dessert of the Year and a Gold medal at the 2004 Culinary Olympics. He was awarded the Best British Chocolatier accolade for 2007, 2008 and again for 2009 by the Academy of Chocolate. William passionately believes in sourcing ethically sound covertures chocolate and works exclusively with Tuscan company Amedei. He uses only criollo and trinitario cocoa beans mainly from Venezuela, Madagascar, Ecuador, Trinidad, Jamaica and Grenada.
Recipe – Infused Chocolates
This chocolate is a good bridge between the classic and the contemporary. You can expect to taste it at the Chocolate festivals.It works best with a peppery olive oil. Makes about 80 chocolates.
1 quantity Chocolate Cocoa Butter Solution (see details below)
400ml whipping (pouring) cream
4g rosemary sprigs
60g Invert Sugar (see details below)
2g (1/4 tsp) sea salt
450g fine dark (bittersweet) chocolate (66% cocoa solids), finely chopped
15g unsalted butter, cut into cubes and at room temperature
75ml olive oil
500g tempered fine dark (bittersweet) chocolate to coat
Dried rosemary strips to decorate
Line a baking tray (sheet) with a non-stick baking mat and brush it liberally with the Chocolate Cocoa Butter Solution.
Put the cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the rosemary, then take off the heat, cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave to infuse for 2 hours.
Pass the infused cream through a fine sieve (strainer) to catch the rosemary. Return the cream to the saucepan, add the Invert Sugar and salt and bring to the boil again. Take off the heat and leave to cool until it reaches 65–70°C (149–158°F).
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a bain-marie (water bath) to about 45°C (113°F) and gradually add the cooled cream to the chocolate. Continue to mix to form an emulsion. Add the butter and continue to mix until fully incorporated. Gradually add the olive oil and mix until smooth. Blend with a hand blender if necessary. Pour the infused ganache on to the prepared baking mat and leave to set overnight in a cool, dry area.
Brush the surface with chocolate cocoa butter solution and lay a sheet of silicone (baking) paper on top of the ganache. Place an acrylic sheet or baking tray (sheet) on top of that and, holding all three, carefully turn them over so that the tray (sheet) is upturned. Carefully peel away the non-stick baking mat. Score and cut the ganache. Secure each chocolate on a dipping fork and dip in tempered chocolate. Tap to shake off any excess and place on silicone (baking) paper.
Decorate by sprinkling with dried rosemary strips and leave to fully set for about 2 hours in a cool, dry area.
Recipe – Chocolate Cocoa Butter Solution
Makes enough to brush about 3 trays (sheets)
60g cocoa butter, finely chopped & 120g fine dark (bittersweet) chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
Put the cocoa butter and chocolate in a bowl and melt gently over a bain-marie (water bath) until it reaches 45°C (113°F) on a
thermometer. Leave it to cool slightly before using it to brush over non-stick baking mats as required. Leftover solution will keep in an airtight container for several months in a dry, cool area.