It’s most certainly coming up to the time of year when our thoughts are turned towards chocolate. The shops are stocking up for Christmas! And I don’t care what men say about not eating it as I know this to be an untruth! Amongst many I know anyway! The nights are turning cold and dark now and a good piece of chocolate suits the mood. But for me, I need a bar of chocolate that does actually taste of more than sweetness. The cheap brands like Cadbury just taste of sugar with not a hint of cocoa. It’s interesting to do a little taste test. A bar with around 26% cocoa solids compared to a bar with 34% solids. The difference is immense. A good bar of dark chocolate should really contain at least 60% cocoa solids. So it’s quite a funny thing when you look at Bournville - which used to be the only dark chocolate available - as it only contains 39%, so hardly more than a quality bar of milk. Use high cocoa solids for cooking and the flavour of your chocolate creation will be astounding. And along the same tracks, a good cocoa makes somewhat of a difference too. These sorts of chocolates are often on offer. Why not spread your wings and go for change! Fairtrade too, if you can. But interestingly, my favourite chocolate, Green and Blacks, is now owned by chocolate giants, Cadbury. This upset me immensely. And I had said I would not buy it, but my taste buds got the better of me. Green and Blacks selling out…….. shame. But the cocoa's flavour overcomes me. the rich intricate flavour of the south american cocoa bean is so different to one grown in Africa, say. compare Divine against G and B's. A real difference.
Try this, melt 200g dark chocolate with 125g butter and 175g sugar. Whisk in 3 large eggs and 2tbsp ground almonds then pour into a 18cm tin that is greased and dusted with almonds. Bake at 180°C/gas mark 4 for 25 minutes. Cool then serve on its own or with cream. serves about 8. Make sure you have a good coffee to offset the sweetness or a well chilled glass of Muscat. Enjoy!