Posts Tagged ‘Willie Harcourt-Cooze’

Having watched Willie’s Wonky Chocolate Factory on television recently, I was fascinated by the concept of these 100% cacao blocks – pure unsweetened chocolate with nothing else added to it.

They’re not available in Australia yet, so my friend Jo very kindly mailed me a couple of blocks, and they serendipitously arrived at the same time as the cookbook, which I’d ordered from Amazon in the UK.

The book is a great read – half autobiography and half recipes – although at £6 per 180g block, the cacao is an expensive ingredient to use regularly (even if I could buy it here).  It has a strong aroma of fine chocolate, and tastes as you imagine it would – dark and very bitter, without a hint of sweetness.

I couldn’t wait to try it, and began with a half sized version of Willie’s Tartuffo, which is basically solid ganache set in a loaf tin.  It needs to be refrigerated overnight before slicing, and it’s very rich, so a little goes a  long way.

  • 90g cacao, finely grated
  • 150ml heavy whipping cream
  • 75g pure icing sugar, sifted

1. Line a small loaf tin or bowl with cling film.

2. Melt the cacao in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.  I actually used a microwave for this, and I’m not sure it worked as well as it could have.

3. Whip the cream and 25g of the icing sugar together until it forms soft peaks.

4. Stir the remaining icing sugar into the cacao and leave to cool slightly.  My mix seized up when I did this, but I was able to loosen it up again with the whipped cream.

5. Stir a scoop of whipped cream into the cacao mixture  until softened, then gently and gradually fold the remainder of the cream and cacao together.  Pour into the lined tin or bowl, and refrigerate until firm.

. . . . .

Here’s my reworking of Le Chocolate Chaud recipe from David Lebovitz’ The Sweet Life in Paris, using the cacao.  It creates a very different drink to one made with dark chocolate.

  • 50g of Willie’s 100% Cacao, grated into a small saucepan
  • 20g white sugar
  • 375ml (1½ cups) milk
  • pinch of sea salt

Gently whisk all the ingredients together in the small saucepan over a medium heat – keep whisking until the chocolate and sugar are melted and the mixture comes to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low, and barely simmer the hot chocolate for three to five minutes until the liquid is thick and viscous, whisking regularly.  Pour into little demitasse cups to serve, and top with whipped cream if desired.

. . . . .

And with the last 30g of my first block, I made a scaled down version of Anna’s Jewel Bites, using cacao and tiny quantities (at least for my small batch) of cinnamon, dried fruits, nuts, vanilla, rum and a scant teaspoon of honey.  Very dark and delicious!

It’s amazing how many things I was able to make with a single block of cacao. Maybe it’s not such an expensive ingredient after all!

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This is so simple that I’m a bit embarrassed to be blogging about it!

After watching Willie’s Wonky Chocolate Factory – a television series about Willie Harcourt-Cooze and his attempt to establish his line of chocolate in the UK – I was inspired to try my own version of his chocolate shot recipe.

The beverage he prepared appeared to be nothing more than 100% cacao chocolate dissolved in boiling water.  As we can’t get 100% here in Australia, I tried using my Callebaut 70% callets.  What I ended up with is a deliciously dark hot chocolate – reminiscent in some ways of an espresso coffee.  It’s won Pete the non-coffee drinker over, and is certainly a nice way to get your daily chocolate antioxidants!

It’s dead simple to prepare, simply dissolve 40g of dark chocolate in two-thirds of a cup of boiling water (this makes enough for two espresso sized cups).  You’ll need a little whizzer to mix it all together – the Callebaut callets melt away easily. If you don’t have one, try using a small whisk, or dissolving the chocolate and water together in a saucepan over a low heat.  Simply stirring with a spoon doesn’t seem to work, as you end up with sludge at the bottom of the cup.

I’ve also tried this with 85% Lindt, but found it too sour for my liking.  It’s an interesting way to compare pure chocolate flavours!

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