All-time Favourite Chocolate Recipes + Why Fairtrade?
Chocolate is an especially important ingredient in my house – whether it’s a few dark squares as an afternoon pick me up, or a bar of white chocolate for a tray of killer blondies.
Fairtrade helps to make cocoa farming in places like Ivory Coast and Ghana more sustainable by guaranteeing minimum prices and providing a premium to invest in local communities, so farmers can provide a better future for themselves and their families. Remembering that we are cooking with a precious ingredient that takes a lot of resource to grow, produce and transport, makes every sweet recipe even more of a luxury. Look for the Fairtrade logo to make sure you’re buying something that gave the producer a fair deal.
My friend Claire Ptak uses a combination of more unusual flours to give these cookies an amazing texture.
This is a pretty maverick way of making a chocolate mousse, which was brought to my attention by a great chef friend. It’s based on a technique by the French chemist Hervé This. Don’t worry, it’s really quite easy, though you do have to follow the recipe to the tee. It uses water, not cream, and the mousse is whipped over a bowl of ice, which chills the chocolate. The result is a cleaner, less cloying mousse that is unadulterated chocolate, backed up by a little lemon, salt and vanilla.
Two of my favourite cooks on one site: a Violet Bakery recipe shared on 101 cookbooks. This is everything you could possibly want in a chocolate cake.
No tempering of the chocolate; no rolling or filling; just some simple melting, mixing and pouring is required. This batch makes a lot, and will keep you in truffles for a couple of weeks – just make sure you store them in the fridge
A classic recipe from Elizabeth David herself.
A recipe I often make around Bonfire Night, but really this DIY dessert is a winner year-round. It’s vegan too, so everyone can enjoy.
I find normal millionaire’s shortbread too cloying and sweet. This version, which uses the sweetness of dates and has seeds and nuts for added crunch, is much more my thing. I use Doves Farm gluten-free flour, which gives the best texture for most gluten-free baking – and I have tried them all.
Find me someone who doesn’t like these and I’ll deliver you a batch myself. Deeply chocolatey brownies with a burst of melting salted caramel. I make a super-simple and speedy caramel that cools quickly, and gets chopped up and sunk into the top of the brownie mixture.