Chocolate isn’t just a sweet treat

CHOCOLATE pudding, chocolate ice-cream, hot chocolate, chocolate pie…  we all know the mouthwatering stuff and how chocolate can make dessert or a special treat a very enjoyable moment. However, chocolate is not just synonymous with having a sugary or sweet time. Chocolate is a very versatile ingredient, whose every mystery chocolatiers try to discover in order to create the most delicious recipes, be they sweet or… savoury!

A brownie is good – but what about Mexican mole, Chocolate Veal Stew, Pancetta, Stilton and Chocolate tartine, Steak with Port and Chocolate sauce? Sound good, don’t they?

During one of the fabulous and very interesting Chocolate Ectasy Tours – highly recommended for all the chocoholics amongst us – my eyes noticed the Baked Salmon with Prosecco & White Chocolate Jus recipe at Hotel Chocolat. I do love my chocolate, and when it comes to mixing it with savoury, I just can’t resist. My eyes also spotted Cocoa Pasta. This store was the Ali Baba Cavern.

Hotel Chocolat is launching its Christmas range and I am wondering if a Turkey with White Chocolate and Sage Stuffing recipe will be available soon. Just an idea but how good would it be….? While waiting for the team to work on new savoury ideas, you can still have a look at their creative Christmas Gift collection.

Another talented chocolatier – Mark from Demarquette – has worked on Christmassy products such as the Frosty Snow Crystal, the Christmas Tree and a new collection of truffles for the ones who think that chocolate should only be a sweet treat. Two hours talking with Kim, the marketing director, and you leave the store with a big smile on your face, telling yourself that life combined with chocolate makes a wonderful world.

Baked Salmon with Prosecco & White Chocolate Jus – Serve 2

2 Salmon Fillets
10ml Lemon Juice

Jus Ingredients:
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
150ml Hotel Chocolat Prosecco
25g cold unsalted butter
100ml Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
15gr Hotel Chocolat White Chocolate for cooking
35ml Fresh Single Cream
Sea salt and ground black pepper
5 sprigs of Dill
Sugar Snap Peas to Serve

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C)

Place each salmon fillet on to a sheet of aluminium foil large enough to envelop the salmon easily. Cover the salmon with 10ml of freshly squeezed Lemon Juice.

Fold the edges of the foil together over the salmon to seal, leaving some space in the parcel for steam to surround and cook the fish. Put the salmon parcels in the roasting tin and cook in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon.

Remove from the oven and, keeping the foil parcel sealed, rest the fish for 5 minutes.

Finely chop the shallots.

Place a pan on the stove and add the Prosecco and the chopped shallots. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 4-5mins.

Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice, cream, and finely chopped dill and stir until the ingredients have blended together.

To help the sauce thicken add the cold butter and allow it to melt in to the jus.

Add the white chocolate to taste – be careful not to use too much as this will overpower the delicate dill. Allow the chocolate to melt in to the jus.

Drizzle over the baked Salmon and serve with Sugar Snap Peas.

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