Poires pochées romarin, Chocolat, Stilton : Accord parfait en saveurs majeures

ACCORD. Quel que soit l’instrument joué, les musiciens sont d’accord sur un point ; il existe pas de plus bel accord que l’accord parfait, ce mariage unique de trois notes à l’état fondamental créant une harmonie sonore parfaite. Trois notes pour sublimer la création musicale qui est en train de prendre forme, trois notes pour donner naissance à une pièce musicale si douce à nos oreilles, trois notes pour se délecter d’un mélange des plus délicieux.

De la musique à la cuisine, il n’y a qu’un mouvement, celui de réaliser le plus beaux des accords entre les saveurs et obtenir ainsi l’harmonie parfaite au moment de la dégustation. Si certaines notes peuvent créer quelques dissidences sonores, il peut en être de même pour certains ingrédients, tout du moins au premier abord.

Des poires et du romarin ; du chocolat et du Stilton… Les apparences peuvent être trompeuses mais une fois dans l’assiette, le mariage est sublime, délicat, parfaitement équilibré et dangereusement addictif. Le Stilton vient relever la robe du chocolat, à l’image de la fleur de sel présente dans le caramel ; le romarin apporte une puissance maîtrisée à la poire pochée dans un vin liquoreux à forte teneur en sucres.

Poire, Chocolat, Stilton … Trois notes à l’état fondamental, trois saveurs à la personnalité propre et un accord majeur parfait …

photo

Poires pochées au romarin, ganache chocolat-Stilton

4 poires
6 tiges de romarin
Une bouteille de vin liquoreux
Un citron coupé en quatre quartiers
200g de chocolat noir à 70%
300g de crème fraiche épaisse
100g de Stilton (ou bleu)
1 poignée de noix
Option : 4 feuilles de menthe

Peler et évider les poires. Les placer dans une casserole. Saupoudrer de romarin. Ajouter le vin et les quartiers de citron. Laisser cuire pendant 20 minutes jusque ce que les poires soient molles.
Réserver et laisser les poires mariner jusqu’à ce qu’elles refroidissent. Les placer sur du papier absorbant puis réserver au frais.
Chinoiser le liquide puis le verser dans une casserole à petite ébullition pendant 30 minutes jusqu’à obtention d’un sirop.
Mettre le four à chauffer à 200°C.
Pendant ce temps, mélanger le chocolat et la crème au bain-marie jusqu’à l’obtention d’un liquide soyeux. Ajouter 75g de Stilton et mélanger de nouveau. Réserver.
Une fois le four à température, placer les poires sur du papier cuisson et laisser rôtir pendant 15 minutes. Les sortir du four et laisser refroidir pendant 5 minutes.
Dans le fond d’une assiette creuse (à risotto de préférence ou un bol), verser une louche de ganache Chocolat-Stilton, placer une poire, puis ajouter quelques traits de sirop, quelques noix écrasées et des miettes de Stilton.
Déguster !

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Accroc au chocolat chaud

JE suis accroc au chocolat chaud.

Tout a commencé par le traditionnel chocolat chaud de notre enfance, celui que l’on prenait avant d’aller à l’école ou  à l’heure du goûter et la plupart du temps, un petit lapin d’une marque bien connue était le compagnon de ces moments réconfortants.

Venu l’âge adulte, les goûts évoluent et la poudre chocolatée a trouvé place au fond du placard, abandonnée comme les poupées que l’on laisse seules après des années d’une relation presque fusionnelle.

Et puis un jour, arrive comme un manque qui se fait sentir à un moment où on s’y attend le moins. Ça commence par une fin de repas où l’on vous propose un chocolat chaud comme alternative à un café non désiré ou une simple envie de terminer son repas sur une saveur chocolaté à défaut d’un moelleux non présent à la carte ce jour là.


Puis cela évolue vers un désir et la curiosité de découvrir la meilleure adresse pour cette boisson si forte en souvenir. Car au-delà de son goût qui séduit beaucoup de papilles, le chocolat chaud offre de part sa texture et ses saveurs, une sensation de réconfort, de chaleur et de bien-être que peu de boissons détiennent.

Cette quête vers un chocolat chaud de qualité est cependant une mission plus compliquée qu’il n’y parait. Trop de lait, poudre de mauvaise qualité et sans saveurs, teneur en sucre trop élevé, les mauvaises expériences sont nombreuses et peu d’établissements de restauration, quelque soit leur catégorie d’ailleurs, y attachent une grande importance… au grand désarroi des non-buveurs de café ou de thé.

Restent alors les grands chocolatiers tels que Paul A Young  ou Artisan du Chocolat à Londres qui proposent probablement l’un des meilleures recettes ou encore Jean Paul Hevin, Cacao et Chocolat et Angelina à Paris – entres autres – pour trouver un chocolat chaud de qualité, pleine de saveurs, celui qui vous réchauffe le cœur lors d’un après midi d’hiver.

Du côté des offres à emporter, les boutiques Amorino dans le centre de Paris offre une sélection de 28 saveurs différentes mais dont la texture assez dense manque un peu de naturel. Paul est également une bonne adresse sur le chemin du travail ou pour une pause goûter. Et encore bien d’autres à découvrir …

A la maison, la traditionnelle poudre est lentement remplacée par des bâtonnets que l’on trempe dans une tasse de lait chaud apportant une touche plus distinguée et unique lors de leur présentation aux invités à la fin du repas.

Le concept est simple : un bâtonnet en bois surmonté d’un bloc chocolat que l’on plonge dans  une tasse de lait chaud et que l’on remue pour obtenir la boisson qui réchauffe nos coeurs.

On compte parmi les idées intéressantes la marque Belge Choc-o-lait qui décline sa gamme en 9 saveurs dont lait, noir, noisette, speculoos, cointreau, etc. (disponible à la distribution en France via www.azoaboutique.com),  ou encore la marque autrichienne Zotter qui propose des mini barres au goût très intense.

Pour ceux qui seraient plus café ou thé, La Cuillère Suisse commercialise sa gamme Allumette qui vient  remplacer la traditionnelle amande recouverte de chocolat ou le spéculoos sur le bord de la tasse.

Mais … ne serait-ce  pas l’heure d’un chocolat chaud?

Recette de chocolat chaud  – 1 personne
40g de chocolat en poudre ou en copeaux (non sucré)
200g de lait
40g de crème
12g de sucre
Une pincée de sel

Faire chauffer le lait, la crème, le sucre et le sel dans une casserole.
Dans un bol, mélanger avec précaution un fond du mélange lait/crème avec les copeaux de chocolat  jusqu’à l’obtention d’une pâte.
Verser cette pate au reste de lait chaud et laisser refroidir.
Passer le mélange dans une fine passoire et réchauffer pour servir.

Au revoir London

HERE it comes. Sooner – too soon? – than expected, and I can’t help but feel nostalgic about it already. You always tell yourself that you still have plenty of time before waking up that particular day. And then, you open your eyes and the time has finally come. Time to move back to France after two years spent in London.

Two years of food insanity, eating out in some of the best restaurants in London, meeting and interviewing wonderful and passionate people and improving my knowledge in food. But above all, two years of developing strong friendships and enjoying the wonderful blogging world in London.

The time has come to come back to a country we love, a way of life we enjoy (you don’t put a French person too far away from an opportunity to strike…), and raise a family next to ours.

Leaving London is not going to be an easy step. Life has been extremely generous to us and I have learned a lot through all the people I have met – restaurateurs, food producers, and even food PRs. I don’t know how to thank you all for the support you gave to my blog, the means you gave me to live my dream and to achieve crazy ideas, such as to be converted to porridge, to organise a brownie tasting, and an aubergines challenge.

You brought me a lot and I will keep your generosity in mind forever.

And how would I dare to leave the UK without my foodie treasure box? The box that every foodie should carry with him/her every time we go somewhere. The box that contains things that make you feel better.

In my treasure box, I will bring a pack of Peter’s Yard‘s crispbread; a box of DIY Curries from the lovely Sally, a cup of Paul A Young’s hot chocolate; a delicious chocolate cake from William Curley; some gin from Sipsmith and a bottle of U’luvka vodka; the unforgettable cocktails from master Brian at Rules; the Panettone recipe from Francesco of L’Anima; the tripe gratin Henry from Racine made for us for our insane and decadent Grande Bouffe; the Mort Subite Kriek (and six glasses) from the Draft House; a signed menu from Pierre Koffman; pictures of a birthday meal at The Sportsman with @Laissezfare; oats from Rude Health, who converted me to porridge for my winter mornings in Paris; and the wonderful taste of the In&Out burger at Goodman.

My treasure box will also always be there to remind me of the kindness and high quality service of the Donald Russell team; a wonderful night at The Blaggers Banquet; an introduction to high quality coffee at Kaffeine; the pleasure of having worked with Simon Majumdar for his ‘Dine with Dos Hermanos’ dinners; a Spanish afternoon with Rachel McCormack cooking her home-made cuisine; an introduction to vodka by the legendary Leonid, owner of Bob Bob Ricard; the delightful team at Wahaca – Tommi, Mark and Cecilia; a crazy cheese feast at @bridedwithfood’s; red pepper and aubergines challenges; my first meeting with Ferran Adria at the Royal Geographical Society for the launch of the book The man who changed the way we eat by Colman Andrews; a home-made tapas meal cooked by the lovely Jose Pizarro; and the most insane foodie adventure my husband and I put ourselves through in the Instant Restaurant TV series on BBC2.

I will also add wonderful meals at San Lorenzo with our dear friend and passionate owner Ghigo; a discovery of Indian street food at Moolis, thanks to the crazy Matthew and Sam; an afternoon playing Scrabble at Polpo, which we nicknamed Foodabble; an introduction to Italian, Australian, Chilean and other wines from around the world with the help of @chrisCmitchell and @thirstforwine (which showed me how poor France is when it comes to discovering wines other than French ones); the best #FF from @chrispople; a piggy night at St John with 15 exciting ladies around a table; and a dive into food PR with three wonderful clients – Pho, Glorious and Yuforia.

This is only a short summary of 18 months of intense social and foodie life, and this post would be too long if I mentioned all the people I’ve met, the places I’ve visited, and the events I’ve enjoyed. I don’t know yet how the blogging life is going to be on the other side of the Channel but I promise I won’t only speak about frog legs and how French are proud of their cuisine. Well, at least not in my next three posts…

Thank you all from the depth of my heart, it’s been a real pleasure.

AU REVOIR et à bientôt

Paul A Young and Henrietta Lovell, Tea and Chocolate at their best

THERE are plenty of ways to define happiness. Whether it’s a good night amongst friends, the laughter of the children playing in the garden in the summer, watching TV in the arms of your loved one, the accomplishment of a dream or the simple pleasure of enjoying your favourite dish.

For Paul A Young, the talented chocolatier praised by all the foodies and Henrietta Lovell, known as The Rare Tea lady, it is the intense satisfaction of having found the perfect combination. The one that makes the world stop turning for a few minutes…to give you the time you need to make the best of your chocolate bar while sipping the most delicate tea.

Tea and chocolate have always been a wonderful pairing without knowing each other. Of course, there are some matches made in heaven like chocolate and chilli, chocolate and orange or hot chocolate and hazelnut (fans of Nutella, raise your hands). But when it comes to tea, heaven goes to the next level.

We all know Paul’s battle for pure and traditional chocolate, staying away from the milky fatty ones but when it comes to playing with the flavours, nothing can stop the man who seems to have been born in the previous century.

His meeting with the glamorous Henrietta came directly from the best Mad Tea Party ever organised and should be a new chapter in Alice in Wonderland. Despite the labyrinth and the time running against them, those two were meant to meet. For the best and the craziest.

Each month until the end of the year, Paul and Henrietta will release a new recipe that will feature the magic combination of chocolate and tea. To start with, the two artisan food personalities have launched a White Silver Tip tea filled chocolate. The other months will feature Green Tea, RAF tea, Darjeeling, Lost Malawi truffle and Lapsang and Black Carmamon Rave. Tea and chocolate lovers have found a new playground to explore together.

The While Silver Tip tea filled chocolate offer brings together the best of each while balancing each other ‘weaknesses’. Thus, the chocolate is light and soft and the tea really brings us the flavours without any bitterness.

In his kitchen, Paul uses the finest chocolate that he melts in water with the tea leaves. It results in a smooth chocolaty ganache with strong tea flavours. The ganache is then poured into moulds until cool to be sold. However, without that last step process, Paul and Henrietta just created… the best hot chocolate ever. Tea and Chocolate, I have found the perfect match.

Paul A Young
33 Camden Passage
Islington
London
N1 8EA
www.paulayoung.co.uk

Paul A Young Fine Chocolates on Urbanspoon

Brownies – The ultimate tasting experience

IN life, a project can start with a simple email or a phone call. From a simple suggestion to taste a chocolate pudding, who would have ever imagined that, a few weeks later, the tasting would have turned into the crazy idea of organising a review of brownies from different brands and bloggers willing to take part in the project.

Beyond the tasting and reviewing (which is far from being the hardest task to accomplish, I must admit!), I discovered people with a true love for brownies. A passion so intense that they can spend hours talking about these wonderfully intricate small squares of chocolate. Small, but so much to say!

A brownie should be chewy on the outside – a kind of baked fudgy casing – with an almost glossy, meringue-like, light crunch to the top. Biting in breaks through the top easily, straight to the deep cakieness – and on to the soul of the piece: the dark, fudgy centre.” Petra, ChocStar

A chocolate brownie is ‘a rich dense chocolate cake slice’. It should be moist, dense and fudgy with a paper thin crisp top.” Sarah, Serious Treat

My perfect idyllic chocolate brownie is rich, chocolaty, fudgy and gooey with chocolate pieces in it and ideally a slight crust on top. Ingredients must be natural and good quality including chocolate such as Belgian. Nuts are wrong and detract from the overall chocolate taste in my opinion. A brownie should be a pure indulgent treat, totally different to a slice of cake.” Natalie, Sweet Things

A brownie may cheer you up in the middle of the afternoon, an enjoyable moment of pleasure. Brownie makers, however, take the definition of a perfect brownie very seriously and spend hours creating the ultimate recipe. From the varying – and often contradictory – definitions they come up with, I’m sure they’d send just as much time arguing the said definition.

The absolute perfect brownie is simple and pure – it doesn’t contain booze, nuts, raisins or cherries. It is simply 70% chocolate, eggs, flour, butter, sugar and vanilla. It should be something you can also pick up with your hands and take an almighty bite out of, getting your hands and face a bit sticky as the intense chocolaty-ness hits you. Most importantly, a brownie is the perfect brownie if when you’ve just finished it, you’ll wish for just one more bite.” James, SoBo Chocolate

“A brownie is a small, chewy, cake-like cookie, usually made with chocolate and possibly containing nuts or dried fruit which brings huge joy to children, many adults and to the cook who made them. The best brownies always look home-made – if they’re too perfect they probably don’t taste too good!” Paul, Paul’s cooking

A brownie should be soft and slightly gooey in the centre but not undercooked with chunks of chocolate and pecan nut, strong chocolate taste with no artificial taste nor powder taste. We find that enrobing the brownie chunks increases the chocolate taste and make a nice contrast from crisp coating to soft interior.” Anne, Artisan du Chocolat


So, with pen, paper, water, a bottle of 2004 Domaine Pouderoux, Maury and 1988 Vin Santo Castelio di Verrazzano ready, Aforkfull, R_McCormack, Bridedwithfood, chocolatetour and my dearest D were ready to dig in and enlighten ourselves in the mystery of brownies.

What started as a simple tasting, though, turned out to be a very instructive master class. What I thought was an insignificant piece of chocolate cake had actually much more to say in its defence than I could have imagined, especially with the incredible range we had at hand – Bea’s of Bloomsbury, Paul A Young, SoBo Chocolate, Leon, Gu, ChocStar, Paul’s cooking, Garlic Confit, Serious Treat, Gower Cottage, Sweet Things, Cocomaya, More Artisan, William Curley, Artisan du Chocolat, Cocoa Loco and Wholefoods.


Learning #1: This ‘interesting beast somewhere between a cake, pudding, chocolate bar and a ….well cake again’, as Garlic Confit defines it, likes to differentiate itself. The most creative ones will play the fudgy and gooey game while the others will concentrate on the right balance between the crispiness and the chewiness. The brownie lives and likes to be eaten for itself and, among the 19 brownies tasted, none of them looked or tasted the same. Team spirit is definitely not a notion that a brownie will fight for.

“Traditionally Brownies are made in a bar or square mould and cut. They are often soft in the centre giving a gooey texture. We serve ours in a small cup to give the appearance that it has been made just for you. Our Brownies have a soft centre with roasted walnuts and a crusty top adding texture to the Brownie.” William, William Curley

Learning #2: Being creative is good…but not too much! Playing with flavours and texture adds a nice touch to the brownie world, it brings something different and unexpected but sometimes the classic remains the best.

“A brownie should have a little crunch on the outside and be deliciously moist on the inside as well as having a luxurious chocolate taste that coats the inside of your mouth as you munch, with an intense chocolaty velvetiness that continues to excite the taste buds as you eat.” Kate, Gower Cottage


Learning #3: The choice of the ingredients and especially the quality of chocolate will make the success of the brownie. Use bad chocolate at your own risk! It usually results in a buttery, sugary cake that our poor palates have trouble enjoying for more than a bite.

A brownie is chocolate that can be consumed with a dense but velvety finish in the mouth.  A brownie should not in any way, shape or form, resemble cake. Brownies are one of the few desserts by which the quality of the chocolate is most seen, particularly ours as chocolate is the number one ingredient by weight in our brownies.” Bea, Bea’s of Bloomsbury


Learning #4: Judging isn’t an easy task. Expectations are high and you don’t want to disappoint anybody. Beyond that, each brownie was not made with the same audience in mind, nor were they made for the same purpose.  Some are meant to bring us back to childhood, while others are epitome of chocolate perfection. But you have to make a choice and taking a decision – even if the fear of being blacklisted by everybody – suddenly crosses your mind (eek!).

Learning #5: Water is your best friend! Drink a lot of water when you organise a brownie tasting… and stay away from chocolate for the next couple of days.

After having enjoyed a few bites of each brownie, debating the taste and the texture, discussing the look, figuring out the quality of the chocolate and the necessity of adding flavours, rinsing your palates from sugar and duelling with the imminent stomach ache, it was time to compare notes and determine favourite choices.

But how to feature it? A lot of questions came up to find a way to present our feedback.

Should we give a prize to everybody? I don’t think so as the list was very long.

Should I mention what we liked and what we disliked? I guess it could be a good learning.

Should I list the brownie based on our rates? It wouldn’t be fair as some were made by professional chocolatiers and others by bloggers.

We finally decided to announce our 5 favourites and explain our choice based on everybody’s feedback.

William Curley. A crunchy and gooey texture all at once with a light nutty taste obviously made with very good quality chocolate that created a perfect balance. Funnily enough, the brownie looks more like a muffin but the taste is definitely what you expect from a brownie.

Cocoa Loco. A denser brownie with a texture made of different layers that gives a nice crispiness in the mouth but still keeps its gooeyness. The chocolate is very tasty but not overpoweringly so with a light sugary taste.

Sweet things. A nice full chocolate taste that stays in the mouth providing a comforting feeling. The brownie is nicely dense and fudgy without being too gooey. The glitter sparkles on the top adds a nice touch!

ChocStar. The perfect texture, both crunchy at the top and fudgy inside.  The brownie has a very nice smooth chocolate taste in mouth without being too sugary.

Cocomaya. Despite being a bit heavy without any true crispiness, the texture feels very good.  The chocolate is rich and intense with an interesting hint of sea salt.

SoBo. The Nut-lovers’ choice, the fudgy brownie started with a nutty taste which it held throughout.

I would like to give a special mention to Bea’s of Bloomsbury white chocolate brownies. The texture reminds more of a flan but it has a very pleasant and smooth taste.

For someone passionate about food, it was a unique opportunity to have the chance to taste all these brownies at once and I would like to thank all the chocolatiers as well as the bloggers Paul’s cooking & Garlic Confit who were willing to take part in this truly interesting and rich experience. Merci !

Enjoy an Adventure with Chocolate & Paul.A.Young

Chocolate. Nine letters of power. Nine letters of pleasure. A pleasure that sends you to heaven, a power that gives you all the verve and the vitality you need… and Adventure with Chocolate pays tribute to chocolate in the most inspiring and astonishing way, your own personal master class on the multiple varieties of chocolates produced around the world and how 70% doesn’t actually mean anything.

The new book by Paul A. Young, one of the most creative and dynamic chocolatiers in London, is more than just pages of perfect hot chocolates or fancy cakes. Pictures that seem to have been taken in an old London workshop makes Adventure with Chocolate a journey back to the roaring twenties, with Paul playing the role of young and charming beau on the town perfectly!

More than anything, though, opening Adventure with Chocolate is discovering the secret alchemy of mixing chocolate and ever more astonishing ingredients to create the ultimate in unexpected treats: Hot Chocolate mulled wine, Marmite Ganache, Stilton and Bacon Sandwich and, finally, Hot Chocolate and Basil Fondants, which I chose to offer as my crowning glory after a chicken goulash with gratin dauphinois. After some complications with moulds being a bit too large for the recipes, which influenced cooking time management, my sweet and savoury chocolate fondants were ready to be enjoyed.

Before the guests speared their first spoonful, it was said ‘I usually don’t go for dessert but…- and then no reaction but a huge silence. Welcome to heaven. ‘Oh. My. God. Is there some pesto in it?!… Oh, God, this is absolutely amazing… I can’t believe it.” Guests were conquered. The magical worked wonderfully, the feint complete, and the guests completely spellbound.

Thank you Paul!

Hot chocolate and Basil fondants – Serve 4
For the filling
100 ml double cream
15g basil leaves
200g White chocolate

For the fondants
85g butter
75g Caribbean 66% dark chocolate,
broken into pieces
3 medium free range eggs
75g golden caster sugar
70g plain flour

For the moulds
25g butter, melted
25g plain flour

Bring the cram and basil to a simmer.
Remove from the heat and use a hand blender to break the basil leaves into small pieces.
Pour over the White chocolate in a bowl and whisk well.
Pour into a plastic container and refrigerate for at least an hour until set.
Once set, make teaspoon sized balls of the ganache and refrigerate until needed.

For the fondants, melt the butter carefully on a low heat, then add the chocolate and mix well.
Whisk the egg and sugar together lightly and pour on the chocolate mixture, whisking well.
Add the flour and mix well until smooth.

Prepare 4 ramekins by brushing each one with melted butter and add flour.
Pour enough chocolate batter into each one so it is one-third full, then refrigerate for 30 mn.

Remove from the fridge, place a ball of basil ganache in each mould and fill around and over with the remaining chocolate batter. Refrigerate for an hour before cooking.

To cook, first preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the fondants in the oven on a baking tray and set the time for 9 min.

To serve, carefully invert each fondant on to a serving plate and lift off the mould.

Paul A. Young
33 Camden Passage, Islington
London N1 8EA
+44 (0)20 7424 5750
www.paulayoung.co.uk

Not Guilty

Bailiff: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, your attention, please: the Court will come to order. The Honourable Judge presiding. Please be seated.’
Judge
: ‘Good morning. Would the Clerk please read the charges?’
Clerk: ‘The Court charges the World with Libel in the First Degree.’
Judge: ‘Prosecution, would you please explain your reasons.’
Prosecutor: ‘My client suffers from remorse and a feeling that makes him believe that he has violated a moral standard every time he comes in contact with the Defendant.’
Judge: ‘How does the Defendant plead?’
Attorney for the Defence: ‘Your honour, the Defendant enters the plea “Not Guilty”’.
Judge: ‘Defendant, would you please explain your reasons’.

Attorney for the Defence
: ‘Your honour, dear members of the jury, I’m here today to re-establish the truth about my client and the rumours that it has been accused of. In order to remove all shadows of a doubt concerning my clients innocence with regards to these heinous accusations, the Defendant has accepted to go through a battery of tests and experiments.  The results speak for themselves, your honour.’
Judge
: ‘Well, we don’t have all day. What do they say?’
Attorney for the Defence
: ‘The results show that the samples tested contained antibacterial agents that fight tooth decay and phenyl ethylamine, which is a mild mood elevator. Results demonstrated an increase in antioxidant levels in the blood, that the smell increased theta brain waves, resulting in relaxation and the carbohydrate content raised serotonin levels in the brain, resulting in a sense of well-being.

They also contained oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat which may raise good cholesterol as well as stearic acid, a neutral fat which does not raise bad cholesterol. Neither of these are a causative factor in acne.

Finally, historical tests on other samples have proven useful in treating bronchitis and insect bites, and there is no scientific proof, anywhere, of addiction or narcotic side effects.

In conclusion, the research clearly proves that the Prosecution is not suffering of guilt, but is actually incapable of dealing with the only proven side-effect: pleasure.’
Judge: ‘Please clarify your statement. I’m not sure to understand you’.
Attorney for the Defence: ‘Chocolate, Your honour, I’m talking about my client, chocolate! And the only thing that chocolate should be guilty of… is pleasure!’

Chocolate collage

As a diamond shining in a store window or the One Ring of ages past, chocolate works its power on our palates in ways we can hardly resist. The Chocolate Week was the perfect moment for the finest British chocolatiers and European chocolate producers to present their wares without the slightest hint of guilt.

Paul A Young Collage

According to Paul, Paul A. Young “You should never feel guilty about chocolate. Feel guilty about the take away and the junk food! Never about chocolate as long as you choose the right quality. Chocolate makes you feel alive and smile. Don’t be shy about it.”

Trish collage

Trish Deseine defines chocolate as an “escape and pleasure! A little guilt is a good thing from time to time, but not when served with food.

Divine collage

Eating chocolate is a bit of an occasion and it’s proper treat. It’s like a comforting hug or kiss,” confides Rosanna from Divine Chocolate. “I don’t see the guilt factor when you have just a little of what you fancy now and again! Chocolate has a great power to bring out the best in people.”

Artisan du Chocolat

For Elise, Artisan du Chocolat, chocolate is “pleasure, a delicious taste, work, but first of all a connection to pleasure. There’s no reason to feel guilty about enjoying good chocolate that contains no additives and very low levels of sugar.”

Rococo collage

The visual pleasure and the taste are almost as important as knowing where the ingredients come from.” explains James, from Rococo. “It is very important to create a connection with the people who work hard to get the best out of the cocoa bean. As long as you pick the right ingredient to make the best chocolate, there is no reason to feel guilty of enjoying a delicious piece of it.”

And what do our passionates about food think about it?

drinkandeatRelief!
meemalee “’Chocolate’ means a cute autistic girl with amazing martial art skills
bellalimento
LOVE! Yes, Chocolate, the kind that makes you bite your lip and say mmmmh is LOVE!
aforkful
Pure sensory indulgence
chocolatetours: “Joy