Tag: Chocolate Recipe

Legendary Dishes | Cinghiale Dolceforte (meat in chocolate sauce)


A significant event in food history was the founding in 1512 of the curiously named Compagnia del Paiolo (company of the cauldron) by Giovan Francesco Rustici in Renaissance Florence.

The motto of the company was l‘arte si fa a cena (the art of dining). It innocently sought culture and conviviality, good taste and simplicity, frankness and friendliness.

Rustici was a painter and sculptor, friend of Andrea del Sarto and Leonardo de Vinci and cousin to Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici (later Pope Clement). At small banquets the members of the company, which included the imaginative gastronome del Sarto, had an obligation to bring a dinner of their own invention and if two had had the same thought they were sentenced to a penalty.

Among the dishes featured by the Paiolanti and possibily one that would have attracted a penalty is this typically Tuscan wild boar dish, with a preparation as old as the Tuscan hills that surround Florence.

Presented in one of the dolceforte (sweet-strong) sauces favoured by the Romans, this dish is making a comeback, albeit with pork (as well as boar). This is an adaptation of the original 1500s recipe.

For the story of the ancient Compagnia del Paiolo, we recommend journalist Pier Francesco Listri’s book.

  • 1 kg boar / pork, cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 350 ml red wine
  • 200 g carrots, cubed small
  • 180 g prosciutto / cured ham, cubed small
  • 150 g shallots, chopped small
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped small
  • 75 g raisins
  • 65 g candied peel
  • 65 g chocolate 75%, grated
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped small
  • 50 g pine nuts
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 20 ml red wine vinegar
  • 3 tsp chestnut flour
  • 10 g brown sugar
  • 25 black peppercorns
  • Lovage, 3 large sprigs, chopped small
  • Parsley, large bunch, leaves and stalks separated, chopped
  • Rosemary, 3 large sprigs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, pinch

Marinade meat in black peppercorns, red wine, red wine vinegar and bay leaves overnight.

Sauté carrots, celery, onions, garlic, prosciutto, lovage, parsley stalks and rosemary in oil in a large saucepan until the vegetables are soft.

Drain soaking liquid from meat, brown a few pieces at a time in a little oil in a separate frying pan.

Transfer meat to the large saucepan with the vegetables.

Add a little flour to the frying pan that contained the meat, deglaze with some of the marinade liquid.

Put the meat and its liquid into the large saucepan, cover and cook over a low heat until the meat is tender, about 90 minutes, adding more liquid as necessary.

In a large bowl combine brown sugar, candied peel, chocolate, pine nuts and raisins.

When the meat is cooked add the chocolate mixture to the large saucepan, cook uncovered over a low heat for 20 minutes.

Indigenous Ingredients

Bay Leaf
Candied Peel
Olive Oil
Pine Nut
Red Wine Vinegar

Legendary Dishes | Brunsli (almond and chocolate biscuits / brownies)


A plate of Basler brauns a little darker at the edges than they should be – the consequence of over-baking!

The original brownie, these delicious gluten-free biscuits are associated with Basel confectionary, (known as Basler Brauns) and warm festive evenings at the turn of the year.

Traditionally they were always made with almonds, then hazelnuts began to appear frequently in some recipes.

Equal quantities of almonds and hazelnuts are found in the commercial concoctions, which come in different shapes.

Some versions exclude the egg whites and some use chocolate chips.

This version is based on an early 1900s recipe, with a moderate amount of chocolate.

  • 200 g almonds, ground
  • 200 g vanilla sugar
  • 125 g chocolate (85%), broken into pieces
  • 50 g hazelnuts, ground
  • 2 egg whites
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp kirsch
  • Cinnamon, large pinch
  • Cloves, ground, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch
  • Sugar, for rolling
  • Water, boiled, for bain marie

Mix thoroughly the almonds, hazelnuts, cocoa, vanilla sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a large bowl.

Pour boiled water into a saucepan, put a large bowl on top without touching the water, place chocolate in bowl and leave to melt.

Add the almond mixture to the chocolate, stir thoroughly. When it is cold add the kirsch. Beat the egg whites and fold into the chocolate mixture.

Cover with clingfilm and leave in refrigerator for an hour.

Dust a clean surface with sugar, roll out the dough until 1 cm thick. Cut into desired shapes, place on trays lined with baking paper, and leave at room temperature overnight or for 6-8 hours during the day depending on the time of year – shorter in summer.

Pre-heat oven to 240°C, bake for no more than seven minutes. Leave to cool on paper for a few minutes, then transfer to rack.

[PLACE] FLORENCE | ITALY | Cantuccini (almond / chocolate / pistachio biscuits biscuits)

Touring travellers arriving in the grand ticket hall of the Santa Maria Novella railway station in Florence were always surprised by the quality of these Tuscan biscuits, especially those made with almonds. For your delectation we are offering a version that accomodates almonds or chocolates or pistachios or a combination. Now you have to see whether your version is as good as those produced by the region’s biscotti di Prato experts. Getting the balance between dry and wet ingredients is the secret, and that depends on the quality of the flour and your trust in the recipe.

  • 250 g + 30 g white wheat flour
  • 125 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 g chocolate pieces / almonds / pistachios
  • 5 g baking powder
  • 1 orange, zest

Preheat oven to 190°C.

Whisk eggs with sugar, add orange zest, baking powder, flour and almonds or pistachios or chocolate in a bowl.

Tip the mixture onto a floured surface, dust with extra flour and roll into a sausage shape. Carefully ease the sausage onto a lined tray. Roll into a large evenly shaped sausage, the length of the baking tray, roughly 6 cm wide.

Place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray, flatten a little, bake for 30 minutes (35 minutes for chocolate), until pale golden.

Reduce temperature to 170°C.

Cut into 2 cm slices, place back on the tray. Turn slices after 15 minutes.

Bake for a total of 30 minutes, until the colour has turned to a golden brown.

Legendary Dishes | Shokoladnyye Pryaniki Шоколадные Пряники (chocolate gingerbreads)


Russia has the most diverse gingerbread tradition in Europe. From allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, clove and ginger as the standard spice mixture to none at all, from kefir, milk and sour cream as a liquid medium to none at all, and from cheese, chocolate, honey, jam and nuts as fillings and flavourings to none at all, the Russian gingerbread is an enigma until it is decorated in the Tula fashion and then it becomes a majestic creation.

The basic ingredients are baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, flour, butter, eggs, milk and sugar. After that it is show time! Russian bakers revel in their biscuit gingerbreads and in their cake gingerbreads and continue to find different ways to celebrate that creative spirit.

Among the elaborations are these chocolate gingerbreads, spiced with allspice, cinnamon and ginger.

  • 350 g white wheat flour, t450
  • 210 g sour cream
  • 90 g vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 60 g honey
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 10 g baking powder
  • 8 g ginger powder
  • 5 g allspice powder
  • 5 g cinnamon powder
  • Salt, large pinch
  • Nutmeg, 10 gratings
  • Tip of knife bicarbonate of soda
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting

Coating 1

  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp water / lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Coating 2

  • 100 g chocolate, 75%

In a saucepan melt the butter, honey and sugar over a low heat. Leave to cool a little.

Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder, salt and spices. Add the egg to the cream. Add the dry and wet mixtures to the warm honey mixture. Form into a loose dough.

Dust a clean surface with cocoa powder. Roll into a long thick sausage on the cocoa powder, cut at 3 centimetre intervals. Place on parchment on a tray. Bake at 190℃ for 25 minutes, leave to cool on a rack.

Coat in chocolate melted in a bain-marie or in a cocoa powder, icing sugar solution.

[PLACE] THE BURREN | IRELAND | A Visit to Hazel Mountain

Hazel Mountain Chocolate of the Burren, Clare, Ireland

The chocolatiers of hazel mountain on the edge of the Burren in north Clare in the west of Ireland have every reason to celebrate their first year in business. They are heading a trend that is seeing the art of chocolate-making move out of its traditional centres in Belgium and Switzerland, and setting a trend that has been the preserve of large-scale factories for far too long – cocoa bean roasting!

Head Roaster Dara Conboy

Dara Conboy, a 25-year-old from county Sligo with a background in coffee bean roasting, is the head roaster on hazel mountain. Recruited by John and Kasia Connolly to get the flavour out of the beans they import from Madagascar and other tropical cocoa growing regions, Conboy is an Irish chocolate expert. He can talk chocolate all day long.

Accompanied by Anna Murphy, a young pastry chef employed to make confections with their chocolate, the Connollys and Conboy are a unique team in rural Ireland.

But they are not alone in Europe. The idea that artisan chocolatiers can roast their own cocoa beans and make their own distinctive chocolate has been seeping into the creative consciousness among European food artisans for several years.

This is not about the mass production of an homogenised product, it is about the flavour and taste that can be coaxed out of cocoa beans with their own delicate aromas, then transferred into artisanal chocolate of quality.

The  chocolate of the hazel mountain reflects the wild landscape of the Burren, combining local ingredients like elderberries, hazelnuts and juniper berries with the exotic cocoa beans of the tropics

Chocolate Whiskey Coffee

  • 1 square Hazel Mountain chocolate, chopped small
  • 1 shot blended Irish whiskey, eg Tullamore Dew
  • Double espresso
  • Sugar, pinch

Melt chocolate in hot coffee, stir add whiskey and a pinch of sugar, stir again.