Thursday, 17 April 2008

All Aboard The Choc Star Express!

It is post 200 for me today, so time for a bit of self indulgence. Hopefully you were all watching Channel 4 last month when they screened, what was in my opinion, one of the most interesting food shows I have ever seen - Willie's Wonky Chocolate Factory.

The 4 part show followed the fortunes of the hard working, determined and charismatic Willie Harcourt-Cooze in his efforts to turn his passion into a dream. With a huge love for top quality chocolate, Willie buys a cacao farm in Venezuela and the show sees him turn the bean into the bar. Hugely entertaining, realistic and with loads of Willie's brilliant simple recipes, it was a proper Sunday night treat.

In one of the episodes, Willie was seen teaming up with a lady called Petra to try out some hot chocolate recipes and then see what the public thought of them. Petra's orange infused chocolate was the winner. And how surprised was I a few days later when that very Petra emailed me with details about her plans, asking me if I wanted to participate?! For Petra has her own business selling choccy delights in her amazing converted ice cream van Jimmy, AKA The Choc Star Express.

Petra has hit the road with Jimmy on a culinary adventure to see what the folks of Britain have to offer. It is a fantastic idea, one that will hopefully spawn the most alternative of travelling books, and I will be delighted when Petra hits the frozen North East next month and she becomes our lodger for the evening.

I implore you to check out her Blog which is detailing her diary of events on the road. Get in touch with her, join her Facebook group, encourage her and most of all, enjoy her brilliant humorous approach to life via her writing. The world would be an incredibly dull place without people like Petra. And in dedication to her, I've attempted one of her recipes that I asked her to send me. Needless to say, it was simply brilliant and as you can see, it passed the Cerys test with flying colours. In Petra's own words, "It's like a cold, crunchy, dark slice of truffle and very moreish and so easy". What more do we need? Choctastic. See you in May Petra.

Chocolate, Almond and Orange Terrine

300g chocolate, min 70%
250g unsalted butter
A few broken fingers of shortbread (or digestives if you prefer...or any crunchy biscuit)
100g caster sugar
2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
100g toasted flaked almonds
Grated zest of 2 oranges
A jolt of brandy (or Cointreau, or rum)

1 - Melt the chocolate in a bain marie with the butter.
2 - Whip the eggs together with the sugar - not too much but so they're well blended. Stir into the chocolate butter mix thoroughly.
3 - Stir in the broken biscuits, zest, almonds and booze. I also added a handful of glacier cherries.
4 - Pour into a medium loaf tin lined with good strong cling film and place in the freezer to set for a couple of hours.
5 - When you're ready to serve, remove from the freezer 10 minutes before, remove from the tin and peel off the cling film...and then slice that old rascal up.

21 comments:

Sylvie said...

I loved that program, there was just the right balance between absolutely delicious food, new things to learn and wonderful chaos and eccentricity. The terrine looks really yummy, I haven't made one in ages.

Megan said...

What a luscious terrine. I just adore high cocoa chocolate it is the only chocolate for me.

Megan

Holler said...

Almost before you could blink, I had copied this recipe down! It looks fab!
I loved the tv series and was feeling a bit sad and lost when Sunday passed without it! I never managed to scribble down any of the recipes, so thanks for this David.
ps I like the new photo!

Cynthia said...

200th post! congrats! I have not even reached 100 yet (lol)

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Ooooh, a choc terrine - count me in for a slice, please!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

BTW - what size loaf tin, please, David?

David Hall said...

Sylvie - glad you agree, I loved it and he came across as such a determined but lovely fella. Lots of respect for him. Can't find his website anywhere though?!

Megan - and so easy to make, please try it, you wo't regret it.

Holler - I felt the same, nothing on a Sunday now is there? The recipe is one of Petras, check out what she is up to, amazing. Glad you like the photo! Me and me little sous chef.

Cynthia - you have done less than me but have a HUGE following so you must be doing something right!

FOS - You will have a battle on your hands! As for loaf tin size, hmmmm, hard to judge as the loaf tins I seem to buy are all the same size! I guess a medium loaf tin is the answer. Hope that helps!

Bellini Valli said...

If Cery aproves this recipe then I am in David:D Thanks for pointing out the site and I'll look forward to the adventure:D

Angel said...

Wow that looks so delicious! I want a bite aaaaaaaaaah.

The show sounds interesting I wonder if I could find a copy of it here in the usa.

Rosie said...

Y-E-S please I’ll come aboard the choc star express!! I had the recipe noted down in a flash *giggle*. Wonderful recipe thanks for sharing :)

Congrats on your 200th post!

Rosie x

Deborah Dowd said...

This terrine looks like it has enough chocolate flavor to assuage any chocoholic! And thanks for the link to Petra's blog- can't wait to check it out!

Helen said...

ooh, how exciting! Sadly, I missed the show as I've been so busy lately. Everyone kept urging me to watch it and I couldn't! Ah well, maybe they will repeat. That is very exciting that you are getting involved. The recipe looks really deliciously indulgent. I'm feeling al little worse for wear today and I could really do with a slice of that.

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Looks delicious :)
I'm glad to hear that Cerys loves green apple bag... I have the same one with red apples and my daughter sometimes try to carry it but she is still too short ;)

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Hi,

Just a short note that you have been awarded with "E for Excellent" Award :)

http://www.coffeeandvanilla.com/?p=2082

Ciao, Margot

Fearless Kitchen said...

This is really interesting! It looks fabulous. I've never tried to make a terrine of any sort.

GBVC said...

I loved the show too - it was great.
I have also bought his chocolate or rather cocoa now - from Waitrose. It is my nightly treat to grate it to make real hot chocolate...fantastic.
Thank you for telling me about Petra's adventures. Sounds fantastic.
Charlotte
x

Squishy said...

Gimme gimme gimme that chocolate lovin, oh baby. Tis heaven for a chocoholic like me.

Petra Barran said...

Wow - glad the truffly terrine hit the c-spot. It is one of my most craved and I always carry one in the freezer for cheeky little slithers along the way...

Thanks David - see you in a few weeks!

X

Aimée said...

Really nice, David. This would be such and elegant desert for a dinner party.

David said...

By sheer coincidence Dave, Petra and her van were parked on our very drive yesterday. Best strawberry sorbet I've ever tasted, even (10 month old) Ivan agreed. Astrid had chocolate and told me later that it was 'really super super yummy'. So you've got much to look forward to.

Hope you and yours are well,
David & Caroline in sunny Leeds
x

Sam Sotiropoulos said...

David, by the looks and contents of your food posts hereon, I readily volunteer to be a lodger in your home for one night too! I shall now add you to my reader as I don't want to miss my invitation. :)

Amiably,

Sam