Chocolate in the morning? Why the devil not, says London chocolatier Paul a. Young. So congregate your mates for a lazy weekend get-together and rustle up these recipes…
Cocoa nib & Madagascan vanilla smoothie
This recipe takes two minutes from beginning to end and it will give you an amazing lift.
- 2 tbsp cocoa nibs
- 250ml semi-skimmed milk, soya milk, or rice milk
- 250g Greek yogurt
- ½ a Madagascan vanilla pod, seeds scraped (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1 tbsp clear honey
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until the cocoa nibs are ground to small pieces.
- Pour into a serving glass and drink immediately.
Honey-cured bacon, Stilton & chocolate sandwich
My favourite brunch sandwich uses this mouthwatering, satisfying combination of fillings.
- 4 thick slices hand-cut, crusty white bread
- salted butter, softened, for spreading
- 50g Venezuelan 72% dark chocolate
- 6 rashers honey-cured bacon
- 75g very ripe Stilton
1. Preheat the grill until very hot.
2. Lightly toast the bread on both sides, then spread with butter.
3. Grate the chocolate on top, then return to the grill briefly to melt.
4. Remove and immediately put the bacon under the grill until the edges are crisp and caramelised.
5. Place on top of the chocolate, and finish with a generous crumbling of Stilton.
6. Lay the remaining buttered slice on top, press firmly, cut diagonally, and serve.
Venezuelan chocolate pancakes with chocolate maple syrup
This recipe is my homage to Sunday morning brunch; one of those occasions when anything goes. In other words, be as indulgent and naughty as you like because it is certainly not the time to count calories or grams of fat! Feel free to add blueberries, nuts and sultanas if the fancy takes you. The syrup can be made days – or even weeks – in advance and stored in the fridge.
For the pancakes:
- 25g Venezuelan 100% dark chocolate, grated
- 200g buckwheat or spelt flour
- 1 free-range egg
- 45g light muscovado sugar
- 350ml milk
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 25g unsalted butter, for frying
For the syrup:
- pinch of sea salt
- 50ml water
- 250ml dark maple syrup
- 100g 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- large knob of salted butter
- Place all the pancake ingredients (except the butter) in a blender or food processor, and whizz until a smooth, thick batter is formed. Leave the batter to rest while you make the syrup.
- For the syrup, dissolve the salt in the water in a small saucepan set over a gentle heat. Add the maple syrup and bring to a simmer. Place the chocolate in a bowl, pour the liquid over, and whisk well until smooth.
- Heat a crêpe pan or non-stick frying pan set over medium heat, add the butter, and allow to melt. When it sizzles, spoon a small or large amount of the batter into the pan (depending on whether you want to make American pancakes or crêpes).
- Cook until you see bubbles on the surface of the pancake, then carefully turn over and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer to a plate and cover with foil, then repeat with the remaining batter.
- Serve the pancakes laced with the warm syrup – be generous as the pancakes soak up a lot!
- All recipes extracted from ‘Adventures with Chocolate’ by Paul a. Young, with photography by Anders Schønnemann. Published by Kyle Books, RRP £14.99. For more information and to order, click here
- To read more about chocolate in swavoury dishes, click here
- To read more about pairing chocolate and cheese, click here
- To read more about combining meat and chocolate, click here