I can still remember sitting in my first year flat at uni watching a program about a eccentric English guy who’s ambition it was to make the best chocolate in the world. He travelled to Venezuela in search of the finest cacao beans and his brand ‘Willes Cacao” was born. My flat mates and I really enjoyed the program and I remember laughing at him putting chocolate into every recipe he made (although now I’m with him on that one!). I saw his brand in a store not long after but being on a student budget and preferring to save my money for shots and lager I never tried any and forgot all about the program. So it was a lovely blast from the blast to find a bar in my flavourly box delivered this month! A 50g Ginger & Lime Cuban Baracoa 65%.
Fast forward 6 years and I now consider myself a bit of a chocolate connoisseur ;). Having worked in a high end chocolate shop for nearly 2 years I have tried lots of different chocolates and can even recognize some single origin chocolate just by tasting. So here is my review of Willies Cacao!
Appearance – The packaging is a lovely box with an expensive looking design but in my opinion a bit excessive for a 50g bar. Willie’s Cacao logo is engraved on the chocolate and looks premium. Good shine to the chocolate and no bloom at all.
Aroma – (Best to smell your choccie just after you snap it) The ginger overpowers any aroma of the chocolate at first but then you do get a rich, fruity chocolate smell coming through.
Snap – Good Snap, especially considering the thickness of the chocolate bar.
Taste – (when tasting dark chocolate it is always best to take a piece and let it melt in your mouth to taste it properly. This may sound really pretentious and over the top but by doing this the cocoa butter melts in your mouth and lets you taste all the amazing flavours. If you just guzzle it down dark chocolate can just taste bitter and flavourless).
Really smooth obviously high quality chocolate. A very fruity chocolate which tastes of berries initially then the lime oil comes in followed by the ginger. The aftertaste left is the fiery ginger and the chocolate has a really good finish.
Overall – I’m happy to say I’m not disappointed at all. Delicious chocolate that works well with the ginger and lime pairing without being over powered. The rest of his range is on my to try list!
Well as the title of this post suggests the diet isn’t going overly well. I saw online Godiva are doing a competition in which you can enter your chocolate recipes. I’ve had an idea to make something along these lines for ages after seeing a triple berry cheesecake in the amazing Peggy Porschen boutique cookbook, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a go. Hey if I’m going to cheat I might as well cheat properly! Salads resume tomorrow, but for the moment enjoy this recipe! It is very easy to make and can be made ahead if you have friends coming round. I used 2 cooking rings which made 2 very generous cheesecakes (1 cheesecake is big enough for 2 people to share). You could use smaller rings or give it a go in a muffin tray to make mini versions.
100g chocolate cookies (I used Tesco Finest)
25g unsalted butter
75g milk chocolate
75g white chocolate (and a little extra to drizzle over the top for decoration)
150g cream cheese
Super easy method
Crush the cookies to crumbs. Melt the butter and mix together.
Press the cookie and butter mix firmly into the bottom of your cooking ring or tin (if your using cooking rings place on a baking tray first). Place in the fridge while you prepare the next layers.
Break up the white and milk chocolate into separate bowls. Melt in the microwave taking care not to burn. Leave to cool slightly.
Mix together the ricotta and soft cheese beating well. Spoon half the cheese mixture into the melted milk chocolate and the other half into the melted white chocolate.
Take the cookie bases out of the fridge. Spoon the white chocolate mixture onto the bases and smooth the top flat.
Then spoon the milk chocolate layer on top and smooth across with a palate knife.
About an hour before serving I melted some white chocolate, left to cool slightly then drizzled across the cheesecakes whilst still in the rings.
To serve place the mould on a plate and carefully run a palate knife around the edge. Once you have broken the seal you should be able to life mould off easily.
I will happily admit I may have a ‘problem’ with chocolate. I lust after artisan chocolates the way most women drool over designer shoes. If you looked at my Google search history you would find questions such as ‘is it possible to be addicted to chocolate digestives’ (many agree with me it is!). I’ve tried giving it up but when I inevitably give into ‘one little piece’ its like blood to a shark. So I’m now trying a crazy idea called ‘moderation’. With this whole ‘moderation’ idea I can consume chocolate at the levels acceptable for a young women and not like Augustus Gloop on a bad day. I’m also looking for lower calorie ways to get my chocolate fix and thought a low calorie chocolate mousse would be the perfect way to start! I adapted an online recipe and it was delicious! The recipe I started from was 170 calories a serving but I substituted sugar for Truvia so my version will be even lower in calories. The mousses are so chocolatey but the warmth and flavour of the ginger comes through really well and stops them being too sickly (although even I would struggle to eat more then one serving, another bonus). They have a light airy texture and under 200kcal a serving for something very indulgent!
Ingredients to make 4 servings
- 85g Green & Blacks dark chocolate with ginger
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 egg whites
- 1 ½ tsp Truvia (if you use sugar use 1 tbsp)
- 50g Greek yogurt
- Raspberries to decorate
How to mousse it up
Break the chocolate into a bowl. Mix the cocoa powder with 3 tbsp cold water and add the paste to the chocolate. Melt the chocolate and paste together over a pan of hot water. The melted mixture will be rather thick. Add boiling water,1 tbsp at a time (I added 3) until you have a shiny and loose mixture (like the picture below).
Set aside and leave to cool
Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Add the Truvia and then whisk until thick and glossy.
Add the yogurt to the cooled chocolate and beat well.
Gradually fold the egg whites to the chocolate/yogurt mixture with a metal spoon a third at a time. Be careful not over mix as you will lose the volume from your mousse.
Spoon into 4 espresso cups or ramekins and leave to chill for a few hours or over night. Serve straight from the fridge with a few raspberries sprinkled on top. Enjoy!