5 ways to make the most of Chocolate Week

5 ways to make the most of Chocolate Week

by Great British Chefs 12 October 2015

As if we needed another excuse to indulge, Chocolate Week 2015 has begun! Celebrate this fantastic foodie festival with some of our delicious chocolate recipes, from bakes to share with family and friends to decadent desserts for the weekend.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

The Great British Bake Off has finished for another year, leaving a marquee-sized hole in all our lives and a melodramatic yearning to throw ourselves, Flora style, prostrate on the work top. It’s handy, then, that the warm embrace of Chocolate Week follows so swiftly on the final’s heels – if ever there was a substance with the requisite powers to comfort the post-Bake Off blues, chocolate is it. Running from 12th–18th October, take a look at some of the best ways to celebrate and get involved with Chocolate Week.

On your marks, get set… Bake

We’ve had ten weeks of Paul Hollywood’s arched eyebrows and icy glare as he identifies common baking pitfalls, it's time to see if any of it has sunk in. Victoria Glass' Chocolate fudge cake is a fantastic easy cake recipe with layers of rich, chocolatey buttercream, or try Josh Eggleton's multi-layered Chocolate and peanut mousse cake to perfect a shiny chocolate glaze. For decorations, channel the contestants on Chocolate Week – fully functioning milk chocolate well optional – and try out some chocolate work; take a look at our guides to learn how to temper to perfection and create delicate chocolate cylinders to adorn your towering layered cakes.

Indulge in Paul A Young’s Choctober afternoon tea

Love cake but more soggy bottom than sheer perfection in the baking department? Leave the cooking to somebody else and treat yourself to a chocolatey afternoon tea at Harvey Nichols. World renowned chocolatier Paul A Young has devised a special – and surprisingly reasonable – tea menu for the month, available in Harvey Nichols stores across the country. Aiming to incorporate both Chocolate Week and the store’s own Art of Scent programme into the menu, the tea appeals to each of the five senses. The spread includes sandwiches, Moroccan spiced chocolate mousse, salted caramel scones and a chocolate and pecan tart; even the tea nods towards the chocolatey theme, with a refreshing mint leaf and cocoa nib infusion.

Learn new skills and experiment with flavours

The Chocolate Week programme includes a number of tastings, demonstrations and special events around the country, culminating in a three day Chocolate Show at London’s Olympia Centre. Alongside the chocolate fashion show (yes, really) a whole host of experts in the world of chocolate will be there with a range of their products – rumour has it there will be brownies being freshly baked throughout the day. Chocolatey cooking demonstrations are taking place with the likes of Will Torrent, Bake Off’s Edd Kimber and Willie Harcourt-Cooze sharing their skills, and an exciting collaborative demo – the first of its kind – from close friends Paul A Young and the Galvin brothers. With so many experts sharing their skills and innovations, Chocolate Week is a great opportunity to push yourself to try (and taste) completely new chocolatey challenges.

Paul A Young is taking part in a number of events during Chocolate Week

Prepare a showstopper dessert for Sunday lunch ...

Whether you go for an elegant chocolate tart, rich mousse or a gooey chocolate pudding, Chocolate Week grants you complete diplomatic immunity to go all-out this weekend. Roast season has officially begun, so try a hot pudding such as a chocolate fondant, sponge pudding or warm chocolate doughnuts to round off your meal. For a dinner party a chocolate tart will deliver sophistication and indulgence in equal measure, and can be prepared well in advance – perfect when entertaining. Try Dominic Chapman’s Chocolate tart recipe, or Graham Hornigold’s stunning Raspberry and chocolate rose delice.

… or embrace savoury chocolate

Savoury chocolate is not a contradiction in terms, nor a kind of culinary madness; many of the top chocolatiers involve in Chocolate Week are keen to encourage chocoholics to think outside the sweet treat box. The bitter quality of dark cocoa powder is often used by chefs to offset the sweetness of game and other rich meats – think Marcus Wareing’s Venison, chocolate and fig recipe or Matt Gillan’s Duck breast salad with burnt coconut and chocolate – or go one step further and whip up a savoury ganache. Paul A Young puts savoury ganache to excellent use in his Wild mushroom mille feuille recipe, and has paired his ‘sweet-salty’ dark chocolate spread with the likes of bacon, Stilton and an umami miso caramel. Are there any lines he wouldn’t cross? ‘I have always said no to fish, but only because it just seems to be the last thing that is too much of a gimmick!’