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Eight chefs pick their favourite chocolate treats for Easter

From fondants and brownies to a nutty Mexican snack, chefs Tommy Banks, Skye Gyngell and more share their favourite ways to enjoy chocolate.

Published 11 Apr 2022, 06:08 BST
Chocolate pudding with chocolate dressing on a plate.

Chocolate ganache. 

Photograph by Getty Images

1. Mousse 

Tommy Banks, chef director, The Black Swan at Oldstead and Roots

I love really rich puddings, but they need to be light as well. I’d hate a chocolate sponge, for example, but absolutely love a chocolate mousse — I know it’s old school, but it’s my ultimate dessert. It’s light but also tastes really strongly of chocolate. At our home-delivery business Made in Oldstead, we do a chocolate pavé — a more cheffy version of a mousse with eggs and cream in it. The amazing texture really lightens the whole dessert, so you get a really luxurious mouth feel but with big flavours. I can eat an awful lot of it.

2. Brownie

April Jackson, owner, Wood & Water

I know it might sound basic, but I love making and eating a chocolate and peanut butter brownie. I love the combination of salt and sweet along with hot and cold temperatures in a dessert. Brownies are so comforting by nature and the crisp top layer covering the gooey centre epitomises decadence. I usually serve it straight from the oven with vanilla ice cream. It’s incredibly moreish and leaves you feeling that each bite is worth every calorie.

3. Ganache

Helen Graham, executive chef, Bubala

I absolutely love anything and everything chocolate and will pretty much always order a chocolate dessert. I recently had an amazing one at Brawn in east London: it was a scoop of rich, silky ganache, topped with some sea salt and beautifully fruity olive oil. It’s quite a simple dish, but the combination of flavours works so well. I’m also guilty of snacking — frequently — on Bubala’s Salted Caramel and Rose Truffles.

4. Fondant

James Knappett, chef patron, Kitchen Table

Chocolate fondant is a dish we’re all familiar with and have had in many different forms, but it’s still my go-to if I see it on a menu. It can be simple and classic or elevated by using chocolate from around the world with more unique and refined flavours. Either way, you can create something really indulgent but comforting at the same time simply by using top-quality dark chocolate. I also love the contrast of textures; the light sponge with the luxurious, melting chocolate in the middle.

5. Mousse

Skye Gyngell, chef director, Spring and Heckfield Place

My favourite thing to do with chocolate is make a chocolate mousse. Perfecting my recipe was a lengthy process: it had to be decadently rich while still being light, and on top of that, I wanted it to have a certain density. My other ambition was to make sure it could hold itself freeform, once chilled and spooned onto plates. The end result simply relies on good-quality dark chocolate, separated organic free-range eggs, caster sugar and a pinch of sea salt. I love adding an elegant smokiness to it by making burnt caramel to accompany it, and of course cream is always a must.

Wagyu chocolate from RAI restaurant.

Photograph by TONY BRISCOE

6. Wagyu chocolate

Padam Raj Rai, executive chef, RAI

At RAI, we’ve created an unusual but decadent chocolate dessert: wagyu chocolate. It’s made using 35% fat from A5 (the highest grade) Japanese wagyu, mixed with organic white chocolate from Switzerland. Rosemary, thyme, cranberry, pistachio and raspberry add flavour and a slight crunch, while lemon, lime and yuzu zest add freshness. You still get a hint of wagyu though.

7. Milo

Sugen Gopal, chef owner, Roti King

I’m not sure if this counts as a dish, but my favourite has to be Milo. It’s a chocolate malt drink and I like it cold with ice. This is the drink of my childhood in Malaysia and it holds some great memories of home.

8. Alegria

Adriana Cavita, chef owner, Cavita (opening in May)

My favourite chocolate food would have to be a very Mexican snack made from puffed amaranth, chocolate and a mix of seeds and nuts. It’s almost an energy bar and I make it at home all the time — it’s dead easy. It’s called alegria, which translates as ‘happiness’ — here’s the recipe…

Recipe: Adriana Cavita's alegria


Ingredients

200g chocolate (76% cacao)
150g puffed amaranth
15g almonds, chopped and toasted
15g pecans, chopped and toasted
15g peanuts, chopped and toasted
20g raisins or dates

Method

Melt the chocolate slowly in a bain-marie until smooth. Combine with the rest of the ingredients and spread the mixture thinly on a piece of baking parchment. Leave to cool and set at room temperature, then cut into pieces and put in the fridge to make them extra crunchy.

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