Hello chocolate lovers….

Last night I took home the new book Whittaker’s: A Passion for Chocolate Since 1896 by JH Whittaker & Sons Ltd, (do have a look, their website is suitably chocolatey in design), published by Random House. No, no, don’t thank me, I felt it was my duty to make this sacrifice for the blog – good of me, huh?

The history of this much-loved NZ company, the only chocolate company that imports the beans and roasts them here, was interesting, as was the info about the actual making of the chocolate, but the truffles I was hunting after were hidden in the excellent recipes.

Some of the recipes have been created by various well-known chefs – these ones are mostly v. restaurant-y but the instructions are very clear and I might give a couple of them a go, given that they are exactly what I would choose if I was dining in their establishments. To be honest, I usually look at the desserts first and 99% of the time choose chocolate. The second part of the recipe section contains excellent home-baking-ish treats supplied by various ‘chocolate lovers’ who have sent them to the company – there is a Cherry Chocolate Cookie recipe that I am going to make to use for moreish Christmas gifts.

Last year at Christmas I wrapped a block of Whittaker’s dark chocolate (according to the books you can swap around the 50%, the 62% and the 72% blocks to taste, as they have the same fat content) in my own favourite brownie recipe, and gave that to people. Here, in the spirit of chocolatey sharing and friendliness showcased in the book, it is for you:

The Most Fantastic Brownies

  1. 240g Whittaker’s dark chocolate, chopped up
  2. 100g butter, chopped up
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 135 g castor sugar
  5. 55 g plain flour – yes, only 55 grams!
  6. an 18cm square tin, at least 3 cm deep, lined with baking paper, preheat the oven to 150c/300f, Gas 2

Melt the chocolate & butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, don’t let the base of the bowl touch the water. Stir until melted. Set aside to cool.

Wisk the eggs & sugar until pale & creamy. Sift in the flour and fold in gently. Finally fold in the molten chocolate until mix is smooth.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Be brave and get it out when the timer dings despite  the air of sogginess – it will keep cooking but will still be wodgy. Leave to cool completely.

Makes 9 big café style squares or 18 elegant rectangular slices depending on your whim….

The design of this hardback book is particularly satisfying – dark and glossy and sophisticated. The photographs are beautiful and really inspire you to have a go – exactly what you want and need in a recipe book really.

Just delicious.

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