Happy birthday chocolate

My birthday chocolate stash After watching all the programmes and getting my hands on the book, the Husband turned up trumps for my birthday with a selection of Willie Harcourt-Cooze‘s chocolate blocks and bars.

I now have a couple of his 70% Peruvian dark chocolate bars, another pair of the 72% Venezuelan dark chocolate bars and, most especially, two blocks of the 100% pure cacao for cooking with. We’ve only opened the Peruvian bar so far – a dinky little square box that contains two slabs of fruity, full-flavoured eating chocolate. This isn’t chocolate for the fainthearted or those that prefer milk chocolate but, for me, it is heaven in a box!

We spent the weekend trying out the cacao à la Willie: grated over eggs fried in chilli oil, with a spicy tomato mince sauce, on top of scrambled eggs. He recommends that you use the cacao as if it were salt, to accentuate flavour, and the smell of chocolate over meals is getting to be a familiar one. I’ll have to try some of the sweet as well as savoury recipes in his cookbook now.

Willie’s chocolate isn’t very widely available but, for Cork readers, the Husband managed to track it down in the English Market’s Chocolate Shop and I’ve also seen it on sale at the Gubbeen stall which goes around to various markets, including the one in Mahon Point on Thursdays.



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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4 Responses

  1. gillian says:

    Happy birthday to you! I bet that the bars will come in handy for the sugar boosts you might be needing with Little Missy ;-)I was kinda wondering what do do with my leftover 100% chocolate. So I will use it ‘like salt’ at the weekend and see how it goes. Thanks for the tip.Harvey Nics, Dundrum Town Centre are stocking it too.

  2. Caroline says:

    I always find that some dark chocolate always helps to make every situation better! As Little Missy was born just before Easter with all the chocolate that implies (I spent a lot of that holiday sitting on the couch, feeding the child, and demanding to be kept supplied with the best chocolate in the house), she ended up with smears of it all over her babygros, not to mention, ahem, “interesting” nappies. I don’t think that the Chief Nappy-Changer, aka the Husband, was too impressed!

  3. Laura says:

    Belated Happy Birthday Caroline and even more belated congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby girl. I really enjoyed the Willie’s chocolate series too (and his slightly bonkers family!)and I have the cookbook so thanks for the tip on finding the chocolate at The English Market. Next time I’m down I’ll stock up!

  4. Caroline says:

    Thanks Laura – and welcome back! I should be in Cork over the next week so let me know if you’d like me to pick up a couple of bars to send up to you. I think that the Chocolate Shop also do mailorder, just give them a call to check.

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