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Choctastic with Willie Harcourt Cooze!

Friday, 30 October 2009

Willie is releasing his new cook book called "Willie's Chocolate Factory"

Willie Harcourt Cooze

. Willie came to public prominence in 2008 when he filmed Channel 4's 'Willie's Wonky Choc Factory' - it was about his efforts to grow, import and produce his own chocolate.
. He turns cacao beans into top quality chocolate and his recipes include chocolate cake, gravy, casseroles, hot chocolate, chicken mole.
. His 100% organic chocolate is the rarest and most expensive in the world.
. His talks about his wild, unconventional upbringing near Ballydehob, West Cork and becoming a successful Willie Wonka
. He has devoted the last eleven years of his life to producing Venezuelan Black, his 100% cacao bar which is harvested from El Tesoro, his family's hacienda in the beautiful Venezuelan cloud forest. Willie lives in Devon, where his chocolate factory is based, with his wife Tania and their three children.
. Born in Venezuela, his father was burnese and his mother Irish. When he was four they lived on a small island off the west coast of Ireland. Years later the family moved to the UK, then moved back to Cork and he attended school in Waterford
. He is now living in Devon with his family where he makes chocolate from bean to bar.

For more information:

Porcini and Chocolate Risotto

. 4-5 tssp olive oil
. 1 onion, finely chopped
. 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
. 100g dried porcini mushrooms
. 25g butter
. 250g Arborio rice
. 1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock
. 2 tbsp cacao, finely grated
. Parmesan, to serve

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry over a gentle heat until soft
2. Meanwhile, place the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water to rehydrate
3. Drop the butter into the pan. Stir in the rice
4. Add the porcini and the liquid they were soaked in. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the liquid has been absorbed. Add a ladleful of stock and simmer, stirring again, until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock in this way until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is plump and tender
5. Stir in the cacao to finish. Season with salt and black pepper and serve with grated parmesan.

El Tesoro Mousse Cake

This is one of the early classics that came from the El Tesora kitchen. I taught it to many of the people who passed through the hacienda and it has no reached far and wide in the world! It's excellent for tasting the flavour notes of the cacao, due to the simplicity of the ingredients

. 180g cacao, finely grated
. 250g unsalted butter
. 5 eggs
. 200g golden caster sugar
. 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (FAN) Line a 25 cm cake tin with non stick baking
2. paper
3. Melt the cacao and butter by placing them in a large heatproof bowl set over a
pan of simmering water.
4. Meanwhile, beat the eggs with the sugar and the vanilla extract until pale yellow
and fluffy.
5. Pour the cacao mixture into the eggs and beat to combine.
6. Stand the lined tin in a roasting tray and fill the tin with the mousse mixture.
7. Pour enough boiling hot water into the roasting tray to come halfway up the side
of the tin. Bake for 30 minutes or until set and leave to cool in the tin.

Willie's Tip: In Venezuela- or anywhere hot and full of living things- the mousse cake would have to be kept in the fridge. Then, to turn it out, we'd run the dish over a gas flame or heat the sides with a blowtorch.

Chocolate Fact File:

Willie's Supreme 100% Cacao Bars, Colombian Black Santander Superior.
Located in the north east of Colombia, the State of Santander is now an important cacao-producing region in Colombia. Here the excellent climate and soil conditions give rise to a unique and high quality cacao. These bars have a lovely chocolatey flavour with soft notes of redcurrant and spice.

Indonesian Black Javan Light Breaking
Sourced from the Island of Java, these bars are made from a highly prized strain of cacao. The beans are visually striking as they are exceptionally light in colour and they have a slightly higher cacao butter content than usual. This makes them highly prized by chocolate manufacturers, particularly in the use of milk chocolate. The beans produce a bar with light caramel notes

Madagascan Black Sambirano Superior
Sourced from the Sambirano Valley in North West Madagascar. Madagascar famed for its remarkable biodiversity, with many of its plant and animal life unique to the island, is well known for its superior cacao. The beans from this region produce a bar with a wonderful natural flavour and juicy notes of summer fruits.

Nicaraguan Black Waslala Superior
Waslala is located in central Nicaragua, where cacao has been grown since Pre-Colombian times. The country possesses fertile farmland and vast tropical rain forests perfect for the cultivation of cacao. It is an increasingly important cacao growing region and these beans produce very unusual bars with fresh pecan notes.

Peruvian Black San Martin.
The beans are sourced from the Departamento de San Martin in Northern Peru in the foothills of the Andes in the lush Amazonian rainforests. The flavour notes of the bars are of fruit liquor with a distinct tropical finish. The Peruvian Black bars also have a slightly higher cocoa butter content than the Venezuelan Black bars, something which is very sought after by chocolatiers

Venezuelan Black Hacienda La Cuyagua
A limited edition bar from one of the most highly regarded cacao growing regions of Venezuela. Situated in a secluded valley in the Henri Pitter Park in the north east of the country the cacao plantations here date back to the 1700's. Back in 1993 Willie spent a wonderful 3 months living on the beach and walking on the mountains here. While he was there he had the chance to make a small amount of cacao and recognised it's very fine fruity flavours. Willie was very pleased to be offered the chance to buy a small quantity of these beans which produce a bar with zesty notes of fruit and nut.

Venezuelan Black Hacienda Las Trincheras
This is a very old hacienda which produces fantastic beans and is being helped by the Terra Viva Foundaton. Terra Viva is a Venezuelan non-governmental organisation that encourages sustainable development through environmental programmes with a strong education focus. Willie visited this Hacienda 4 years ago and tried to buy the beans then and has now finally been able to purchase them to produce this limited edition bar. These exceptional beans produce a bar with smooth nutty notes.

Venezuelan Black Carenero Superior.
The beans are sourced in Barlovento which means 'windward' and refers to a coastal stretch of Venezuela east of Caracas where the humid winds blow continuously onto the land. Carenero refers to the port it was once shipped from and Superior to the quality of the beans. The flavour notes of the bars are of nut and spice and are full bodied with a strong chocolaty taste.

Venezuelan Black Rio Caribe Superior.
The beans are sourced on the north eastern side of Venezuela. They take their name from the small fishing port of Rio Caribe on the Paria Peninsula which is sometimes called the "chocolate coast". The flavour notes of the bars are of citrus fruits with a smooth tangy finish.