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Decadent Chocolate Delight

By: Anna Hinds BA (hons) - Updated: 20 Jun 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
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Here’s an Afternoon Tea with a difference – everything is made with chocolate! From genuine hot chocolate to chocolate and cherry sandwiches, this Chocolate Delight menu is reserved for devoted chocoholics only!

What’s For Tea?

This is Afternoon Tea, so you could sip cups of Earl Grey. Or you could stick to the Chocolate Delight theme... and try our rich Hot Chocolate, below. Real hot chocolate like this is served in Italy, Spain and other parts of Europe. It’s almost thick enough to eat with a spoon! It bears no resemblance to our watery cocoa drinks – this is for hardcore chocolate fans only...

To serve with the hot chocolate, and alongside your favourite Chocolate Cakes, we would suggest a lighter option – chocolate toast! The cocoa bread recipe below is a low-fat and low-sugar bread that tastes wonderful toasted and spread with butter or chocolate spread. It also makes very decadent jam sandwiches – try black cherry conserves!

Real Hot Chocolate

Once you’ve tasted this, you’ll never settle for a low-cal version again... Makes 1 cup.

  • 160ml (5fl oz)of whole milk
  • 80ml (3fl oz) of single cream
  • 30g (1oz) dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids)
  • Caster sugar, to taste
  • Optional extras: 1tsp real vanilla extract; cinnamon stick (remove before serving); nutmeg; cardamom pods (remove before serving); a splash of rum or Tia Maria.

Warm the cream and milk slowly and cautiously in a saucepan or microwave – don’t let it boil but heat until steaming hot. Chop the chocolate finely and add it to the cream, along with any extras (except alcohol – that should be stirred in just before serving). Turn off the heat and whisk until the chocolate has melted and the chocolate is frothy. Taste carefully and add a little sugar to your liking. Serve with chocolate cakes and indulge yourself – this is not a day for dieting!

Chocolate And Cranberry Bread

We know you’ll have your own favourite chocolate cakes – a plate of cupcakes, Scones and cookies will be perfect for your tea. But here’s a bread to try too. This is a ‘No-Knead’ bread, based on the revolutionary concept from Jim Lahey and the Sullivan Street Bakery in New York. It’s hard to believe but true: you don’t need baker’s muscles to make this loaf. Amazingly, the recipe still produces a light, airy loaf with a crackly, chewy crust. The only equipment you need is a glass or stoneware pot (a Le Creuset casserole is perfect) that can withstand an oven temperature of 240ºC. You also need to begin this recipe the day before you want to eat it, as it needs at least 14 hours’ rest before the oven comes on.

  • 340g (12oz) strong white bread flour
  • 300ml (11fl oz) warm water (body temperature)
  • 2 tsp of sea salt (we like Maldon)
  • ¼ tsp instant dried yeast
  • 60g (2½ oz) good cocoa powder (Green & Blacks’ Maya is nice)
  • 150g (5oz) dried cranberries

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, water, salt, yeast, and cocoa, until the mixture is combined and you have a shaggy mess. Cover with clingfilm and a teatowel, and leave the bowl in a warm part of the house for 12-24 hours. By then it will look bubbly on top.

The day you want to eat the bread, it’s time for stage 2. Lightly flour a board and turn the damp dough onto it. Sprinkle the cranberries over the dough, wet your hands, and then fold the dough inwards from the left and then the right (like an envelope). Now form the dough into a rough circle and tuck the untidy edges underneath so that you have a smooth-topped dome. Tip the rounded dough onto a floured tea-towel, and put into a bowl, wrapped loosely in the towel. Leave the dough for another two hours.

After two hours, check on the dough – it should be almost doubled in size. Now put your stoneware oven-proof pot into the oven and preheat it to 240ºC. After 30 minutes’ preheating, remove the pot from the oven, and flop the dough straight into it (being very careful – it’s scorching!). Put on the lid and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 15 minutes or until the crust is rich brown. Cool before slicing.

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