... cue 7 days of sin
Any excuse to gorge on gourmand goodies and since it is renowned as 'the food of the gods' one would not want to risk heavenly retribution by denial or refusal - would one?!
So this week I shall be blogging a few cacoa/chocolate-themed posts - many with recipes - so make room in that waistband! I was going to start with an 'all about cacao' the bean, the pod the process etc, but I was sidetracked by a 'coffee-table' book I had on my shelf:
"The Seven Sins of Chocolate", by Laurent Schott.
It's a bit of a weighty tome, with decadently photographed and labourious recipes of French patisserie and confectionary, the chapters are themed along the Seven Deadly Sins: Sloth, Anger, Lust, Pride, Envy, Avarice, Gluttony. However, judging by the outrageous deliciousness of the recipes a lot of the latter will ensue, which will result in an excess of the former!
It is great fun to read, so here is a little snippet and recipe from the book:
"Sloth is the beginning of vice" - Dutch proverb
Recipe: Pear Jam with Chocolate
makes approximately 8 x 8oz jars
- 2 3/4lb ripe, firm pears, peeled and cored (2 1/2lb after preparation
- 3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- 7 oz of bittersweet chocolate, chopped (*known as Couverture, I would say 75% min cocoa solids? Try Valrhona or similar quality)
- 2 vanilla beans, split open
- Finely chop the pears. Place in a large wide saucepan with the sugar, lemon juice and vanilla beans.
- Bring to a boil, stirring gently, then boil rapidly until the setting point is reached**
- Add the chocolate, bring back to a boil, and remove the vanilla beans.
- Pour into sterilized jars and cover with lids while still hot. Turn the jars upside down and cool.** To test for setting, remove the pan from the heat and put a teaspoon of jam on a chilled saucer for a minute or two - a skin should form which wrinkles when pushed with the finger. If not, return to pan to a boil and test again in short intervals.The book says, I quote " This jam is delicious with fresh crusty bread for breakfast or on plain rolls and cake for a snack." It will keep for up to a year if stored in a cool, dry place away from light.
A year!!!! ?? NOTHING in my kitchen cupboard lasts a year. However, if you are feeling like a gourmet goddess, it could make a nice Festive gift for friends/family etc.
So to finish on an appropriate note:
"Lord! Who has not eaten a little more than is strictly necessary'
- St Augustine
For more information on chocolate and events visit: www.chocolateweek.co.uk/