Celebrated annually on July 7 since 2009, World Chocolate Day marks the day when cocoa was introduced to Europe, back in 1550. While in our opinion every day is chocolate day, here’s how you can make the official occasion a bit more delicious.
Invent your own Cadbury chocolate online
If you could channel your inner Willie Wonka and choose any three ingredients in your next bar of milk chocolate, what combination would you opt for? Would banana sit well with cookie dough mixed with cinnamon? How about some spearmint tea with lemongrass and shortcake?
Cadbury is inviting chocolate lovers to “invent” its next milk bar, from a flavour range that takes in 84 ingredients across eight categories. These include nutty (hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachio, cashews and raisins); fruity (all manner of berries and melons, plus apple, lime, orange, peach, banana, pear and pineapple); herbs and spices (ginger, cinnamon, clove, rosemary, tarragon, pepper, lemongrass, mint, basel and chilli); crunchy (cookies, rice crisps, oats, pretzels and popcorn); chewy (fudges and jellies); and creamy (coconut, vanilla and white chocolate chips)
There are even some “wildcard” ingredients, which include tomatoes, dijon mustard, popping candy and yogurt berry granola; as well as ingredients inspired by beverages, such as coffee and green tea, among others.
You can then mix up your selection, name your invention and choose the colour of the packaging. The company says it will choose one combination and put it into production later this year. Have a play here.
Sample Sprungli’s chocolate hazelnut cream
On July 7, Swiss chocolatier is giving away its famous chocolate hazelnut cream to the first 30 customers to spend Dh200 in-store. The gianduja spread is made fresh each day from fine Swiss chocolate and Piedmont hazelnuts. The offer is available at both of the Sprüngli boutiques in the UAE, located on level 2 of the new Fashion Avenue in The Dubai Mall, and on level 2 of The Galleria on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi.
The 173-year-old sixth-generation company is most famous for its handmade Luxemburgerli macarons, which follow a 60-year-old family recipe; and are filled with naturally flavoured raspberry, pistache, citron, bourbon vanilla and, of course, chocolate.
The chain was voted one of the top 10 chocolate shops in the world by National Geographic in 2016, and only operates in Switzerland and the UAE, with all stock made in Zurich.
Mix your veggies with your chocolate
The folk at Cocoa Kitchen in City Walk reckon everything can be mixed with chocolate, a philosophy that reflects in its menu, which has balsamic and sumac slow-cooked lamb shank with 70 per cent Cuban chocolate and roasted Romano peppers; and blackened salmon with 65 per cent Peruvian Alto El Sol dark chocolate miso. Head chef Domenico Santagada shares one of his favourite and most elaborate recipes for you to try at home.
Butternut squash with 100 per cent cocoa ravioli
Preparation time: 2 hours
Ingredients and method for the cocoa powder pasta
1ml olive oil
70g pure cocoa powder
25g pasteurised whole egg
25g caputo flour
Mix the eggs with salt and olive oil.
Add and mix flour and cocoa powder
Whisk until it becomes dough
Knead by hand for 5 minutes
Ingredients and method for the chilli cashew crumble
1g long red chilli
1g pure cocoa nibs
Roast cashew nuts in an oven at 170C for 10 to 12 minutes until they turn golden brown
In a frying pan, toast the oats and chilli together until it turns golden brown
Mix all together with cocoa nibs
Ingredients and method for the cheese cream
116ml cooking cream
23g Grana Padano cheese
Boil cooking cream
Mix the cheese off the heat and hand blend
Pass through fine strainer
Ingredients and method for the ravioli farce butternut squash
45g butternut pumpkin
6g bread crumbs
1g black pepper
27g ricotta cheese
3g hab jareesh crack wheat
0.3g paprika powder
Put the garlic, rosemary and paprika in a metal bowl whisk until it turns golden brown
Pour the crumbs over the bowl of herbs and spice along with butternut pumpkin
Roast in the oven at 200C until roasted
Pick out the garlic and herbs
Mix the rest of the ingredients in with a little more paprika powder
Place rocket lettuce on the bottom
Mix the pasta with the cheese cream and then cook until crisp
Lastly, add chilli cashew crumble, 1ml of balsamic glaze and chilli oil, to taste