Posts Tagged ‘chocolate martini’

Weekly Reading: Londonist Posts

Bactrian Camels at the Budapest ZooAs you read this (well, if you’re reading this when I posted it) I’m on my way to New York. I’ll likely be offline for the weekend, but I’ll be back in London Monday and I’m sure I’ll have plenty to report.

But as is current Friday custom around here, check out my Londonist posts for this week:

  • Bactrian Burglars in Bishopsgate: Have you seen Brian the camel?
  • Richmond Park Cull: No Other Option? A new cause for London’s animal lovers — save the deer!
  • Lewisham is Seeing Spots: Measles outbreak due to low vaccination rates.
  • Grape Case Quashed: A man pulls a silly suit on Marks & Spencer and loses.
  • Lessons Learned: Melt Chocolate Master Class: More on the chocolate class from Wednesday, plus the recipe for the chocolate martini. (This link may not work as I couldn’t check it, since it hadn’t been posted when I wrote this post. It should work, but if it doesn’t, you may have to scroll through or just wait for me to post the right link later. Sorry if it causes any trouble.)

Photo of a Bactrian camel from the Budapest Zoo, July 2007. Brian looks substantially different, but it’s the closest thing I have.

Melt Chocolate Master Class at Cookbook Cafe

Table of Chocolate at Cookbook Cafe

Last night, I finally got to take the Melt Chocolate Master Class at cookbook cafe that I tried to take last month.

There were 11 of us in the group, set up in a small area of the restaurant just to the left of the open cooking area. It was a bit distracting at times, when wafts of just-cooked fish would come over, but otherwise the space worked well, with three rows of chairs set up, a table full of chocolates and a drink-mixing station set up behind us.

We were offered champagne when we arrived, and the £35 class started about 10 minutes late because one of the attendants was a bit off schedule. Keith Hurdman from Notting Hill chocolate shop Melt led the class and took us on a worldwide tour of chocolates, starting with some French and Venezuelan white chocolate, moving to Belgian, Swiss and French milk chocolates and then giving us a variety of dark chocolates, too. We learned about different cocoa beans and growing regions, why organic chocolate isn’t always the best option, and how Chef Hurdman comes up with some of the flavors for his confections: “What grows together, goes together,” he says.

My favorites were a slightly crunchy hazelnut-filled chocolate, a chocolate truffle with a creamy soft chocolate center that tasted like rich hot chocolate, and the jasmine chocolate.

Though I was disappointed that there wasn’t any hands-on chocolate making — I thought we would be learning ow to make truffles from the description I read of the classs — we did learn to make some delicious chocolate martinis from the Intercontinenal Hotel’s bar manager and mixologist, Joel, who also taught us how to make our rose petal martinis on Valentine’s day. I feel inspired to start stocking a bar and making some cocktails. I would definitely love to have that chocolate martini again.

My favorite aspect of the class was that Keith and Joel were both really open to taking questions, and in such a small class, plenty of people were happy to chime in and ask about the topics they wanted to learn more about. We also got to take a whole goody bag of chocolates home. Not that we really needed any more — we were all totally stuffed.

Drink Mixing Station at Cookbook Cafe