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Port and Chocolate Matching at Churchill’s Port House

Port and Chocolate Port House

Churchill’s Port House in Soho is undoubtedly London’s most unusual and unique pop up. It’s the brainchild of Max Graham whose family owns Churchill Port (first British Port wine company in 50 years) with the intention of bringing Port to a new audience and to demystify Port.

Most people associate Port as a fuddy duddy drink that only appears at the end of indulgent formal dinners and the tradition of passing the Port decanter to the left is still observed. A friend of mine has a massive collection of Vintage Port which has turned out to be a great investment and it was when I developed a taste for a fine Vintage Port.  

Port and Chocolate Port House (7)

At a recent Port and Chocolate pairing evening, we started with the Premium Tasting flight which consists of 3 ports paired with 3 chocolate truffles selected by Paul A Young.

Port and Chocolate Port House

First up is a Roasted Almond and Honey Caramel truffle paired with a White Port, served chilled. White Port needs to be reintroduced as a great alternative aperitif drink. This White Port is aged 10 years in barrels from mainly white grapes.

It has quite a savoury flavour and is normally served with  roasted almonds, hence this pairing. This truffle is made with local non grainy Richmond honey which makes the caramel really smooth.  

Churchills White Port Served cold as an aperitif

The second pair is a Peanut Butter and Raspberry Trifle paired with a rich Late Bottled Vintage Port. It might seem a bit strange to pair Port with chocolate and this Vintage Port would go well with peanuts so this truffle works really well.

Churchills Late Bottled Vintage Port
Peanut Butter and Raspberry Trifl

Port and Chocolate Port House (13)

The third pairing is a Cigar Leaf Caramel truffle which is something very unusual and special. There is a hit like hot chilli from the cigar leaf which is balanced by the oozing caramel, which is available at Paul’s shop. This truffle was paired with a 20 year old Tawny Port.

 Cigar Leaf Caramel truffle

John Graham founder of Churchill's Port

John Graham founder of Churchill’s Port

Churchill’s Port House really does a good job at changing the general public’s perception of Port. It is not longer that drink that you you pass around at the end of a meal. There are so many other ways to enjoy a good port. On their menu are a various  flights of Port to taste and you can choose to the chocolate pairing or some savoury food from their Portugese menu.

Churchill’s Port House would make a really unique night out and learn something new about different types of port. Catch it while you can.

Get more information at www.PaulAYoung.co.uk  and www.ChurchillsPortHouse.com.

EatCookExplore was a guest at Churchill’s Port House.

Festive Chocolate Gingerbread Brownies

So this year, Vanessa Kimball has organised for Rococo Chocolates to host her Let’s Make Christmas gift swap.

The idea is that you make something according to the theme and bring it along to be entered into a competition. Then you pick a gift from all the goodies that have been brought along while having some tea, mulled wine and lovely baked goods for tea.

This year’s theme was chocolate so we had to make something with Chocolate in it or to make something from Chantal Coady’s book, Rococo: Mastering the Art of Chocolate which is a stunning book with lots of innovative recipes using chocolate but not in the usual way. There are goats cheese chocolate ganaches, savoury chocolate biscuits and even a recipe for an Armenian lamb stew which looks amazing.

For the gift swap, I made some Chocolate Gingerbread Brownies which I thought were quite festive. As usual, I tweaked the recipe by adding a lot more of the ground ginger than recommended as I like the flavour to come through. Be warned, this recipe uses a lot of chocolate!

Let's Make Xmas

 

Festive Chocolate Gingerbread Brownies

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Lots

Ingredients

  • 350g cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 285g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 275g cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 125g cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 75ml black treacle
  • 280g chocolate, cut into small chunks or use equivalent in chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Coat a 17-by-12-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Line bottom with parchment cut to fit, and coat parchment.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  4. Beat butter and brown and granulated sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs and yolk, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  6. Beat in vanilla and black treacle.
  7. Reduce speed to low.
  8. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined.
  9. Stir in chocolate.
  10. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  11. Bake until edges are golden, about 25 minutes.
  12. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  13. Cut into squares.

Notes

These are very easy to make once you have all the ingredients. I used a smaller tin so my brownies were thicker than the recipe. If you use a bigger brownie thin, the batter will spread thinner and will cook faster.

Recipe inspired by Martha Stewart's White Chocloate Gingerbread Blondies

http://www.eatcookexplore.com/festive-chocolate-gingerbread-brownies/