You’ve heard of single origin coffee and single origin chocolate, now there’s a chocolate maker shouting about their “single origin” milk.
Marketing gimmick? Or a real thing we should start looking out for when we buy chocolate?
Listen to this week’s episode find out about this UK launch of an established chocolate company that is pitching to restaurants, bakers and chocolatiers, plus Jen’s visit to one of London’s hottest afternoon teas, a Peruvian lunch and some new cookbooks for your shelves and recipe sites to check out.
Here are the links to Latest London Food Recommendations mentioned on the podcast:
Afternoon Tea by Jessica Préapalto at Carlton Towers Jumierah
Pachamama Bar & Kitchen – London Based in Great Eastern St, Marylebone and Chelsea.
Villars Maître Chocolatier – the single origin milk chocolate
Live Fire by Helen Graves
Easy Baking with a Twist of Spice by Chetna Makan
Red Sauce, Brown Sauce, by Felicity Cloake
If you prefer to read, here’s the transcript of Episode 19 of the London food podcast: The Next Delicious Thing:
[00:00:00] Hey, this is The Next Delicious Thing and I’m Jennifer Earle. Thanks for joining as I share the most delicious things that need to go to the top of your list to try next. This week, I’m talking to you about single origin milk. Yep. That’s right. Just the milk. You’ve probably heard of single origin coffee, single origin chocolate.
[00:00:21] But now there’s a chocolate company who are pushing forward with the USP of single origin milk. And of course they’re Swiss.
[00:00:30] I was invited to the UK launch of Villars Chocolate, which is a Swiss brand that actually launched in 1901. So I’m going to tell you a little bit more about that. I also want to tell you about an excellent lunch that I had. And an afternoon tea, plus a couple of books that have come out recently that you might want to add to your shelf.
[00:00:51] So. Single origin milk. If you’ve ever been to Gruyere, you might have visited the Gruyere museum. I guess it’s a museum, it’s the factory, but it’s a walk through experience and they have places where you can smell the different flora that the cows whose milk creates Gruyere consume. What’s really bizarre is that then you smell the cheese and you can totally pick up on those different flowers and grasses that the cows have consumed. So. It makes sense that that is one of the differences that you taste when you taste different cheeses from different regions.
[00:01:28] Just like with [00:01:30] cheese in milk chocolate milk is a significant portion of the ingredients. Not quite as much as cheese, but the taste of milk will make a difference to your milk chocolate taste as well.
[00:01:40] Switzerland is very well known for its milk chocolate. Particularly for how creamy that milk chocolate can be.
[00:01:47] Villars has have created two milk chocolates. Which have a similar cocoa percentage. Where the milk comes from two different regions in Switzerland.
[00:01:56] There was a definite difference between the two of them. This is why if you’ve ever tasted Cadbury that’s been made in different continents, different countries, at least, then he will probably have observed a different flavour note.
[00:02:09] And part of that, a big part of that is because the milk is local milk. Even perhaps if you’ve ever just drunk a glass of milk in a different country, you might’ve observed a different flavor. And that’s part of the reason that the International Chocolate Awards has regional rounds of awards, where they’re actually judged in a country within that region, where most of the judges are local because we very much get used to the type of foods that we grow up with, and that includes the flavor of the milk that comes from the cows in the countries where we live.
[00:02:42] It’s also because culturally there are different flavor preferences as well. In the Asia Pacific round of judging, there are a lot of very specific teas. I guess they’re perhaps more appreciated. Rather than just classic English breakfast might [00:03:00] be in the UK. .
[00:03:01] And the Italian judges are much more attuned to how fresh the nuts are in their many nut-based chocolate products that are entered into the competition, than I’ve observed in non Italian judges.
[00:03:14] The Villars chocolate that was at the launch is aimed at chefs and bakers and chocolatiers, It’s available through Classic Fine Foods.
[00:03:23] You might’ve seen Villars in Swiss airports or elsewhere. They have a giant Swiss flag on the packaging. It’s only legal to display a Swiss flag on packaging in Switzerland if 80% of the ingredients that could come from Switzerland actually come from Switzerland. Which means that cocoa beans are exempt because they’re definitely not growing in Switzerland.
[00:03:45] But the sugar and any dairy and the lecithin all comes from Switzerland. Unlike another chocolate company that you might think of when you think of Switzerland.
[00:03:57] Which is actually not even made in Switzerland.
[00:04:02] How shocking.
[00:04:05] Villars is a pretty large company. The chocolates are kind of premium supermarket level. Maybe a little higher. They are aimed at restaurants. High-end restaurants. They’re not quite the kind of craft chocolate that I was judging at the grand final of the Academy of Chocolate Awards on the weekend.
[00:04:24] Yes. Yes, I was. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you anything about those yet, [00:04:30] but I will in a few months when it is revealed to the public.
[00:04:34] If you’re interested in the recent Academy of Chocolate Awards, I will link to those on the website. And if you were to purchase any of those, I’m sure you will be very happy. They’re all vetted by many people. And as such are very, very good
[00:04:48] Speaking of paying attention to ingredients. I was very lucky to be invited along with my friend to the hottest afternoon tea in London at the moment, which is at the Jumeirah Carlton Towers, near Hyde Park.
[00:05:02] My favorite thing overall will not surprise you to find out that it was the hot. The chef there is Jessica Preapalto. She used to work for Alain Ducasse. So three Michelin star quality. She has created this beautiful multi-course afternoon tea that is based on nature. It had an amuse bouche, and a pre dessert, as well as four different types of scones with different toppings. My favorite of those was the smoked mascarpone.
[00:05:35] My favorite thing overall, it will not surprise you to find out that it was the chocolate and hazelnut dessert. It had layers of texture. It was a cocoa tuille kind of like a taco with smooth cremeaux chocolatey cremeaux, caramelized hazelnuts. I would go to the afternoon tea for that alone.
[00:05:56] What I was most excited to discover is [00:06:00] that they also have a range of patisserie and some cookies. So you don’t necessarily have to plump for the full £75 pound afternoon tea, which… It’s a lot. For most of us. But you can go in and just have a single Paris Brest or a slice of cake.
[00:06:18] And cookies as well. So the cookies… all of these things you can take away. The cookies are £3 pounds and they are so full of chocolate. And there’s caramel on the top and pecans as well. I’m 100% going back the next time I’m in the area to collect another one. Not just because I only managed to get one bite before somebody else ate the rest of the cookie. But because I think in London that’s actually pretty reasonably priced.
[00:06:41] Which brings me to episode 12. If you listened, this was the episode about Instagram foods that were worth the hype.
[00:06:48] You might recall my friend Duygu said that Sunday by Brooklyn’s pancake is actually worth the hype. So, I went to try it. I led a bespoke tour around Notting HIll eating many delicious things, but this one was brand new to me. And it is definitely a cake in a pan. Not exactly what I would call a pancake, but the hazelnut praline and the hazelnut butter were really good in the cake was moist and I would absolutely buy it again. If you are thinking it is a pancake, then, um, maybe don’t order it. But if you are happy to eat a delicious cake then, yeah, it’s fabulous. It’s £13 pounds and, and it’s a lot. Much better value if you buy two or [00:07:30] three in a stack. It’ll look better and then you can all have a little bit of it and have something else as well so that would be my recommendation.
[00:07:39] Two more topics I want to discuss. An excellent lunch in Marylebone, that also has other locations and some fantastic cookbooks that were released recently. First the lunch was at Pachamama. This was another invite. Yes. Perks of my job. I sometimes get food for free. I do spend a lot of my own money on food.
[00:07:59] But this was a complimentary meal. With no obligation to tell you about it, but I really enjoyed it. It is a Peruvian small plates restaurant. The thing about small plates is they can add up, but frankly, everything adds up in London now. So I particularly enjoyed the aubergine dish with smoked yoghurt.
[00:08:17] And I like the Mapo Tofu as well. It was kind of spicy and quite sweet and jammy. But, I thought they went really well together. I wish I had ordered more of the dishes from the menu. I also loved the dessert of burnt pears and burrata ice cream.
[00:08:33] That’s right. Burrata ice cream. If you haven’t had cheesy ice cream before then… you’re missing out. You should start with this one and then see what else you can find, but it really pairs beautifully with the pears. There was filo pastry. And honey as well, and it was delicious. It went particularly well, eaten alongside the chocolate dessert, which is mega rich. If you go, I’d probably recommend going with somebody who is willing to share desserts with you?[00:09:00]
[00:09:00] Unless you are the kind of person which you might be if you’re listening to this podcast who likes really rich, rich chocolate things.
[00:09:10] Now two cookbooks and a Patreon site with recipes. My lovely friend, Felicity, whom I had the afternoon tea with, had been baking and cooking just before the tea. So I had very good fortune of being able to enjoy some of the things that she had made. The Borscht she made from Kartya, who is currently in Lviv. She was living in the Kherson region in Ukraine, has moved to Lviv and has setup, a patron where she shares recipes. This was delicious. If you have the funds to be able to support you will absolutely get delicious recipes in return.
[00:09:47] She is @ seldonenko on Instagram. I will share the link to her Patreon and to her Instagram feed in the blog post. I share all of these via email as well. So if you’d like to get them straight in your inbox, please sign up at thenextdeliciousthing.com.
[00:10:06] The other thing that Felicity brought me were cookies made from Chetna Makan’s new book,
[00:10:12] Easy Baking with a Twist of Spice. Chetna is brilliant. If you haven’t watched her YouTube channel, she makes the most delicious things. Her book launches are incredible. She puts on so many foods. She actually trained as a fashion designer in Mumbai. She moved to Broadstairs in [00:10:30] 2003 Broadstairs in Kent.
[00:10:32] She has two kids and she really is the nicest person. And she’s so talented. Her new book is I think her fourth book. It looks incredibly creative and these cheesecake chocolate cookies were excellent.
[00:10:46] The other two books that came out recently are Felicity Cloake’s Red Sauce, Brown Sauce. If you haven’t read One More Croissant for the Road or if you have, you’ll know what a brilliant writer Felicity is. I would absolutely recommend this book. It is an ode to the British breakfast.
[00:11:05] Felicity cycled around all of the UK, Scotland, Northern Ireland. She you tried all of the local regional breakfasts. And there are some weird ones. It goes into the food science and the history, and she’s just such an excellent writer that. It will be a great read. I think I may have already mentioned that Live Fire by Helen Graves – who is also the publisher of Fire magazine – came out this week. If you are planning to barbecue, you definitely want this book.
[00:11:38] So add those to your list, again, they’re all at thenextdeliciousthing.com.
[00:11:44] I hope you enjoyed the interview with Safia this week on “How to Become a Food Photographer”. If there’s anything else you’d like me to talk about, particularly, please let me know. I’m actually going to be meeting up, hopefully in the next couple of weeks with Felicity Cloake and with Nicola Lamb to discuss [00:12:00] croissants, very important topic. I’m hoping to also speak to a personal chef about what life is like as a personal chef. I have other ideas as well, but if there’s anything you particularly want to learn about, please let me know.
[00:12:13] I’m heading to a festival this week and plan to report back on the interesting things that I find. So until then, I wish you a very happy eating. .