On my journalism MA, we were given the task of coming up with a magazine from scratch. After much umm-ing and ahh-ing we launched Bread & Butter – a (badly named, but otherwise excellent) magazine for independent food producers.
Much to our excitement, we managed to bag the rugged, eccentric hunk of a man that is Willie Harcourt-Cooze to be our cover star.
A big part of his dishiness comes from his impulsiveness. And there is nothing more attractive than an impulsive man. On his honeymoon (horse trekking in Venezuela, of course) he came across a 1,000 acre cocoa plantation, which he bought, and decided to become a chocolatier. Wonderful.
There have now been two Channel 4 series documenting ‘Willie’s Wonky Chocolate Factory’ (it’s actually somewhere in Devon now – something along the lines of a row with Hugo Chavez about the plantation and being forced to decamp temporarily…)
Despite being a big fan of Willie’s, I’d never actually eaten any of his chocolate. It’s very expensive.
But on my way home yesterday, I was having a little browse in Waitrose, and found a shining gold bar in the bargain bin. It made me feel a little bit like Charlie (of Chocolate Factory/gold wrapper-fame)
Earlier in the day, I’d had a lunchtime swim (day 1 in the gym) so I thought that it was fate that I should stumble upon reduced chocolate, around teatime, on a day when I was feeling like I’d deserved a treat…..
So I bought it, and made myself (for supper) the meal that Willie starts every day with – Fried egg and avocado on toast with chilli oil and grated cacao:
2 slices of toast
1 ripe avocado
Grating of Peruvian Black chocolate
If you don’t have any chilli oil (as I didn’t), then just chop up some chillis, and put them in some extra virgin olive oil. Stir, and leave for a bit.
Fry the two eggs in the chilli oil.
When the eggs are underway, put the bread in the toaster, mash up the avocado, season with salt and pepper and then slather it on the toast.
Put the fried eggs on top of the avocado toast, and then grate the bitter chocolate over it all – it’s up to you whether it’s a light dusting, or a heavy coating of chocolate on your eggs…I went for somewhere in between!
It’s 100% pure cacao – so this is the real deal. And you can taste it. Purge your mind of any thoughts of a flake, or dairy milk sprinkled over fried eggs – this wasn’t sweet, or even particularly melty. It created a dry and slightly bitter, liquoricey taste. Would I make it again? Most definitely. Would I eat it at 4:30am every day for breakfast, though…probably not.