Passion Fruit and Basil Chocolate Pots

chocolate pots

These dark, rich, decadent chocolate pots have a hint of tart passion fruit, which seems to make the chocolate even richer, and a background note of basil. They are the perfect Christmas dessert. They only take a few minutes to make. A bit of slow melting, gentle pouring and chilling, that’s it. You can stash them in the fridge for your guests to dive into when ever they are required.

I am a complete chocolate weirdo. I love it. I would make the recipe below for 2 chocolate fiends, but you can easily get 4 ‘normal’ portions out of it – I will leave this up to you and I certainly won’t judge!

These lovely little chocolate pots were inspired by the McCormick 2013 Flavour Forecast. Do let me know what you think of my chocolate pots and this delicious flavour combination @mightyspice

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Serves 2 chocolate fiends or 4 more sensible people

100g/3 ½oz dark chocolate 70%
125ml/4fl oz./ ½ cup double cream
2 tsp. honey
¼ tsp. dry basil
2 passion fruits
1 free-range egg

  1. Smash the chocolate, still in the packet, onto a chopping board to break it up. Tip the chocolate pieces into a heatproof bowl and pour in the cream and the honey. Add the basil and place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes until the chocolate and cream have melted together, then remove the bowl from pan and set to one side.
  2. Meanwhile place a fine sieve over a mixing bowl. Cut the passion fruits in half and scoop the seeds and any juices out into the sieve. Using the back of a spoon, mix the seeds around the sieve to push all of lovely the juices out into the mixing bowl.
  3. Tip the passion fruit juice into the melted chocolate and crack in the egg. Mix really well so the chocolate goes beautifully smooth and velvety. Pour the rich mixture into serving glasses, as required, and place in the fridge for 4 hours, or over night, to set. Remove from the fridge 10 minutes before serving.

chocolate pots

-All thoughts and spelling mistakes are mine-

2013 Flavour Forecast

I am delighted to have been given a sneak preview of the McCormick (that’s Schwartz for those in the UK) 2013 Flavour Forecast. The Flavour Forecast is a look into their world of flavour and an insight into emerging trends over the next few years.

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As you know, I am all about the spice and these guys are one of the biggest players in the market, so it has been fascinating to see what trends they are predicting. With brands in over 100 countries, including Australia, Europe, South Africa, Latin America and North America, they are in a good place to look at what trends and ingredients will be emerging over the next 3-5 years.

For their latest forecast they have identified 5 key trends that are then broken down into two different flavour combinations – think big guys, they have been bold!

The 5 trends are:

  1. No Apologies Necessary – making meals that remind you of somewhere exotic
  2. Personally Handcrafted – every home cook’s own signature dish
  3. Empowered Eating – making food work for you through healthy choices
  4. Hidden Potential – getting the most out of every part of every ingredient
  5. Global My Way – using an ethnic ingredient in a truly local manner

The associated flavour combinations are

  1. No Apologies Necessary
    1. Bitter Chocolate, Sweet Basil and Passion Fruit
    2. Black Rum, Charred Orange and Allspice
  2. Personally Handcrafted
    1. Cider, Sage and Molasses
    2. Smoked Tomato, Rosemary, Chilli Peppers and Sweet Onion
  3. Empowered Eating
    1. Farro Grain, Blackberry and Cove
    2. Broccoli and Dukkah
  4. Hidden Potential
    1. Hearty Meat Cuts, Plantain and Cinnamon
    2. Artichoke, Paprika and Hazelnut
  5. Global My Way
    1. Anise and Cajeta
    2. Japanese Katsu and Oregano

As you can see from their combinations they are bold, relevant and, in some cases, quite out there. I was thrilled to see a mainstream brand offering such unusual flavour combinations. Who would have thought of bringing back an ancient grain – Farro, and pairing it with the humble blackberry and warming cloves. These combinations will go on to be replicated by home cooks and industry experts alike.

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One of my favourite trends was No Apologies Necessary. I constantly travel for work and when I get home to my tiny apartment I like to recreate the exotic food I have eaten to bring the sunshine back into EC2. I loved the nod to the Caribbean, with the combination of black rum, charred orange and allspice. I can imagine this on sticky chicken wings, bbq’d fish or in a mighty fine cocktail.

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Empowered Eating sums up my philosophy on food – I love to eat things that are healthy without meaning to be, so my food choices work for me. Spices are a great basis for this as they are naturally high in flavour and contain no fat. I love dukkah, an Egyptian blend made from ground nuts and spices. It works beautifully on meat, fish and vegetables. I liked the addition of broccoli that brought this exotic seasoning back to somewhere we all recognise. I can imagine a huge piece of lamb covered generously in the dukkah mix, roasted until tender and served with mountains of broccoli and couscous.

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Over the next few weeks I will be using the 2013 Flavour Forecast to create some of my own original recipes for you to try at home.

What do you think of these 2013 trends? Is their anything they have missed out? Let me know @mightyspice