July 14th 2016
Sky Box Sets has teamed up with our very own Master Chocolatier to create a limited edition range of chocolates, inspired by the service’s addictively good box sets.
Available to buy in all our stores now, ‘The Ultimate Chocolate Box Set’ features nine unique handcrafted chocolates. With each bite, the sweet treats promise to delight and tantalise viewers’ taste buds through a range of flavours and designs that match the themes of popular box sets. From a bourbon and smoky paprika filled Mad Men chocolate, to a stamina inducing coffee bean and thyme infused creation for 24, the chocolate box set creates an immersive tasting and viewing experience with something for everyone to enjoy. One of the chocolates in each box represents Sky Box Sets and the addictively good shows available on the service.
‘The Ultimate Chocolate Box Set’ is on sale for £15.50. All proceeds will be donated to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
‘The Ultimate Chocolate Box Set’ is available whilst stocks last.
July 12th 2016
We are thrilled to have been voted as one of the Top 10 Best Chocolate Shops in the World by National Geographic!
“Paul A. Young, London, England
Award-winning author and master chocolatier Paul A. Young deserves the accolades he receives for his creativity and mastery with all things chocolate. Walk into his tiny Camden Passage original chocolate shop and inhale the intoxicating aroma of fresh chocolate being made on-site. Young is one of the British chocolatiers who launched the chocolate revolution in London about 15 years ago, casting aside the overly sweet British chocolate of old for the fresh and innovative chocolate offerings that you’ll now find in at least a dozen top-notch chocolatiers in the capital city. Try his dark chocolate sea salt caramel pecan brownies—guaranteed to seduce every unsuspecting chocolate lover. Three locations in London found in Camden Passage, Royal Exchange, and Soho”.
Click here for the full article.
March 18th 2015
For those of you that enjoyed the Guardian article about making your own creem eggs here is my full recipe, including details of how to temper chocolate”
To make two fondant eggs
500g shop bought fondant
100g caster sugar
Egg yellow gel or paste edible food colouring
To make the fondant liquid, grate the fondant into a mixing bowl.
Bring the water and sugar to the simmer for one minute.
Allow to cool until just warm and add to the fondant mixing well until it becomes a smooth paste.
Take out 1 tablespoon of fondant in to a small bowl and add egg yellow colour mixing until evenly coloured.
Its always best to use the fondant as soon as its made but do cover it with food wrap to avoid crusting as it will dry out in the air.
What does tempering mean?
The definition is the addition of hardening crystals into melted chocolate and the methods are marble slab tempering or seeding. The main difference with marble slab tempering the chocolate is worked on cold marble or granite to reduce its temperature and seeding is all held within a mixing bowl.
Let me explain
Marble slab tempering
Chocolate melting pot or a mixing bowl and sauce pan
Optional – digital thermometer
Over a bain marie melt at least 1kg of chocolate to a maximum temperature of 55 degrees centigrade. Do not let the water boil or simmer but keep hot and allow the chocolate to melt for at least two hours. This will ensure that all the fats, sugars and crystals have melted evenly.
Pour two thirds of the chocolate onto the marble slab.
Spread evenly over the slab with the palette knife and scrape back together with the triangle scraper.
Repeat this action until the chocolate cools to 27-28 degrees centigrade which is when the chocolate begins to crystallize and begin to harden.
You can check this temperature by using a digital thermometer or by touching some chocolate with a separate palette knife on to your bottom lip. The chocolate should feel neither cold nor warm but at body temperature. Practice is the best policy here and soon you will be able to determine the right temperature. This is my preferred method.
Now scrape the cool chocolate in to the warm chocolate at 55 degrees and mix very well until fully incorporated, be vigorous and confident working smoothly at this stage.
Mixing is very important and lots of it to bring the temperature even throughout the chocolate. The temperature should now be 31 to 32 degrees centigrade; this is called the working temperature.
To check if the chocolate is tempered dip the end of your palette knife into the chocolate and place aside to set. If the chocolate sets with a shine and is crisp then you have tempered your chocolate perfectly.
If the chocolate is streaky, grainy or dull then there are a few ways to determine what has happened.
The temperature of the chocolate may still be too high and you may need to re temper on the marble slab briefly.
You may need to continue you’re mixing to emulsify the chocolate together or you may have not melted your chocolate sufficiently at the beginning.
Once you have your bowl of tempered chocolate it is ready to use but you must maintain the working temperature by warming briefly on the bain marie.
Seeding – Tempering
I recommend you trying this method first as it requires no special equipment at all and its also very clean, no pouring chocolate onto your kitchen counter. Once you have mastered this technique there will be no stopping your creative urges to produce amazing chocolate bars, truffles and other yummy goodies.
Glass or stainless steel mixing bowl
1kg dark chocolate
Place two thirds of your required amount of chocolate into the mixing bowl.
Fill the pan with water until just below the bottom of the bowl when sat on to of the sauce pan.
Place on a medium heat and allow the water to become hot but do not allow to boil as this can burn the chocolate and it will become grainy and totally ruined. So take care.
Allow the chocolate to melt for at least one hour. The temperature of the chocolate should be at 55 degrees centigrade
Once fully melted remove the bowl from the sauce pan and place on a towel or cloth.
Now while mixing vigorously add the remaining one third of chocolate in small pieces. Keep mixing until fully melted and until the chocolate cools to 27 to 28 degrees centigrade, this is when the chocolate begins to crystallize.
At this point place the bowl back onto the heat until the temperature reached 31 to 32 degrees, this is the working temperature and the chocolate is now ready to use.
Dip the end of a knife or spatula in to the chocolate and allow to set. If the chocolate is smooth, glossy and brittle when set then you have mastered seeding tempering.
Chocolate Melting temperature crystallizing temperature Working temperature
White chocolate 50 degrees c 26 to 27 degrees c 29 to 30 degrees c
Milk chocolate 50 to 55 degrees c 26 to 27 degrees c 29 to 30 degrees c
Dark chocolate 55 degrees c 27 to 28 degrees c 31 to 32 degrees c
To line your hens egg sized moulds
Clean the moulds well with cotton wool until shiny.
Fill the moulds until they overflow.
Scrape off any excess chocolate then tap the mould on the counter to release any air bubbles.
Set the mould aside for a few minutes until the chocolate sets to form a thin sell. Tip out any excess chocolate and scrape the mould to create clean finish on the eggs.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes until the chocolate has set and released from the mould.
Wearing a pair of cotton of vinyl food handling gloves remove from the mould and place on a clean tea towel so they don’t roll away.
Now carefully spoon or pipe the fondant into the egg leaving room for your fondant yolk.
Add your yolk in to each egg.
Using your finger or a piping bag apply a small mount of chocolate around one half of the eggs.
Swiftly bring the two halves together to seal the fondant.
Enjoy your eggs within two weeks of making and store at room temperature.
January 9th 2015
Not being able to find a mint tea that I liked, I decided to experiment with cocoa beans and fresh mint leaves. I use cracked cocoa beans which are sometimes called cocoa nibs or grué de cacao, but feel free to experiment with different types of cocoa beans.
12 mint leaves
6 cocoa beans, crushed lightly, or 11/2 teaspoons cocoa nibs
2 teaspoons palm sugar or light muscovado sugar
Bring 500ml filtered or mineral water to the boil
Place 6 mint leaves and the cocoa beans or nibs into each glass, along with a teaspoon of palm or muscovado sugar. Pour on the boiling water and stir until the sugar has dissolved
Wait for the cocoa beans to sink to the bottom of the glass, which takes 2-3 minutes; then it’s ready to drink!
Once the weather warms up, try adding lots of ice for a chilled infusion!
From ‘Adventures with Chocolate’ by Paul A. Young (Kyle Books, £14.99) Photography: Anders Schonnemann.
December 19th 2014
Do you remember this recipe from Paul’s appearance on Sunday Brunch last Christmas? Why not try it this year instead of the traditional Christmas pud?
Salted caramel, mincemeat and chocolate pudding with salted rum caramel sauce
Use a 1 litre heatproof or ceramic pudding basin.
300g plain flour
1.5 tablespoons baking powder
150g unrefined light muscovado sugar
35g cocoa powder
Half teaspoon sea salt
3 medium free range eggs at room temperature
1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment place the dry ingredients and butter and mix until a breadcrumb texture is formed.
2. Whisk the eggs and milk together, add to the dry mixture and mix until smooth.
For the pudding bowl
20g butter for greasing
1 table spoon plain flour
1 table spoon cocoa powder
3. Soften the butter but do not fully melt.
4. Brush the sides of the basin from the bottom to the top ten the bottom.
5. Mix the cocoa powder and flour together and dust the inside of the basin knocking any excess out.
For the mincemeat
50g Mixed peel
125 Apples grated skin on
½ Orange juice and zest
60g Melted Butter
125g unrefined Light muscovado sugar
60mls Ruby port
10g Cinnamon ground
5g Nutmeg ground
6. Mix all the ingredients together and leave for 24 hours before using.
For the salted caramel and rum sauce
200g unsalted butter
200g unrefined light muscovado sugar
200mls double cream
3 teaspoons Maldon sea salt.
50mls Dark rum
7. Bring the butter, salt and sugar to the simmer on a medium heat for 5 minutes taking care not to let it catch on the bottom of the pan.
8. Take off the heat and pour in the cream whisking well.
Before adding the Rum –
9. Place 100mls of the caramel into a mixing bowl with three tablespoons of mincemeat and mix well.
10. Mix the 50mls of rum into the remaining salted caramel sauce.
Putting the pudding together
11. Spoon the mincemeat and caramel mixture into the bottom of the basin
12. Now fill on top with the chocolate pudding mix leaving some space at the top for expansion.
13. Now tightly food wrap the basin to seal in the mix and use the lid if your plastic basin has one.
14. Place a sheet of foil over the top tucking around the basin and steam for 45 minutes wither in a basin half filled with water or in a steamer.
15. Once steamed remove the cling film quickly and carefully to allow the pudding to cool slightly.
16. Cut off any excess pudding to level (eat the trimmings)
17. Now turn the pudding out onto a presentation dish and lace, smother and enrobe the pudding in the warm run caramel sauce.
Serve with Vanilla ice cream or simple classic whipped double cream.
November 18th 2014
Did you spot our favourite Master Chocolatier on TV this morning?
Paul was on Good Morning Britain this morning and will also be on ITV London news at 10pm tonight discussing the potential upcoming cocoa crisis.
If you missed it, here is what you missed!
“Running out of chocolate by 2020 hitting the news again should make us all prick our ears up as life without chocolate would not be as enjoyable for many people. Urgent action is required and I don’t think there is one simple answer but paying more for cocoa directly to the farmer and producer will help. New organisations such as Direct Cacao are striving to increase the price we all pay including the multi nationals so that growers around the world can invest, expand and have a healthy and prosperous future growing enough caoao for the increasing demand. Consumers will need to pay more for their chocolate – I am prepared to pay more for fantastic chocolate and cacao, and customers would have to take some of the hit. Chocolate is in danger of becoming a pleasure only for the wealthy or as an occasional treat rather than something we eat daily. Either way paying more for it and ensuring the growers are paid more is an important step forward to ease the crisis.”