3 June 2011

Chocolate & Black Truffle Tapenade (Hotel Chocolat @HotelChocolat) [By @Cinabar]

I’m sure we are all aware of the fantastic range of chocolates offered by Hotel Chocolat, but something that you might not know is they also sell a selection of intriguing savoury cocoa products.
One of the items in their cuisine range is this luxurious sounding tapenade. It consists of chocolate, black truffle, olives, mushrooms and cocoa nibs. I couldn’t resist trying it out as a light lunch with it spread on hot seeded toast, with an accompaniment of pickled walnuts, olives and some Tyrrells.

First thing I noticed was that it spread really easily when it came out of the jar, the consistency is quite thin but the cocoa nibs add a nice texture. The aroma is a little strange, there is mushroom, a herby garlic smell and chocolate all mixed in to the scent. When I first bit in I wasn’t sure if the flavour was going to work, but I was very wrong. The truffle, mushrooms and olives give a very rich taste, and the chocolate adds both sweet and woody tones which help to balance the flavours really well. The more I ate the more the flavours grew on me, and I really wanted a second slice of toast by the end of my lunch.
The flavour is rather clever and it feels substantial, and almost meaty with its rich tastes. I have decided that the next time I use this tapenade I will spread it on bread, add some mozzarella slices on top with some sun dried tomatoes and grill it until the cheese melts a little, as it is clear that this tapenade had a multitude of uses, and will work well with a variety of other flavours. The label also states that it can be added to sauces from stews through to pasta and even on steak, so I think it is useful to have a jar in the cupboard.
This is one of those ingredients everyone should have as like pesto the hard work has been done for you, and there is a wonderful medley of flavours just waiting to be released in a variety of ways. This tapenade just as easily makes the perfect snack, as it does quick canap├ęs or even the centre piece steak baste.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what else the Hotel Chocolat savouries range has to offer.
By Cinabar


Rob said...

Ooh I think I'll have to get some of this :) Always excited to try cooking with new things, and I have muchos faith in Hotel Chocolat

cinabar said...

Its fab, let me know what you think of it when you give it a try. You are right Hotel Choc don't make any bad products. :-)

cait said...

Hi could you tell me whether it is vegetarian please?! I really want to try this and the hotel chocolat website doesn't say!

cinabar said...

They use it in their veggie burger recipe so it must be: http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk/The-Ultimate-Veggie-Burger-ARecipe_Veggie_Burger/