If you’re making your own chocolate this Easter, be sure to check out Paul A Young's top tips below.
A little bit about Paul
Self-taught chocolatier Paul A Young was born and bred in Yorkshire and, after graduating from his hotel catering and management course, he was eventually poached by Marco Pierre White to work as a pastry chef London. He opened his first chocolate shop in 2006 in Islington – he now has three shops in the city. Paul has also been on the telly, most notably on BBC2's Food and Drink, ITV's This Morning and Sky One's Taste. He is a huge fish ‘n chips fan, and likes Nigella recipes.
1. Use the best chocolate you can possibly afford, as taste and texture are your priority. Paul uses top notch chocolate in his stem ginger and chocolate tea bread - a moist loaf cake packed with juicy pieces of stem ginger, handfuls of chocolate chunks and a caramely muscovado top.
2. When melting your chocolate, do it slowly over hot water – not simmering – ‘bain-marie’ style. Silky smooth and shiny results will then be guaranteed.
3. Be creative and try the unexpected – put your favourite ingredients together with chocolate for a very exciting surprise. Your store cupboard is your best friend.
Some of Paul’s famous flavour combos include sea salt and caramel, chilli and Meyer honey, and gingerbread ganache. You can try Paul’s port and stilton truffles here.
4. Practice tempering. It’s commonly described as a ‘painfully difficult’ process, but with practice you can achieve a stunningly shiny finish to your chocolates. Be patient and re-melt any chocolate that doesn’t work, so that it’s never wasted.
5. Taste everything you use and everything you make before unleashing to friends and family. Paul's mulled wine hot chocolate (two of his favourite things) is an easy recipe to crack - a warming, indulgent and very boozy drink, definitely for adults only.
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