When Green and Black’s said they wanted to send their Head of Taste and Taste Assistant to HM HQ to find out more about our salt-making process and test some recipes with our products, obviously we leapt at the chance to tell them more about what makes our sea salt world-renowned.
And so on one not-that-sunny day in the Anglesey Spring, the aforementioned arrived, along with an enviable amount of top-notch chocolate.
The lovely Independent writer Sam Muston, and esteemed Chocablog founder Dom Ramsey also both came along for the experience, and you can read what both of these fabulous fellows wrote about their day with us in our news section.
We spent a happy morning dipping in the straits, and an even happier afternoon in the kitchen, melting, stirring, sprinkling and yes, tasting. What was on the menu I hear you ask? Well, everything from G & B’s classic milk chocolate finished with the purest inkling of Halen Mon, to a hot salted liquid chocolate, with the cup edged in our finest flakes. There was also a decadent, wickedly dense chocolate brownie, and some quite simply superb seawater truffles, rolled in cocoa powder.
We even learned a quick way to temper chocolate from the experts – in the microwave. Did you know that a great way to test temperature is to dab liquid chocolate on your bottom lip? (obviously take care with this – don’t try it with very high temperatures!) Here’s Micah Carr-Hill, the Head of Taste at Green & Black’s, showing us how it’s done:
Scroll down for two of our favourite recipes from the day, which come very highly recommended….
Chocolate Brownies with Anglesey Sea Salt
150g Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
50g Milk Chocolate (37% cocoa solids)
2g Halen Mon Sea Salt (or to taste)
190g Free range egg (about 3 large eggs)
260g Golden caster sugar
65g Ground almonds
40g Plain flour
25g Cocoa powder
2g Natural vanilla extract
80g White chocolate chunks (optional)
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Take off the heat, and add the chocolate and sea salt. Mix until smooth, and set aside to cool. (You want this mix to be a little salty, so that when it is added to the rest of the ingredients the balance is just right)
Whisk the eggs and sugar until light and creamy (about 1 to 2 minutes on a high speed electric whisk).
Slowly mix in the cooled chocolate mix and vanilla. Sieve together the almonds, flour and cocoa powder, and fold them in to the eggs and chocolate mix until smooth. Finally, fold through the white chocolate chunks (if using).
Line a baking tin (around 22 x 22cm) with greaseproof paper, pour the brownie mix in, and smooth over the surface until flat and even. Bake at 160c for 20-25 minutes, or until there is only a slight wobble left in the middle when the tin is gently shaken. Remove, and leave to cool.
This recipe is best left overnight before slicing and serving. If it is too soft in the middle once cooled, you can return it to the oven for 5 minutes or so. Keep in the fridge, if you prefer a firmer, more ‘fudgy’ brownie.
Sea Water Truffles
150g Green & Black’s cooking milk chocolate
4g Halen Mon sea salt (or why not experiment with HM brine?)
100g Good quality cocoa for dusting
Break/chop the chocolate in to small pieces, and place in a bowl sat on a set of digital scales.
Bring the water and salt to the boil in a small saucepan, and remove from the heat. Pour 45g of the boiled water over the chocolate and mix until smooth. Place in the fridge to set (about 3 hours).
To make the truffles, use a teaspoon to scoop out pieces of the ganache and place these on to a cool plate. Next, sieve the cocoa powder in to a bowl. Roll a piece of ganache in your hands to the desired shape, and drop in to the cocoa powder. Swirl the bowl around in a circular motion, allowing the truffle to roll in the cocoa powder until fully coated. Repeat with the rest of the truffles (you will eventually get messy hands, but just keep going).
Keep the truffles in the bowl of cocoa powder, placed in the fridge, until ready to serve. Then lightly shake off the excess cocoa powder before serving. These are best eaten within 48 hours.