Plain, bitter chocolate is said to be the best chocolate; the closest to the bitter fruit of the cacao nut, a pleasure-giving blend of the bitter and the sweet.
In An Appetite for Violets, Chocolate Ice Cream is featured as an accompaniment to a romantic love scene, playing on the sensual allusions of both ice cream and chocolate. During the early part of the eighteenth century, chocolate was largely taken as a rich nutritious drink, but in time cooks began to develop chocolate desserts and confectionary. This historic recipe creates an ice cream very similar to our modern day equivalent, though the churning is done by hand, rather than with an electric machine.
~ An Unrivalled Chocolate Ice Cream ~
Take a pint of good cream, a heaped spoonful of best chocolate scraped, put it in when the cream boils, stir them well together, beat the yolks of two eggs and stir it into the cream, sweeten it to your taste, let the eggs have a boil to thicken it. When cold put it in your freezing pot of pewter, put the lid on and plunge into the wooden pail. Pack about entirely with pounded ice and salt. A quarter hour afterwards when the mixture begins to be firm about the sides stir it about with the spaddle or small spade so that all may be equally congealed. From time to time stir it about again until all is smooth and frozen.
BOOK REVIEW - A Bittersweet Read
Great Expectations is my choice as a bittersweet tale. It is bitter because a fully lived life, battling the illusory rewards of society, contains hard lessons. The sweetness derives from the gentle comedy of the tale and the wisdom gained by its hero, Pip, in his long journey of self-knowledge. Many of the novel’s most powerful images are of food, and in the book Dickens appears to explore his obsessions with guilt, starvation, class and aspiration. One of our most powerfully symbolic foods is the bride or wedding cake, shared by a community to bestow good fortune on the newly married. With Miss Havisham’s mouldering uneaten cake, crawling with spiders and masked in cobwebs, Dickens creates the Gothic shadow to the traditional food of celebration. Throughout, the novel is a tour de force of food observation, from Joe and Pip’s meagre suppers of bread and butter, Pip’s excruciating embarrassment at his old pal Joe’s table rustic manners, to the convict Magwitch’s threat to tear out Pip’s heart and liver to be roasted and devoured.
PART 2 – MILK CHOCOLATE – NEXT WEEK….
A huge thank you to Rebecca Mascull for inviting me to take part in the The Chocolate Challenge. Rebecca’s beautiful debut novel, THE VISITORS. Here is a snippet of my review:
‘In a world of formulaic copycat novels THE VISITORS is refreshingly original and free of predictable clichés. In some ways, it is like a grown-up version of those delicate Edwardian tales I used to love by E Nesbit, such as The Railway Children. Heart-warming, fine writing, a bit of magic, but with a core of gritty emotional realism.’
Take a look at Rebecca’s Chocolate blog post at:
THE CHOCOLATE CHALLENGE MOVES ON…
I have tagged two new writers to take on the Chocolate Challenge, and will tweet and post their links when they are ready. They are:
LOUISA TREGER, author of THE LODGER, The first biographical novel about Dorothy Richardson, peer of Virginia Woolf, lover of H.G. Wells, and central figure in the emergence of modernist fiction. The Lodger is a beautifully intimate novel that is at once an introduction to one of the most important writers of the 20th century and a compelling story of one woman tormented by unconventional desires.
TESSA ARLEN, is author of a mystery series set in Britain before the Great War. The first in the series, DEATH OF A DISHONOURABLE GENTLEMAN, is a story of revenge, blackmail and betrayal. In this enchanting debut sure to appeal to fans of Downton Abbey, Tessa Arlen draws readers into a world exclusively enjoyed by the rich, privileged classes and suffered by the men and women who serve them.