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June 1, 2012 / demarquettechoc

The Making of the Harrods Diamond Jubilee Chocolate Crown

This June week-end marks The Queen’s 60th year on the throne. To celebrate, Harrods have invited Chocolatier Marc Demarquette to design a majestic chocolate crown that is currenlty being showcased in Harrods’ world-famous windows.

Until 10th June Harrods’ world famous windows are featuring a custom-built display of crowns, each of which is based on a replica of the St Edward’s coronation crown. British Luxury curator of chocolate and Harrods Chocolatier Marc Demarquette, along with 31 of the most prestigious maisons available at Harrods, including Paul Smith, De Beers, Tiffany & Co, Boucheron, Roja Dove, Prada, Mulberry, Faberge and Lanvin, has been exclusively selected to create bespoke a crown in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.

Marc’s theme and inspiration for his chocolate crown is the Commonwealth – creating a near replica of the Coronation Crown using the Harrods House Couverture Chocolate and ingredients found in Commonwealth countries for the distinctive Demarquette-styled decorations.

Taking a week to complete, the crown is coated with a fine layer of white chocolate and edible gold. Cocoa beans and Harrods coffee beans that represent the producers in the Commonwealth act as diamonds and each of the 46 large chocolate jewels has been individually hand painted and glossed to create a precious stone sparkle. The fur has been replicated in coconut, dried tea and coffee beans grown in Commonwealth countries and delicate chocolate Lily Flowers have been added to represent the Pacific member states.

We are honoured and proud to have been invited by Harrods to create a chocolate crown for such an important and unique historical occasion. Back in ancient time’s chocolate was exclusive to royalty, so once again I set out to create a Royal Jubilee Chocolate Crown fit for a Queen.

To taste the crown jewels, we have also created a special edition Royal Jubilee collection of Kentish Cobnut Chocolate Pralines – a 2011 Guild of Fine Food Triple Gold Award Winner. Gently roasted Kentish grown cobnuts from Hurstwood Farm are skilfully combined with the Demarquette house blend of single origin chocolates and Cornish cream. The cobnut praline filling is then encased in milk and dark jewel-shaped chocolate shells.

The hand painted assortment is made up of four golden milk chocolate and four silver dark chocolate jewels, all displayed in an exclusive box devoted to the Diamond Jubilee.

We suggest this unique commemorative chocolate collection for all types of Diamond Jubilee celebrations, as we wish Her Majesty continued good health and a long reign.

Wishing all a great celebratory week-end and Jubilee year.

June 1, 2012 / demarquettechoc

The Walpole 2012 British luxury ‘Brands of Tomorrow’

Demarquette selected by the Walpole as a British luxury ‘Brand of Tomorrow’ 2012

In this year of the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, we are excited to have been selected from over 100 premium British brands as one of only eight “2012 Brands of Tomorrow” by The Walpole. Each year this trade body that represents the British luxury industry and whose members include Burberry, Jimmy Choo, Fortnum & Mason and Harrods, select up-and-coming brands that have the potential to be tomorrow’s luxury leaders. We are honoured and proud to have been named as one of them for 2012.

The recognition comes with the privilege of being mentored by some of Britain’s leading business entrepreneurs including Maurice Helfgott  Founding Director of Amery Capital, Jonathon Heilbron President and Chief Executive of Thomas Pink, Michael Ward Managing Director of Harrods, Sarah Elton Former Chief Executive of Smythson and Demetra Pinsent CEO of Islestarr Holdings.

We are absolutely delighted that our work has been recognised by such a prestigious organisation as The Walpole and it is a great honour for us to be mentored by some of the leading figures in British luxury business. This achievement is a culmination of all the hard work carried out by the entire Demarquette Team since our launch in 2006. It’s a reflection of our dedication to applying only the highest quality demands that enable us to offer the finest quality chocolates, luxury service and unique innovation.

The other great brands to have been selected are Aravore, Elvis & Kresse, Lily and Lionel, Lucas Hugh, Field Candy, Patterson Boatworks and Vivien Sheriff.

About Walpole 

Walpole is a non-profit-making organisation that furthers the interests of the British luxury industry by harnessing and sharing the collective knowledge, experience and resources of the membership – over 170 British Luxury Brands, committed to combining the best aspects of innovation, design, quality, tradition and service.

Formed in 1990 by top tier British companies, including Burberry, Harrods, Jimmy Choo, Alfred Dunhill, Thomas Pink and Fortnum and Mason, the membership provides a community for the exchange of best practice ideas to drive business development in both the UK and export markets.

The membership provides a community for the exchange of best practice, cross-industry networking and marketing, drives business development and lobbies Government.  Members are showcased to an increasingly wide audience through a programme of events and initiatives in the UK, Europe, US and Asia.

www.thewalpole.co.uk

April 24, 2012 / demarquettechoc

We’ve Gone NUTS for the Jubilee!

In order to give Saint George a proper celebration and to start our Diamond Jubilee celebrations, we hosted an event evening to show off a truly British pair. We partnered with Hurstwood Farm in Kent to prove to chocolate-lovers everywhere that you can make delicious chocolates using ingredients found in our own backyard (…or the southern coast).

We warmed up the night with a Chocolate Slammer – a hot chocolate cocktail made with nut-infused vodka and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Then, we returned to our British roots by welcoming Hurstwood Farm, whose cobnuts have helped to create our winner of three stars at the Great Taste Awards, the Kentish Cobnut Chocolate Pralines. Catherine Robinson and her team were kind enough to make the trip up from Kent to explain to us the fabulous role that the cobnut has played in English history. They also took the opportunity to share their oil that’s pressed from the nuts – who would have thought such an indulgent product could come from such a delicate nut? Following their award as the Supreme Champions of the Great Taste Awards in 2010, it was our only choice for our own award-winning chocolates.

Marc also prepared a tasting of the different stages used when creating the praline filling for the chocolates. Rather than buying pre-made praline paste like so many others, he makes it entirely on his own by creating a paste from the cobnuts and blending it with a careful mixture of chocolate and sugar to form the perfect match-up of chocolate nuttiness. He also premiered his Chocolate Cobnut Nougat made with both the Kentish nut itself as well as the award winning Cobnut Oil which will be available for purchase from next week at Fortnum and Mason.

We were eager to share the new Diamond Jubilee Collection that is available for purchase in the shop on Fulham Road and on our website. We can’t think of a better way to honour the Jubilee than with chocolates fit for the Queen – can you?

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March 6, 2012 / demarquettechoc

71.1% Chocolate Brownie Recipe – A Fool-Proof Mothering Sunday Gift

Save your kids the guessing this Mothering Sunday, and get something you really want. We’re providing a step-by-step guide for decadent brownies made using Demarquette’s very own 71.1% Dark Chocolate bars. Simply print out the recipe, leave it strategically laying around on your husbands’, sons’ or daughters’ desks and drop copious amount of hints about how you crave the greatest home made chocolate brownies. Sit back and relax on your day this year, and leave the cooking to the children!
 
Mothering Sunday 71.1% Chocolate Brownie Recipe
  1. (Requires adult supervision) Break up the chocolate into small pieces and gently melt it with the butter in a glass bowl over steaming water – make sure the bowl does not touch the water. Gently stir the mixture to a smooth and glossy texture. Remove from heat and cover with film until cooled to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 175 C. Line a square tin approximately 20 cm.
  3. Sieve the flour into a bowl.
  4. In a seperate large bowl, blend the eggs and all sugar until the volume increases and the colour lightens a bit (it’s best do this with an electric whisk to get a thick custard texture but a spoon and lots of elbow grease is good too – plus licking the spoon afterwards is such a great reward!).
  5. Add the chocolate mix to the egg and sugar blend and fold. Then add the flour.
  6. Lastly, add the chopped nuts and pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
  7. Place the tin in the middle of the oven for approximately 25 mins or until you get a firm wobble when shaken.
  8. After cooling, cut in squares and serve with whipped vanilla cream, ice cream or simply enjoy on their own.
  9. Finally, make sure your kids also do the washing up!

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February 21, 2012 / demarquettechoc

Eat Chocolate, Survive Lent

The Original Filled Cocoa Pod - Handmade luxury chocolate by Demarquette LondonThe time has come, and Lent is upon us yet again – that means that we’re called to sacrifice something we love for a dreaded forty days and nights.  There are so many naughty things one could forgo during this period; cigarettes, alcohol, and being unkind are things many people could improve upon … When  you look at it like that, why would you ever think of giving up something as lovely as chocolate? 

Demarquette Fine  Chocolates creates some of the greatest tasting chocolates in the world – if you don’t believe us, just ask the judges at the Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste Awards – Demarquette has been the most awarded Luxury Chocolatier in the UK for the past three years. But the taste is just the beginning!  High quality chocolate provides a wide variety of health benefits that have been noticed since the 19th century.

Demarquette 71.1% House Chocolate Squares (50 chocolate squares)

Demarquette 71.1% House Chocolate Squares (50)

Studies show that chocolate can increase blood flow to the heart, reduce the risk of blood clots, as well as assist in improving your cholesterol. Furthermore, improved memory, attention span and reaction time are all benefits of increased blood flow to the brain that chocolate provides. Cocoa also offers anti-depressant qualities that can help to get you through the withdrawal stages of whatever else you decide to sacrifice for Lent!

Cocoa beans are also rich in a number of essential minerals and vitamins, including magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese as well as Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and pantothenic acid; what a delicious way to replace your daily multi-vitamin!

Finally, we are often asked whether chocolate truly is an aphrodisiac. In a survey of 143 women published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, those who ate chocolate every day had more sex drive than those who went without. That means that consuming chocolate doesn’t just benefit yourself, but your partner as well. Who wouldn’t appreciate that?

Let’s all use this information to our benefit and take into consideration just how many advantages chocolate supplies us with … It seems a bit mad to even think about sacrificing such a healthy and luscious food from our diets! If we’ve got you craving a bit, try a bar from our Pure Range Selection which include single origin cocoa in contents from 60-80%. Be smart this spring, and keep chocolate in your diet. You’ll thank us later! 😉

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February 20, 2012 / demarquettechoc

Pancake Day Praline Spread Recipe

Why not use this Shrove Tuesday to indulge yourself with a delectable homemade Praline Spread? Use this topping recipe provided by Demarquette Fine Chocolates to dress up your Pancake Day and truly treat yourself before the start of Lent. This spread is perfect for traditional pancakes or our Irresistable Oatcake Recipe. If you cannot make time to drop into the shop to pick up our very own Chocolate and Hazelnut Praline Spread, you may as well make some at home!

 

Hazelnut Chocolate Spread Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Spread

100 g finely ground hazelnuts

150 ml double cream

100 g chocolate (we recommend our 71.1% Dark Chocolate)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1 vanilla pod (seeds only)

2 tablespoons honey

 

Adult Version: 20 ml brown rum (in case you’re feeling exceptionally decadent)

 

Gently dry roast the ground hazelnuts in a frying pan; remove from heat and leave to cool.

Split the vanilla pod in two and scrape the seeds from the inside; add seeds and cinnamon to the cream and set aside.

Then, gently melt the chocolate over a Bain Marie. Leave to cool slightly and slowly stir in the double cream mixture, followed by the honey. (Add the rum at this point if you are opting for the ‘adult’ version.) Whisk vigorously for 1-2 minutes. Finally, add the roasted hazelnuts.

Spoon the mixture into a sterilised jar and leave to set in the refrigerator. Be sure to enjoy your spread within two weeks!

If you prefer a sweet and salty spread, pick up our Cornish Clotted Cream and Sea Salt Caramel Spread or check out our Halen Mon Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe as an alternative. (And remember not to do anything crazy for Lent this year, like giving up chocolate!)

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February 14, 2012 / demarquettechoc

Oat Milk Hot Chocolate Recipe

This luxurious Oat Milk Hot Chocolate made its first appearance at Demarquette’s collaboration event with Rude Health.  It was such a hit that we decided to share it for you to try at home!  Top it off with a splash of whiskey and a dollop of vanilla whipped cream for the perfect ending to your day.

Oat Hot Chocolate 

1 lt of Oat Milk

300 g of dark 71% Chocolate (grated)

3 Tbs Honey (optional)

Best whisky you can afford

Gently heat the milk (do not boil). When it becomes steaming hot, take the pan off the heat and add your grated chocolate. Stir with a whisk for approximately 3 minutes, until the chocolate is fully incorporated and reaches a dark, thick, and glossy texture. Then, add the honey (optional).

Vanilla Whipped Cream

150 ml Double Cream

1 Vanilla Pod

Cut the vanilla pod lengthwise in 2 and scrape out the tiny seeds. Add them to the double cream, then whisk up to form hard peaks.

Finally, spoon a generous amount of cream in a cup, pour over the hot chocolate mix, and add a splash of Scottish Whiskey.  Sit back in a comfortable chair and enjoy!

World Chocolate Guide blogger Jennifer Earle was an attendee of our Chocolate and Oatstravaganza, and was inspired by Marc’s recipe to create her own Oatso-Sexy Hot Chocolate. Check out her suggestions here!

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February 13, 2012 / demarquettechoc

Going in search of the perfect Cocoa in Vietnam

A short clip showing luxury chocolatier Marc Demarquette travel to Vietnam in search of the perfect (three star award winning!) cocoa. See how cocoa is grown & harvested and how the beans are then extracted, sorted, fermented & dried before the next stages in transforming cocoa into chocolate (next video… )

February 7, 2012 / demarquettechoc

Irresistable Oatcake Recipe

Who wouldn’t want to wake up in the morning to the smell of freshly-made oatcakes?  The cakes are versatile enough to please both sweet and savoury palates, and they’re perfect for creating a romantic breakfast in bed – especially when you top it with Marc Demarquette’s Salted Caramel Sauce.  Either way, they’re a delicious way to start off your day. 
 

Irresistable Oatcakes

Image

Photo Courtesey of Swamibu on Flickr.com

640 g Medium Coarse Oatmeal (we recommend Rude Health Daily Oats Porridge)

340 g Strong Plain White Flour

3 Tbsp Dried Skimmed Milk

4 tsp Quick-Act Dried Yeast

2 tsp Unrefined Sugar

500 ml – 1 lt Warm Water

Pinch of Halen Mon White Flakes Salt

 

Place all the dry ingredients (except salt) in a mixing bowl and add 500 ml of warm water. Mix until you have a thick custard texture. (You may need to add a bit more warm water to achieve the texture.) Cover the mixture with a damp towel and leave in a warm place for 2 hrs.

After two hours, mix the batter again and add a little more warm water to gain the consistency of a thick custard. Add the salt and mix well.

Next, heat a pan with a drop of oil and pour a ladle of the mixture to cook. Tap the side of the pan to get the bubbles out of the cake and spread the mix thinly. Loosen and flip the cake after approximately 1 minute.

Serve like a pancake with sweet or a savoury topping. The cakes can also be served as a fantastic dessert by adding vanilla ice cream and some moorish salted caramel.  Try Demarquette’s Cornish Clotted Cream and Sea Salt Caramel Spread for a one of a kind treat.

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February 6, 2012 / demarquettechoc

Halen Mon Salted Caramel Recipe

Here, we have a recipe developed by Marc Demarquette for an absolutely divine sea salt caramel.  It’s perfect to use as an ice cream topping, pancake syrup, or (if you’re like us) just eat it by the spoonful.

Best Sea Salt Caramel in the World

Courtesy of Swamibu on Flickr.com

20 ml water

100 g unrefined sugar

100 g unsalted butter (room temp)

250 g double cream

1 Tbsp honey (optional)

1 tsp Halen Mon Vanilla Salt

Pour water in the pan and then add sugar. Heat up gently till you get small champagne-like bubbles (approx. 5 mins), then take off heat and add half the butter. Leave for 30 seconds and then stir very gently until mixed and the colour has changed from clear to opaque. Turn up the heat and bring back to boiling point, then add cream in 3 stages – each stage leave for 30 seconds before stirring (we mean it… be patient!).

Lastly, add the Halen Mon Vanilla Sea Salt. When fully incorporated, remove from the heat, add the remaining butter, and blend carefully.  Leave to rest for 5 mins before serving.

Click on the picture below to watch a step-by-step video of Marc concocting the caramel.