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Film Released: 2000

Genre:  Drama  Romance

Film Directed by:   Lasse Hallström based on a novel by Joanne Harris

Cast/Actors include:  Juliette Binoche, Alfred Molina, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp

 

As the name suggests, the plot of this film revolves around chocolate.  Set in the late 50s in France, a woman called Vianne and her young daughter open up a chocolatiere - a chocolate shop, where she sells all things chocolate, from hot chocolate drinks to beautiful hand made chocolates.

 

Vianne is a woman who is free of spirit and prejudices, who flouts the conventions of the time by not attending church and, even worse, having an illegitimate child which unfortunately for her, makes her the object of the village mayor's wrath - a puritanical man obsessed with morality. He uses his influence on the villagers, including  the priest, to sully her reputation  in an attempt to make Vianne leave the village.

 

Throughout the film there are the most wonderful scenes of chocolate - from the preparation of the beans to the eating of the finished articles. One scene in particular, is where  the old woman from whom Vianne rents her premises (played by Judi Dench) asks her to throw a small dinner party to celebrate her 80th(?) birthday  inviting the few villagers who haven't succumbed to the mayor's pressures. A large bird is served for the main course accompanied by a chocolate sauce,  which the guests devour with absolute relish.

 

Here's our version which is a traditional recipe from Mexico (home of the Mayan Indians who are responsible for introducing chocolate to Europeans). A truly sensual dish. We've also thrown in a second recipe below for a rich gooey chocolate cake using real chocolate which was also featured in one of the scenes.

 

Happy Cooking!

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Mayan Chilli Chocolate Sauce for Poultry

 

 

Serves 4   Hot  Nuts  Dried Fruit  Spices  Main Course  Mexico  Nth American  North America

 

 

Ingredients

1 tbsp Vegetable Oil

1 small Onion, sliced

4 Fresh Chillies, chopped

2 Garlic Cloves, chopped

2 Large Tomatoes, chopped

1 tbsp Sesame Seeds

¼ teasp Ground Cloves

¼ teasp Ground Cinnamon

360ml/12fl.oz. Chicken Stock

2 tbsp Peanut Butter

2 tbsp Raisins

25g/1oz  Quality Dark Chocolate, grated

Salt

 

Instructions

 

1. Heat the oil in a medium  saucepan add the onion and chilies  and sauté until soft and golden.

 

3. Add the garlic, tomatoes, sesame seeds, cloves and cinnamon and cook, stirring, over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

 

4. Add the chicken stock and stir well.

 

5. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, add the peanut butter, raisins and chocolate and process to a smooth puree.

 

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6. Return the sauce to the pan, season with salt and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

 

Serve hot with roast poultry.

 

 

Gooey Chocolate Cake   Veg   CD  CBF   65mins

Although this is a cake, it's soooo rich and gooey that it's wonderful served as a pudding with lots of cream.

 

Makes 1 x 20cm/8 inch cake    Cold  Vegetarian  Cakes  Baked Fayre  Pudding

 

Ingredients:

5 Eggs, separated

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

100g/4oz Butter

100g/4oz Good quality Plain Chocolate, grated

125g/+4oz Plain Flour

 

Instructions

 

1. Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas mark 4 and grease a 20cm/8inch cake tin.

 

2. In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick.

 

3. Add the butter and chocolate and beat well.

 

4. Gradually add the flour beating after each addition

 

5. Whisk the egg whites to the soft peak stage then fold into the cake mixture.

 

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to 140C, 275F, Gas Mark 1 and continue to bake for a further 20 minutes.  Turn onto a wire rack to cool.

 

 

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