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#figbarcookbookclub : A New Way of Cooking with Chocolate

#figbarcookbookclub : A New Way of Cooking with Chocolate

It's my favourite post of the month! This year, we have started the #figbarcookbookclub where we will share one of our favourite cookbooks from our home collection (of over 120!) and cook one of the recipes here along with you! Last month was the brilliant Victuals, and if you missed that post, definitely check the archives for it and the biscuit recipe.

This month's pick may seem a bit surprising to you, or maybe not! Either way, I'm super excited to share Hotel Chocolat's A New Way of Cooking with Chocolate as February's cookbook club pick. We received this book as a gift a few years ago and have turned to it for inspiration to add chocolate to literally e v e r y t h i n g. The beauty of this book is helping turn sweet into savoury in a delicate way. Yes, there is a 'dessert' section that, of course, utilizes chocolate in every recipe, but just wait till you flick through the unconventional chocolate uses: black pepper cocoa nib beef jerky, not-so-scotch egg, beetroot carpaccio, rump steak burger with cocoa beer-braised onions, cocoa brine roast turkey, citrus salad with white chocolate dressing, portobello mushroom risotto.... have I enticed your tastebuds enough? If that doesn't, then the gorgeous pictures definitely will. The book also is a lovely introduction to the Rabot Estate in Saint Lucia, Hotel Chocolat's beautiful cocoa estate, with a bit of it's history and ideals of sustainability (brilliant news since I recently read an article that the cocoa plant may be extinct by 2050!!!!! But more on that tangent another time...). As mentioned in a little footnote at the start of the book, "falling in love with Rabot Estate was easy". If this book and it's elegant dishes say anything, it's that I love the Rabot Estate too! 

But, alas (said for increased dramatics), if we can't all go to St. Lucia to eat chocolate, let's use this book to bring the warm islands to our cold February, England! 

One dish in particular has become Jaime's & my go-to for one-upping our friends in the pot-luck appetizer game (now they'll read this and know our secret!), which is this brilliant recipe for 'Smoked Mackerel Ganache'. Oh. My. Goodness, you guys. When I first made this, I thought it would be tasty, but believe me when I say, "It is tasty.". Make sure that you use only the best quality ingredients you can find for this recipe, especially the smoked mackerel, and pair it with really good quality bread. There's a recipe for cocoa nib crispbread in the book that is a great complement. 

Recipes taken from "A New Way of Cooking with Chocolate" from the Hotel Chocolat

Purchase the book here

Smoked Mackerel Ganache


125g peppered smoked mackerel

100g cream cheese

zest and juice ½ lemon

2 Tbsp White Chocolate Horseradish (recipe follows)

salt and pepper


Skin the mackerel and make sure there are no bones in it. Break into smallish pieces. Place in a bowl along with all the other ingredients and use your hands to mix everything until completely combined. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days (note from Steph- the only reason it lasts in my fridge for 3 days is if I make it ahead of time for a party. I’ve never ended up with leftovers!).


White Chocolate Horseradish


50g white chocolate (at least 30% cocoa butter content)

110g creamed horseradish


Gently melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t actually touch the hot water. (chef note from Jaime- this is called a ‘bain marie’).

While the bowl is still sitting over the pan, add the creamed horseradish and mix until fully combined with the chocolate. Remove the bowl from the pan and beat for 1 minute further. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge until needed- it will keep for up to 2 weeks. (Note from Steph – eat this for breakfast to up your avocado and salmon toast game!).


Biscoff Mocha Granola Bar

Biscoff Mocha Granola Bar

For an afternoon pick-me-up, these granola bars can't be beat. The hit of coffee and chocolate coupled with the crunch of the cookie and the chew of the oats is just right. No bake and just 2 dishes- so clean up is a breeze. As with most granola bars, these will test your strength and you may end up with crumbles instead of bars. Don't despair! They are equally good on a spoon or crumbled over dark chocolate ice cream :-) If you want them to be kid-friendly, use decaf coffee grounds or omit the coffee completely. 

And, as a very happy accident, they are VEGAN! We hope you enjoy these delicious treats! 


Biscoff Mocha Granola Bars


30g toasted slivered almonds

2 tbsp finely ground roast coffee beans

120g old-fashioned rolled oats

70g crushed biscoff cookies (about 9 cookies)

30g crispy rice cereal

65 g good quality dark chocolate chunks

20g unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 tsp Maldon sea salt

180ml maple syrup

90ml light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup almond butter

2 tsp extra virgin coconut oil


1. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix together almonds, ground coffee beans, oats, biscoff, cereal, chocolate, coconut, and salt. 

3. In a small pot over low heat, stir together the maple syrup, light brown sugar, vanilla extract, almond butter, and coconut oil until combined. 

4. Bring to a simmer being very careful not to burn the mixture. Remove from heat.

5. Immediately pour the syrup mix over the oat mix and fully coat. 

6. Pour the mixture into your lined pan and spread it out evenly. Place a second piece of parchment over top of the mix and, using all your weight, press down firmly onto each inch of the pan.  The harder you press, the better the bars will stick together.

7. Place the pan into the refrigerate for 1 hour until the bars are firmly set and easy to slice. 

8. Any that you don’t eat (these are pretty moorish, so you may not need this information :-)) store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.