This week Celebrity Master Chef Steven Saunders from the award-winning Little Geranium restaurant in La Cala cooks for Guy Fawkes! Guy Fawkes & Chocolate.
THE story of Guy Fawkes is interesting. Guy Fawkes, was known as Guido Fawkes while fighting for the Spanish. He was a member of a group of provincial English Catholics who was involved in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. He was born and educated in York but his father died when Fawkes was about eight years old, after which his mother married a Catholic.
Fawkes wanted everyone to be Catholic and fought for Catholic Spain wanting to restore a Catholic monarch to the British throne and planned to assassinate King James. Fawkes was one of 13 conspirators and he was put in charge of looking after the gunpowder. But the authorities were made aware and during the early hours of November 5, 1605, they searched Westminster Palace and found Fawkes guarding the explosives.
He was questioned, tortured and he eventually confessed to planning to blow up the House of Lords. Immediately before his execution, he fell from the scaffolding where he was to be hanged and broke his neck and died, thus avoiding being hung drawn and quartered!
In the UK we celebrate every Guy Fawkes Night on November 5 by burning effigies of Fawkes on the bonfire as well as lighting gun powder in the form of fireworks. I doubt if the Spanish will celebrate after all it was them who wanted to blow us up! But all of us ex-pats and visitors/tourists over here could have a little party at home, after all, since we have to be home by 11pm there is not much else to do!
But what will happen this year with Covid? I would suspect that there will be no bonfire parties in the UK. The whole world has become home central and so if you are planning to have a little party then I have created some ideas for you, so keep reading. Why not put away the troubles of Covid for one night, eat, drink and be merry (not too merry or you will get arrested!) A crazy world we now live in but experts say, get used to it as it’s not going away!
When we were boys (I have two brothers) my mum always did something special on Guy Fawkes night. I remember she would make toffee apples and she usually did something with sausages like toad in the hole and sometimes she would make a chilli con carne. My take on all this, years later, would be dishes like mini toffee apples made by cutting rounds out of apples coating them in caramel (made from sugar, water and golden syrup cooked to hard crack stage at 150c) served with a homemade toasted marshmallow on little skewers, toasted with a blow torch. They make excellent petit fours!
Mum was a fantastic pastry chef and sometimes we would have chocolate pots with Cointreauas well as toffee apples and ice cream. I remember our friends being concerned that we were having Cointreau as we were kids.“It’s only half a teaspoon on each” she would say! Her chocolate pots were delicious, memorable and pretty easy to make. I have changed the recipe a bit (she would turn in her grave) but only to stabilise it more and I make the marshmallow myself but it isn’t difficult.
So, get your apron on and follow this recipe for my Mother’s pot au chocolate with toasted marshmallow, delicious! Homemade marshmallow is so much better than the bought ones, softer and tastier, but obviously buying them will be a lot easier!
Homemade Marshmallows makes enough for 8/10 portions
- 450g of caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon of liquid glucose
- 200 ml water
- 2 egg whites
- 9 leaves of gelatine soaked until soft
- Cornflour & Icing sugar for dusting
Put the sugar, water and glucose in a pan and boil and cook until the mix reaches 130c.
Pour this syrup into a plastic jug and whisk up the egg whites until stiff.
Pour the syrup a little at a time onto the egg whites and whisk continuously until thick and glossy (about 5/7 minutes).
Now sprinkle a baking tray with the cornflour and icing sugar and pour the marshmallow mix onto the tray, with a palette knife make it smooth and even.
Leave to set on the side (not in a fridge) for two hours.
Pot au Chocolate
The gelatine in this recipe is not essential but it helps stabilise the mixture so that it doesn’t become too soft when left in the room. It is better to eat when it is not fridge cold and therefore, I add the gelatine. You can also use AgaAga.
Ingredients (Makes at least 8portions)
- 550g of good quality dark chocolate6 egg yolks
- 160 g of icing sugar
- 500 ml of whipped cream to soft peaks
- 100 ml of warmed milk
- 4 gelatine leaves soaked in cold water to soften
- ½ wine glass of brandy
- A little Cointreau to finish
Break the chocolate into even-sized pieces and melt it in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water without the water touching the bowl.
Stir until evenly melted.
Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar together for a few minutes.
Now fold the melted chocolate into the egg mixture and stir in well.
Gradually add the whipped cream folding it well into the chocolate mixture.
Squeeze out the water from the soft soaked gelatine and add it to the warm milk and whisk into avoiding lumps.
Now pass the gelatine through a sieve into the chocolate mix and whisk continuously.
Finally, add the brandy and whisk in and use a spoon to pour the chocolate mix into little ramekins or small dishes and set in the fridge for a minimum of two hours.
To finish the dish drizzle with a little Cointreau on each pot and then drop on top of each pot two or three marshmallows and blow torch (or lightly grill) to melt them over the chocolate. Serve straight away as soon as you heat the marshmallow.
Follow Steven on Instagram ….@saunderschef
The Little Geranium, Winner of Best International Restaurant Spain…2020
Thank you for reading this column, “Guy Fawkes and chocolate”. For more from Steve Saunders, visit the Euro Weekly News website.