Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chambord & Hot Chocolate

Working in a hot commercial kitchen often drives a person to drink. At the bottom end of the scale, there's water, essential for coping with the heat; there's also soft drinks (I'm looking at you, Golden Circle Creaming Soda, damn your economically-priced, sugar-soaked hide), through to Red Bull, providing energy for many a flagging chef. And then there's the "heavy stuff", downed by the vat load by the more idiosyncratic members of the chefing profession.

At work, we're entitled to a hot drink during our shift. I'm not a big coffee drinker, being more of a tea fan. Given that tea should be sipped and savoured rather than hurled down one's gob because you've got 50 kilos of squid to prep, I usually forgo it, opting for a hot chocolate instead. It occurred to me recently that you could play around with the flavour, and with so much fruit being in season, something must work with chocolate - like berries, for instance.

And then, there in front of me amongst the bottles at the bar was the Chambord. For those of you that don't know, Chambord is a black-coloured raspberry and blackberry liqueur, infused with vanilla, honey, citrus peel and cognac. The recipe is based on that used at the time of Louis XIV, and is produced in the Loire valley. The colour is inky black and it has a rich, sweet fragrance. To enjoy, just add 30ml to your hot chocolate as it's being made, and enjoy the resulting smell and flavour - deliciously sweet berry flavours in hot milky chocolate. Give it a go.

(I should point out that this was consumed after my shift - I could never be accused of being drunk in charge of a deep fat fryer...)


  • Official Chambord site clickety
  • Images of the Loire Valley clickety
  • Ever so slight digression: recipe for churros & Spanish hot chocolate clickety


Anonymous said...

Is that the real bottle the liqueur comes in? It looks like something out of crap hip hop video, but the drink itself sounds nice if a little rich.

Anonymous said...

Now that's the good stuff!

Alessandra said...

Well, this is a thought! Cioccolata corretta!!! (in Italy we say caffe' corretto when we add some booze into it!)

When I was working in a restaurant in Tokyo the head chef was bringing in potent vitamin drinks (tiny bottles full of caffeine) to make us go that extra shift...geeeeee!

Nigel, very nice to read you, actually, there aren't many nz blogs around, pity, but I will become your follower if you don't mind :-). Of course you are welcome to follow my blogs
(here I only record the recipes)
if you have time between shifts!

Kiwi solidarity :-)

Aroha nui


Nigel said...

Anon1 - Ha ha! It does look a little 'pimp cup'. The bottle is meant to resemble the globus cruciger, the religious & monarchical symbol of authority, so I guess they're establishing a link to its connection with Louis XIV. Apart from the bottle itself, it's entirely plastic. It kinda looks like the Vivienne Westwood logo, too.

Anon2 - It's a nice drop, & great in cocktails, especially a PB'n'J!

Alessandra - Hello! Those energy drinks sound potent! I'm adding your crabapple jelly to my list of things to do - they grow them as pollinators at the orchard, so I'll have access to quite a bit.

Alessandra said...

Cool, let me know how it turns out!


peasepudding said...

It sound great fabulous, I will save it for the winter months. What restaurant do you work at Nigel? We are contemplating a trip in Autumn to your neck of the woods and will just have to pop in and see you.

peasepudding said...

Don't you just love Keith Floyd, I have just introduced him to P. Floyd was the chef who inspired me to join the ranks....and I use to have a few tipples like he did too in the kitchen.

Nigel Olsen said...

Alessandra - Made it! I threw in some star anise & ginger, too. Will post it as soon as computer back up & running.

Alli - Provedore. As for Keith Floyd, he was my inspiration too! I still have his original series on video, no less! He was such a passionate bugger, stroppy too, but possessed of a keen sense of humour - RIP, chef.

Kathleen said...

I love Chambord! When we stayed at the Martinborough Hotel on our honeymoon a few years back, they served a nip alongside a fantastically kitch (but in a cool way)Baked Alaska. Mmmmmm...

Nigel Olsen said...

Kathleen - we used to have a mini Baked Alaska on the menu last year, served on a little cake...I can't think what else came with it, but it was super popular.