I love chillies, but I don’t like them so hot that I cannot taste anything else. So I’ve added roasted sweet red pepper to this sauce to balance the heat of the chillies. However, it is always hard to judge how hot chillies will be, as they vary so much. You can reduce the heat of the chillies in this recipe by deseeding about a third of them before using or, if you want the sauce quite mild, halve the amount used. This is a must with your breakfast eggs, a great accompaniment to oily ﬁsh, lamb and pork, including sausages. You could also serve it with a Moroccan tagine.
When Europeans first arrived in South America, they gave trees and fruits that resembled their native ones back home the same names. As a result, the Venezuelan Castano was named after the chestnut. It comes in a football-sized fruit, with a case that divides in three and has scores of nuts inside. These nuts are twice the size of Europan chestnuts, and make a good alternative to them.
I grew up on homemade milkshakes. We made them using milk from our two Saanen goats, Nina and Sophie. However, if you don’t have a ready supply of goat’s milk, you can use full-fat organic cow’s milk instead. You can experiment by adding a slice or two of banana, or a handful of raspberries or blackberries, or a few chunks of fresh pineapple? You can vary the amount of cacao and sugar according to your taste.
Tiramisu means ‘pick-me-up’ in Italian, so with cacao it’s a double pick-me-up!
Vegetarians and carnivores alike find this dish satisfying. The addition of cacao at the end thickens and enriches the gravy. To vary it, you could add a few freshly roasted chestnuts. Although making the stock takes a little extra time, it is worth it for the flavour. You can prepare the whole dish, up to adding the cacao, in advance, and the reheat and finish off on the day of serving.
When I was searching for new types of cacao, I travelled for new types with my cast-iron pot from hacienda to hacienda, making cacao and then truffles to find the flavour notes I was looking for. Truffles are a fantastic way of sampling the many flavour sensations offered up by the different varieties of cacao