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Porcini Cacao Risotto

Prep Time:10 minutes
Cooking Time:30 minutes

All my vegetarian friends say ‘Yes, Willie, but what do we do with cacao?

This porcini and chocolate risotto is the obvious option.

The porcini mushrooms and cacao both with distinct and powerful flavours and deep, rich colouring, make the perfect union.


100g dried porcini mushrooms

125 ml white wine

4-5 tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

25g butter

250g arborio rice

1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock

2 tbsp. finely grated 100% cacao. Suggestion, Indonesian Black 100% Javan Dark Breaking Cacao

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Freshly grated parmesan cheese and a blanched leaf of Cavolo Nero to serve




Place the porcini mushrooms in a small heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and leave to soak for at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and fry over a gentle heat for 3-4 minutes, or until soft and translucent.

Stir in the rice until it is coated and translucent

Tip in the wine and stir until it is soaked up

Tip in the porcini, along with their soaking liquid. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring continuously, until all the soaking liquid has been absorbed.

Add a ladleful of hot stock and continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid has again been absorbed. Continue cooking, adding the stock and stirring in this way, until all the stock has been used up and the rice is plump and tender.

Finally, stir in the butter and cacao. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with grated Parmesan sprinkled over the top.

I like to serve it on a cabbage leaf so you can roll up the leaf with all the juices and eat it at the end. To do this, dip a dark green, possibly Cavallo Nero leaf into boiling water for maybe 20 seconds, then put it straight into cold water for a few seconds, before putting the risotto on top

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