If so, you’ll want to read on. To celebrate the stage adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (directed by Oscar winning director Sam Mendes) we’re offering you the chance to create a chocolate recipe for The Tower hotel’s Brasserie Restaurant menu and win a personal chocolate tutorial in a professional kitchen…
We want your chocolate recipes!
Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory encapsulates the magic of childhood and is a story every chocolate lover can relate to. Who hasn’t dreamed of diving, head first, into a silky river of chocolatey goodness?
We want you to get in touch with your inner Augustus Gloop and think about your idea of chocolate heaven. Is it a chic chocolate macaron? A dark and mysterious chocolate pudding which oozes out yet more glutinous chocolate? Or something daring, pairing chocolate with an unexpected flavour like rosemary or lime?
Perhaps your dish is a firm family favourite, or something that’s been inspired by a film you’ve seen or a city you’ve fallen in love with. Close your eyes and let your love of chocolate take over…
What you’ll get
Our talented senior sous chef Patrick Graf will turn your entry – whether it’s just the glimmer of an idea or a fully realised recipe – into chocolate reality. Your delectable dish will feature on The Brasserie’s menu for everyone to order and enjoy.
What’s more, you’ll get an exclusive invite into the kitchen at The Brasserie to watch our head chef show you how he makes the dish, giving you the chance to try putting it together in a professional kitchen yourself.
You’ll then move into the restaurant area to enjoy your finished dish while taking in the views over the River Thames and Tower Bridge. Cue chocolate bliss.
This is a once in a lifetime chance to design and create a dish alongside one of London’s most exciting chefs, and a chocoholic’s dream.
How to enter
All we need from you is:
• A recipe name (the more tempting the better)
• A short description of your chocolate recipe (anything from a sentence or two to a full blog post). You can tweet it to us using the hashtag #GuomanChoc, send us a message on Facebook, email Benedicte.Soteras@LBi.com or leave a comment below.
Your entry must be in by 5pm on 16 July.
A short history of chocolate for inspiration
• The Ancients
The Incas, Aztecs and Mayans in Mexico and Central America were the world’s first chocoholics. They would drink a very dark brew made from ground cacao seeds, seasoned with heady spices.
They were so enamoured with chocolate that it regularly featured in their religious ceremonies and the Mayans even worshipped the Cacao tree, referring to chocolate as ‘the food of Gods’. And you thought your chocolate habit was out of hand!
• The Europeans fall in love with chocolate
Spanish explorers introduced chocolate to Europe in 1528, but sweetened it with sugar and vanilla for European tastes. It went down a treat with the Spanish, followed by the French and Austrian nobility.
Chocolate remained the preserve of the very rich until the 18th century when it started to come down in price. Soon, chocolate houses sprung up everywhere, including The Coffee Mill and Tobacco Roll in 1857 – London’s very first chocolate shop.
The chocolate bar as we know it didn’t arrive until 1847 when Fry’s produced it in their factory in Bristol.
• Chocolate in 2013
Much like the ancients, we’re a nation of chocoholics here in Britain. Aside from the Swiss, we spend more on chocolate than any other country in Europe to fuel our addiction (£3.5bn a year).
Britain has gone through something of a chocolate revolution in recent years, and our palates are now tuned into the wonderful array of aromas and tasting notes that different varieties of cocoa beans can give us.
Finally, people are starting to treat chocolate with respect and recognise that a bar of high grade chocolate can be as complex and rewarding as a bottle of fine wine. London is now awash with artisan chocolate shops selling quality, handcrafted chocolates like Paul A Young and Artisan du Chocolate.
How to spot good chocolate
It’s not just about a high cocoa content. According to the experts, the biggest factor is the quality of the beans and how long they’ve been conched (kneaded). The more time spent conching the beans, the more flavour you’ll get out of them.
Use your senses when tasting chocolate. It should feel silky (not sticky), smell complex and make a satisfying snapping noise when broken instead of crumbling. Once you’ve popped a piece in your mouth, it should melt quickly on your tongue into a smooth, creamy liquid and leave a lingering aftertaste.
What’s your ultimate chocolate recipe?
Terms and conditions:
• This competition is open to UK residents only. No purchase necessary.
• Entrants must be over 18 to enter. One entry per person. Employees of the Guoman & Thistle Group (“Guoman Hotels”) or LBi are excluded
• The competition ends 16.07.13 at 5pm and the winner will be chosen, then notified by email and announced on the Guoman Blog
• The prize is: the winner will have their recipe appear on The Tower Hotel’s Brasserie Restaurant menu for a minimum of one month and see how the chef prepares the dish
• The winner will be chosen by Guoman Hotels and their external agency LBi
• The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. There will only be one winner, if the winner is unavailable or does not respond within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen
• Entrants retain the copyright in their entries and grant Guoman Hotels and its permitted licences a non-exclusive licence to use for their respective business purposes in connection with the competition. However, once selected and notified, in consideration of the prize the winner assigns copyright in the winning entry to Guoman Hotels (and hereby agrees to do so by way of present assignment of future rights) and waives his/her moral rights although reasonable efforts will be made to mention the winner’s name alongside the winning entry
• The competition is run by Guoman Hotel Management (UK) Limited, PO Box 909, Bath Road, Uxbridge, UB8 9FH.