I can't decide if I like cheese best or chocolate.
Fortunately, no-one's holding a gun to my head and forcing me to choose. Yet. But should a desert island scenario arise, I feel it would be wise to be prepared.
Until a few years ago, I would have put my hand up for another Lindt ball. But as my crows feet grow deeper, so does my penchant for all things savoury, and nothing more than a fine smelly cheese. The mouldier the better. And if there's a hint of cauliflower taste about it, get me a room.
But sometimes only chocolate will do - in that way that eating 500 pieces of raw carrot at 4pm is just not going to cut it when your body wants melt in the mouth fat and cocoa. Recently it was Chocolate Week, and that only further fuelled the flame.
I went to a scrumptious chocolatey afternoon tea, and Green & Blacks took me out to dinner at Bistrot Bruno Loubet (a restaurant I love) where I drooled over their new cookbook and discovered a fresh favourite that sleeps on TPG's pillow when he's off on business trips - the salted caramel chocolate Peanut Bar. Yes. Salted. Caramel. Chocolate. Peanut. Bar.
|The Green & Blacks Peanut Bar - in civvies|
It's only available in the USA at present, but a sample found its way to my gullet. We need it here in the UK. Desperately. Let the campaign begin. (I urge you to join me in support with a comment below - they can consider this a petition).
I also met Green & Black's head of taste, Micah, who - aside from having the really awful job of tasting & developing chocolate flavours - has recently edited the new Green & Blacks Ultimate Chocolate Recipes cookbook. Oh, and the man can also eat whole desserts face first.
The cookbook is a gorgeous, colourful compilation of tempting recipes for such gourmet delights as chocolate meringue pie, chocolate and cardamom muffins and (hold me down) a velvet salted caramel chocolate torte. Favourite recipes have been contributed by chefs, food writers and others. This is one book set to inspire quite the chocolate dinner party extravaganza at Chez Greedy.
|Quail and pistachio dodine with spinach and egg raviolo|
So, what of Bistrot Bruno Loubet? Since my last review, it was high time to repay it a visit. As usual, service was easy, relaxed and knowledgable and the food was a delight. My starter of a miraculously light guinea fowl boudin blanc on a pea soup was comforting, with lovely, subtle but moreish flavours (£7.50). For my main, the quail and pistachio dodine with spinach and egg yolk raviolo was cooked perfectly - a rich, tender and satisfying dish (£17.00). I dipped into various desserts around the table, none which moved the earth for me, but all were perfectly nice.
Bistrot Bruno Loubet really is one of my favourite places to eat for excellent French cooking with a bit of flair. I was happy to see it recently recognised with the Best New Restaurant Award at The National Restaurant Awards 2010.
We finished off with several excellent cheese platters while greedily scouring the pages of the new chocolatey cookbook - ahhh, all bases covered.
"Green & Blacks Organic Ultimate Chocolate Recipes, The New Collection", edited by Micah Carr-Hill, is available for around £16.99 RRP online and at various bookshops.
Bistrot Bruno Loubet, 86-88 Clerkenwell Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1M 5RJ (Tel: 0207 324 4455)
Greedy Diva's dinner was provided by the very fun team at Green & Blacks.