Anyone who knows anything about chocolate will be familiar with the divine creations of Green & Blacks. There’s more to the brand however than just their famous bars of chocolate. Embarking on their “Taste and Colour Tour,” the team at Green & Blacks have picked seven locations across the UK, to design a recipe based on local cuisine for each. So where better than York, the historical home of chocolate, to bring their beautiful vintage van ‘Coco’ full of chocolate treats.
We spoke to Brandt Maybury, Taste Specialist at Green & Black’s Organic, about his recipe for the Yorkshire Moggy Sundae and the food culture here in York. Brandt noted that, “It seems being a ‘foodie’ in York means knowing your stuff, whether it’s following the latest foodie news to knowing what wine and herbs compliment different dishes.”
Polls conducted found that more than three quarters (77%) of people in York consider themselves to be a ‘foodie’ The poll; commissioned by Green & Black’s Organic, revealed the top 50 foodie indicators in the city, which included enjoying new dishes at restaurants (57%) and nearly half looked forward to the weekly food shop – as opposed to seeing it as a chore.In fact, almost half of the people in the city pride themselves on their foodie status so much, that they get annoyed when other people claim to be a foodie when they don’t know that much about food and cooking!
On why he decided to take on the famous Yorkshire Moggy cake, Brandt said that given last year they’d done the tour in colder months and reinvented the Yorkshire Parkin, with the summer season, the lighter texture and flavor of the Moggy cake was the perfect candidate for a chocolate twist. Brandt said he took the traditional cake and adapted it to create a Moggy brownie, perfect chopped into bitesize pieces in a sundae. Using tart poached Yorkshire rhubard and sweet honeycomb (or cinder toffee to a true Yorkshireman), bound together with creamy vanilla ice cream, Brandt created the perfect summer indulgence.
On tips for creating the perfect chocolate brownie, Brandt noted it’s all about practice, practice and practice. Once you’ve established your recipe he said, it’s all about keeping consistency with tiny tweaks till you’ve perfected the art. Keep it on the exact same shelf of the over, at the same temperature and in the same tin, slightly adjusting your timings each time you bake till you’ve got the perfect amount of gooeyness with it being raw! Brandt’s top tip is to shake the tin of the brownies when you think they are done, noting the top layer should slightly wiggle without disintegrating.
Now exams are over it’s the perfect time to indulge in some baking and impress your housemates. After all that work, we’re all deserving of some decadent sweet treats! Whether you call yourself a foodie or not, as Brandt says, “everyone can enjoy cooking and experimenting with different ingredients, and at Green & Black’s we hope to encourage the people of York to try something a little different – you never know, this may be the start of your journey to becoming a fully-fledged foodie”.
So without further ado here is Brandt’s recipe for the Moggy Brownie sundae…
Ingredients (Serves 4 to 6)
- 180g Unsalted butter
- 200g Green & Black’s Dark 70% chocolate
- 25g Golden syrup
- 25g Black treacle
- 3 Large free-range eggs
- 150g Golden caster sugar
- 50g Plain flour
- 25g Ground oats or oatmeal
- 1tsp Mixed spice
- 4 Sticks of rhubarb (forced variety is best, when in season)
- 2 Balls of Chinese stem ginger (Depending on season and variety, your rhubarb may need a sprinkle of sugar as well as the syrup from the stem ginger – you should still aim for plenty of acidity/tartness, as this will balance with the sweet brownie and honeycomb.)
- 200g Caster sugar
- 20g Golden syrup
- 40ml Cold water
- 1tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 1tsp Natural vanilla extract
To build the sundae
- Green & Black’s Vanilla ice cream
- Icing sugar to decorate
- Sprigs of mint to garnish
- Start with making the brownies. Preheat the oven to 160c, and line a 20cm x 20cm baking tin . Melt the butter in a saucepan, remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, syrup and treacle. Mix until smooth and set aside to cool.
- Whip the eggs and sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Pour in the chocolate mix and fold together. Add the flour, oats, and spices, mix together well and pour the mixture in to the lined tray.
- Bake for around 20 minutes, until the centre is just under-done and has a very slight wobble to it (a good sign of a gooey brownie!). Set aside to cool and set, ideally overnight for best results.
- Next, make the rhubarb. Wash and cut the rhubarb in to batons and line them up in a tray. Chop the stem ginger in to small sticks and scatter over the rhubarb, before finally drizzling over some of the syrup from the jar too.
- Cover with tin foil and bake at 160c for 10-12 minutes, until the rhubarb is just beginning to soften. Leave to cool before transferring to the fridge to chill.
- For the honeycomb, prepare an area of your work surface with a sheet of greaseproof paper, and rub a few drops of vegetable oil across the surface to help prevent the final honeycomb from sticking to it.
- Place the sugar, golden syrup and water in a heavy-based saucepan and place on a medium heat. Stir until everything is mixed together, and then leave to boil (do not stir past this point otherwise the sugar may crystallise/clump together).
- Once everything in the saucepan has started to turn in to a light caramel colour, you can start to lift the pan and very gently swirl around to make sure everything is cooking evenly, but still try not to stir at this point. You are looking for a deep, caramel colour that will take around 8 minutes to achieve, or around 170c for those pros with a thermometer!
- At this point turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla, then the bicarb. Continue to stir as the mixture begins to foam up to make sure everything is well mixed, and then carefully pour out on to the prepared sheet of greaseproof. Leave to cool for 30 minutes before breaking in to pieces (any leftover big pieces are particularly nice dipped in chocolate and left to set).
- To serve the sundaes, remove the ice cream from the freezer and allow to soften for 10 minutes. Build your sundae by alternating layers of ice cream, brownie and rhubarb before drizzling with the rhubarb juice and sprinkling with honeycomb. Top with a sprig of mint, a dusting of icing sugar, and enjoy!