Ingredient of the week: Chocolate

Dark, milk or white, punctuated with raisins, nuts or spices, chocolate has limitless kitchen potential.

It can be used in cake, mousses, sauces, ice cream, milk shakes, sorbets and truffles – and that's just the beginning.

It adds a mysterious, darker element to game sauces and stews, in much the same way molé is used in South America. Indeed we have a lot to thank the original inhabitants of Mexico for, as it was the Aztecs who first prepared the bitter drink known as chocolatl. Interesting too that after years of sweeter and sweeter chocolates we seem to have come full circle in rediscovering chocolate's strong, heady roots.

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