IN THE MIX. Food Quarter interviews Jane Williams.
A CHILDHOOD FOOD MEMORY:
A Swiss chocolate bar called a 'branche', filled with hazelnut praline, and coated with milk chocolates containing small pieces of hazelnut - and wrapped in brightly coloured foil. We lived in Switzerland for a couple of years when I was very young, and this is one of my earliest chocolate memories!
A FAVOURITE FAMILY DISH:
The chocolate pudding recipe that my husband taught me. It is so rich and decadent, but fascinating to make. You pour the sauce on the top of the sponge mixture, and by the time it has baked, the sauce is at the bottom! It is rich and chocolatey enough even for me, and has become our favourite desert.
A FOOD THAT INSPIRED YOU:
Toffee apples. Not the artificial, sugary fairground ones, but the homemade toffee ones. They are so delicious, but really a bit traicky to eat. So I created a chocolate that has the freshness of apples in a chewy, creamy caramel with a hint of cinnamon.
A WINE THAT INSPIRED YOU:
Although its not a wine, I was recently inspired by the Finnish blackcurrant drink 'Glogg' and created a dark chocolate ganache truffle based on its dark fruits and aromatic spices.
A RESTAURANT YOU RETURN TO TIME AND AGAIN:
Blackfriars, Newcastle. Fresh produce, big flavours and a lovely atmosphere.
AN INSPIRATIONAL CHEF:
Philippe Burger, the Swiss Master Chocolatier I trained under. I have a huge amount of respect for his lifelong dedication to chocolate, and also his unassuming and encouraging nature as I worked alongside him for seven years. I owe so much to him.
THE LAST MEAL YOU ATE:
Rump steak with a stilton sauce and fresh British vegetables. I discovered stilton relatively late in life, and am making up for my mistake!
YOUR LAST FOOD AND DRINK WOULD BE:
Amedei 'Chuao' chocolate with a pot of tea. It's the finest chocolate I've tasted, made by an Italian company who source their beans from one of the oldest plantations in South America.
FAVOURITE FOOD CITY:
Graz, Austria. I spent a year studying at university in this little known Austrian city. Top food highlights would have been the Wiener Scnitzel, Kase-spatzle (homemade cheesy noodles), Marillen Knodel (apricot dumplings), and marzipan stollen. I usually try to go skiing in Austria, and its always partly because of their wonderful food.
Chocolate! There are over 300 different chemical components in chocolate, making it such a unique ingredient. The flavours and textures are fascinating to work with, and the possibilities seem endless.
THE RECIPE YOU WOULD PASS ONTO YOUR CHILDREN:
If we have children, I would love to pass on some of my chocolate recipes - both ones that I have inherited (like traditional fudge and caramel) or some of my own creations that I am proud of - such as my Raspberry & Rose chocolate, or my Ginger & Lemongrass Truffle.