The Easter weekend is an exciting, busy time for Lorraine Meaney, Cape Grace’s head pastry chef. On any given day, she is responsible for all the breads, pastries, cakes, desserts and handmade chocolates – all made on the premises. At Easter, spicy hot cross buns, traditional cakes and handmade chocolate bunnies are added to the list, as I discovered while chatting to Lorraine about chocolate.
Which chocolate do you like to use?
We use Valrhona from France in our pastry department. Many varieties of this top-quality couverture chocolate derive from superior cocoa plantations all over the world. My favourite is Valrhona Nyangbo 68%, a single-origin chocolate from Ghanaian cocoa plantations with a subtle acidity and warm, spicy notes.
Do you rate any of our local chocolates?
I am a fan of the locally produced DV Artisan Chocolates – they are very well made and have interesting flavour notes.
What’s the best way to appreciate quality chocolate?
Baking dulls the fIavour of chocolate, while cold preparations highlight the complexity of chocolate. In my opinion, chocolate is always best eaten in the form of a truffle, praline or, of course, an Easter egg or Easter bunny. When working with top-quality couvertures like Valrhona, I am always very cautious about adding other flavours due to the chocolate’s unique flavour complexity.
What can Cape Grace guests expect from the pastry kitchen over the Easter weekend?
I know we will be making lots and lots of hot cross buns! They will be on the breakfast buffet and there will also be a choice of hot cross buns, instead of scones, for Afternoon Tea. We will offer a traditional Simnel cake in the Library too. On Saturday evening, the children of our in-house guests will each receive a handcrafted chocolate bunny on their pillow – an edible invitation to join in a special Cape Grace Easter egg hunt on Sunday morning hosted by none other than the Easter Bunny.
Off duty, what is your all-time favourite chocolate treat?
I love really good-quality dark chocolate, so anything made with that. I also love raspberry and chocolate as a flavour combination.
Blog by Jane Broughton
Image by Mandy Rutherford
copyright © Cape Grace 2013