I like the idea of the ocean as a garden. That means I can eat the weeds as well.
During the Good Food Show in London, I came across a number of exhibitors. One of the first – and also one of the more exciting – was Mara Seaweed. Their stall was quite simple, yet attractive, with a number of different seaweed to try out. One of my favourites was pepper dulse – it’s a bit like truffle, garlic and pepper, with the taste lingering and changing on your tongue. I didn’t even know seaweed could taste this way – I haven’t really had a lot of seaweed before either, apart from in sushi. Needless to say, this was nothing like the toasted nori sheets.
I bought a three-pack (pepper dulse, shony and kombu) and decided to try them out. My first one was a dish with lentils, fennel and onions for a salmon with licorice sauce (recipe to follow!) But for some reason, I kept thinking about chocolate. Yeah, I do that a lot, but for some reason, I kept thinking about chocolate and seaweed. I needed to try it out. So I did.
I ended up with «sea truffle chocolate truffles» – which were surprisingly good! After chopping up 200 grams of 70% chocolate, I boiled 100 mls of whipping cream and about a teaspoon of pepper dulse and poured it over the chocolate, stirred it all until the chocolade was melted (you need to chop the chocolate quite finely to ensure it melts evenly) and put it in the fridge for about two hours. After that, I took teaspoonsful of chocolate, rolled them first in cocoa powder, made little balls and then sprinkled more pepper dulse on top.
The result is a rich, dark chocolate truffle with a hint of salt and the sea, but also a touch of truffle and the merest hint of pepper. As they’re so dark, you couldn’t eat more than a couple (even I couldn’t eat more than two), but it’s a great finish to a lighter meal of seafood. Perhaps this – or a variety of it – might even in a three course seafood menu? Anyway, thank you to Mara for your brilliant products which I definitely will try again.