Mushroom & Chocolate Risotto


Welcome to my 101st post (just noticed). Not quite the Cloud Forest Cake which I said was going to be the first thing I made from Willie’s Chocolate Factory Cookbook, but a vegetarian dinner recipe instead.

This is what I did to make a meal for the two of us:
  • Soaked 50g mixed dried mushrooms in 600 ml hot water in a pan for 1/2 an hour, then brought up to a near simmer.
  • Added 1 tbsp of tamari and a few drops of hot chilli sauce.
  • Fried 1/2 a finely chopped onion and 2 cloves of chopped garlic in some olive oil on a low heat until translucent.
  • Added 15g butter and 125g arborio rice, stirred and left this for a few minutes for the rice to absorb some of the butter.
  • Poured some of the mushrooms and stock into the rice and stirred until liquid absorbed. Continued to do this until the stock was finished. Covered with a lid, turned the heat off and left for a few minutes to ensure liquid was fully absorbed and rice properly cooked.
  • Stirred in a scant tbsp of Willie’s grated cacao, ground black pepper and a handful each of chopped parsley and rocket.
  • Served in bowls with shavings of Ilha Graciosa (an unpasteurised cow’s milk cheese from Portugal).
I love mushroom risotto, it always seems to turn out well and has a satisfyingly earthy flavour. This is the first time I’ve ever made it with only dried mushrooms, and although it didn’t have quite the bite to it that it does if made with fresh mushrooms, it was still very tasty. This is also the first time I’ve made it with chocolate and I thought it worked well, contributing to the depth of flavour without making itself obvious. By substituting a bit of extra olive oil for the butter and not adding the cheese on top, you have a tasty vegan meal. This is a nice simple supper dish as well as being a great store cupboard standby and I will most certainly be making it again.


  1. Leave a Reply

    20th May 2010

    At first I thought this sounded odd but thinking about it I can imagine the earthy mushroom working really well with the dark bitter chocolate. Thanks for making me think outside the box!

  2. Leave a Reply

    Ananda Rajashekar
    20th May 2010

    Congrats :)….Wow, very rare combination, great to know! am looking fwd for your cloud forest cake :p

  3. Leave a Reply

    20th May 2010

    What a wonderful combination – this looks so tasty. I love mushroom risotto too. Thanks for your kind messages about Rosie – we’ll all miss her. Lucie x

  4. Leave a Reply

    20th May 2010

    I love mushroom risotto. Haven’t added chocolate before. Must try it. I do add it to my chilli, so it is not such a strange concept. Where did you get Willy’s chocolate from?

  5. Leave a Reply

    20th May 2010

    Ah I saw this recipe and thought it might work but now you have absolutely confirmed it for me! I bet it really charged up the mushroom flavour too!

  6. Leave a Reply

    M D
    20th May 2010

    Awesome looking Mushroom & Chocolate Risotto. I sure thaey must have been a hit! That must be a nice combo.

  7. Leave a Reply

    20th May 2010

    Congrats on your 101th post! Well Done! Your risotto looks delicious though this is the first time I see grated cocoa added. I’m sure it adds flavour and colour.

  8. Leave a Reply

    20th May 2010

    This seems like one of those “so odd it might just work” recipes, I can imagine it would taste surprisingly good! Congrats on your 101st post thats amazing! :)

  9. Leave a Reply

    20th May 2010

    What a great recipe – I have been reading up on South American recipes recently (we are off to Argentina in 2 weeks!) and have tried cooking meat dishes with chocolate. I guess this is the next thing I sghall try! Thanks, Choclette!

  10. Leave a Reply

    Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    20th May 2010

    I’ve tried this as well, Choclette, and was astonished how well the cacao went with the mushrooms! It’s an amazingly good combo, provided you don’t go to heavy on the chocolate. Yours looks delicious, must try it again with dried mushrooms. I also added a little white wine to mine.

  11. Leave a Reply

    20th May 2010

    Katie – I guess it’s often good to step outside one’s boundaries sometimes.

    Gill – it did work well.

    Ananda – thank you. Yes I need to get on with that cake, it’s just there are so many interesting cakes to make!

    Sushma – do you think you might give it a try?

    Lucie – thank you. It’s horribly sad news. I had a look at all the comments over on Maria’s site and it sounds as though she will indeed be very much missed.

    Jacqueline – Waitrose sell his cocoa and his chocolate and it’s a lot cheaper than buying it on his own website, although still not that cheap. A little does go a long way though.

    Gillian – mushrooms well and truly charged.

    Thank you MD

    MaryMoh – thank you, it sure is worth a try.

    Catherine – thank you, I’m rather surprised myself and didn’t know I could be so prolific!

    Wendy – oooh, Argentina sounds very exciting. Shall have to take a look at your blog to see what you are up to.

    Pam – thank you although it was Willie’s idea not mine.

    Celia – yes thank you for warning me about the amount of cocoa used. I can see that too much might have tipped the balance. If I’d had any white wine open, I would have used that too. Neither CT and I are great drinkers so it never seems worth it to open a bottle for cooking if we are unlikely to polish it off. It does give a nice finish to risotto though.

  12. Leave a Reply

    21st May 2010

    It looks and sounds delicious. That cheese sounds worth a try, I have never heard of it.

  13. Leave a Reply

    21st May 2010

    Happy 101st post Hun. Still not sure how I feel about chocolate / cocoa in savory food. But maybe I should actually give it a try before I rule it out …

  14. Leave a Reply

    21st May 2010

    Kath – the cheese was good, we got it in Waitrose (it was on offer).

    Chele – you keep saying that…..!

  15. Leave a Reply

    21st May 2010

    Congratulations, that’s a lot of blogging. I love the sound of that cheese too.

  16. Leave a Reply

    22nd May 2010

    101 posts- well done! Thats a funky combo for a risotto. I love trying different cheeses, they can really bring out the most of a risotto- I had a hard spanish goat one at tapas a few nights ago- deelicious.

  17. Leave a Reply

    Chocolate Cardamom Cappuccino
    22nd May 2010

    Historically as you know chocolate was actaully savoury because the Aztecs used a very bitter chocolate that was nearly a hundred per cent cocoa. It was only when the Spaniards brought it back and mixed it with cream and sugar to get milk chocolate that chocolate changed. There are still many recipe in Mexico today with chocolate such as mole sauce. Try a cube of dark bitter chorolate in your chillli con carne and watCh it come alive.

  18. Leave a Reply

    22nd May 2010

    Oxslip & CityHippy – thank you. Along with chocolate, cheese is another one of my downfalls!

    CCC – I know that chocolate is used in savoury dishes in parts of Central and South America, it’s just difficult for us Brits to get our heads around – we are so used to the sweet stuff. I do use cocoa when making refried beans, but haven’t actually tried chocolate so thank you for that tip – can see a batch of chilli coming up soon (without the carne though as I’m vegetarian).

  19. Leave a Reply

    23rd May 2010

    I often make risotto with dried mushrooms because I’m a forgetful shopper, but I think the chocolate would add a lovely dark edge -definitely one to try, and I guess the same might go for a soup with similar ingredients…

  20. Leave a Reply

    23rd May 2010

    I’ve made a few savoury chocolate dishes, but I never thought to add it to risotto! This sounds really interesting and good.

  21. Leave a Reply

    23rd May 2010

    I’m another one of the never tried savoury chocolate dishes people out there. But I always make mushroom risotto with a combo of dried porcini and fresh mushrooms, one day I’ll brave the savoury chocolate dishes, something like strawberries with black pepper and balsamic vinegar, sounds odd but really good, I bet!

  22. Leave a Reply

    23rd May 2010

    Liz – crikey soup, that is pushing the boat out, but you’re right it could work. I’ll await with interest to see if you can find a suitable festival for chocolate soup.

    Foodycat – I’ll have to go back and check out your blog now and see what you’ve been making.

    Joanna – I have tried strawberries with balsamic and pepper and it was good, but not quite what you expect from a bowl of strawberries.

  23. Leave a Reply

    Johanna GGG
    27th May 2010

    wow I love chocolate in savoury dishes – have actually had finely grated chocolate on beetroot risotto and loved it – and I think this sounds wonderful

  24. Leave a Reply

    27th May 2010

    Johanna – umm like the idea of beetroot risotto and can see that chocolate would go very well with that. I still haven’t really got my head around chocolate and savoury so keep forgetting to try it out on things.

  25. Leave a Reply

    Grazing Kate
    27th May 2010

    Hi Choclette, I made the cloud forest cake a few months ago – it is squidgy, rich and yummy, but expensive and it takes the whole of the Willi’s bar of chocolate. It was good, but I wanted to save my li’l barrel of choc and not squander it all in one go!

    Worth making though – but it’s not going to be one of my regular ‘must makes’

  26. Leave a Reply

    28th May 2010

    Kate – yes I’ve heard from many that this cake is really good, but it has been the expense that’s put me off a bit. I will get there, but feel it needs to be a special occasion cake, just waiting for the right occassion. I’m trying to find a cheaper source of 100% cocoa chocolate over in the UK, but haven’t had much luck yet.

  27. Leave a Reply

    1st December 2010

    willies cloud cake is excellent takes about three times longer to cook it than the recipe says……
    so where’s the chocolate log recipe? if this is a true chocolate log blog. I’m looking for a recipe that I can bastardise and use loads of willies chocolat in

  28. Leave a Reply

    1st December 2010

    Ha ha, caught me out. I did try and remedy the situation last Christmas and made a Chocolate Chestnut Log.

    I guess it really depends how you define a chocolate log. Also made a blackcurrant roulade earlier this year which you’ll find under the label roulade.

    Thanks for the cloud cake tip – still looking forward to making that one 😉

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