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Six Course Chocolate Themed Dinner – Our Big Night In

Chocolate Dinner Party

When issued with a challenge by MoneySupermarket to stay at home and have a fun night in, rather than a fun night out and be given £50 to make this happen, there was simply no resisting. CT and I are homely bods and rarely spend that sort of money on a night out, but given this opportunity, my thoughts quickly turned to a rather indulgent night in. I would host a dinner party, not just any old dinner party but a six course chocolate themed dinner. I expect this comes as no surprise to anyone, the only wonder is, why haven’t I done it before?

Flavours of the Middle East

A bit of planning, a lot of shopping and a fair bit of cooking resulted in a brilliant night in with four of our friends. I’d recently seen a picture of a falafel salad in my Co-operative members magazine, which inspired me to create a Middle Eastern mezze type of meal – vegetarian of course. I’ve always been a big fan of Middle Eastern food, something to do with my Egyptian inheritance, I expect. Three years ago I attended a Middle Eastern Mezze course at Rachel Demuth’s Vegetarian Cookery School and learnt to make a few things I was less familiar with. As well as an introduction to sumac and pomegranate molasses, neither of which I’d come across before, I particularly valued learning how to wrap food into neat filo triangles. These had to feature for sure.

Six Course Chocolate Themed Dinner for Six

Course 1

Rum chocolate shots served with olives marinaded in oregano and olive oil.

Chocolate Rum Shots
Chocolate and Rum Shots
Course 2

Spinach, goat’s cheese and chocolate filo triangles.

Spinach, goat's cheese and chocolate filo triangles
Spinach, Goat’s Cheese and Chocolate Filo Triangles
Course 3

Chocolate dukkah served with olive oil and what was meant to be homemade flatbreads, but looked more like misshapen rolls. The idea is to dip the bread in the olive oil and then the dukkah.

Chocolate Dukkah
Chocolate Dukkah
Chocolate Dukkah with Bread and Oil for Dipping
Course 4

Chocolate falafel served with a mixed salad in tahini dressing and drizzled with chocolate balsamic vinegar. This was also accompanied by a NON chocolate dish – sumac roasted vegetable and halloumi couscous. Cornish asparagus was still in season, so made its way into the roasted vegetables.

Falafels

Fingers off those falafels, Dr M

Tahini Salad

Mixed Salad with Tahini Dressing and Spiced Chocolate Balsamic Drizzle

Roasted Veg & Halloumi Couscous

Sumac roasted Vegetable and Halloumi Couscous

Middle Eastern Vegetarian Mezze Platter
Middle Eastern Vegetarian Mezze Platter
Course 5

Rhubarb and white chocolate ripple ice-cream with rhubarb and white chocolate friands. The friands were meant to accompany the ice-cream, but I failed to remove it from the freezer early enough, so we whiled away the thawing time by eating the friands.

Rhubarb and White Chocolate Friands
Rhubarb and White Chocolate Friands
Rhubarb and White Chocolate Ice Cream
Rhubarb and White Chocolate Ripple Ice Cream
Course 6

Coffee accompanied by goat’s cheese chocolate truffles.

Chocolate and Goats Cheese Truffles
Chocolate and Goat’s Cheese Truffles

I was aiming for understatement rather than an in your face everything-tastes-of-chocolate style event. And I was really pleased with the result. Full details of the recipes will be posted at a later date. Apart from the shots and the truffles, I used the chocolate to add depth and interest rather than as a stand alone flavour. The chocolate shots were, of course, delectable and the goat’s cheese truffles every bit as good as I hoped they might be. Everyone seemed thoroughly delighted by the experience and we all enjoyed our six course chocolate themed dinner Big Night In.

Big Night In

All those participating in this challenge are being entered into a competition, with the lucky winner garnering a prize of £500. That’s ten chocolate themed dinners according to my reckoning.

Many thanks to MoneySupermarket for this opportunity to push the boat out and have a splendid Big Night In. I’m not qualified to say whether they’re correct and “staying in is the new going out”; one thing ‘s for sure, though, there is no way six of us could have eaten out so well for £50, or anything like it. Factor in the chocolate theme and it gets even more unlikely.

 

17 Comments

  1. hungryhinny.com

    7th July 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Oh my gosh – can you please invite me around for dinner?! This looks incredible! I like how the chocolate is in the savoury dishes fairly subtly, I imagine the chocolate dukkah would work really well, and love the sound of the salad with tahini and chocolate balsamic… very creative!

    Reply
  2. Alida

    7th July 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Wow!I really love your menu! I do love Middle Eastern food too. I wish I was one of your guests: all looks so delicious! I love that colourful salad and basically all the courses. Well done you!

    Reply
  3. The Ordinary Cook

    8th July 2013 at 8:26 am

    What a wonderful menu, I am looking forward to the recipes.

    Reply
  4. Foodycat

    8th July 2013 at 10:57 am

    What an inventive meal! It does look lovely.

    Reply
  5. Christian Halfmann

    8th July 2013 at 4:29 pm

    That was really great, I love the idea of having six courses meals (or like that). When I read the title, I was wondering, how you manage that with the chocolate. It all looks very brilliant to me (and makes me think of that silent neighbour thingy again 🙂 hm …. ). Well, there really should be more days in like this with firends …

    Reply
  6. Janine

    8th July 2013 at 8:27 pm

    The menu looks delicious – I bet your guests enjoyed themselves. I have yet to try chocolate in a savoury dish but I imagine it works very well!

    Reply
  7. talesofpiglingbland

    8th July 2013 at 9:22 pm

    WOW! That’s a brilliant menu. I only learned about Dukkah recently through the NOMAD box. It’s lovely and I can imagine that a chocolate one would work really well. x ps. Hungry Hinny, I will fight you for the dinner invite.

    Reply
  8. Susan Lindquist

    9th July 2013 at 12:55 am

    You have outdone yourself on this meal! Fantastic! So much imagination in putting the chocolate element throughout! I am particularly intrigued by the dukkah and the salad with the chocolate falafel!

    Reply
  9. Karen S Booth

    9th July 2013 at 6:27 pm

    WOW! What a GREAT menu! I love how you have woven chocolate into every course too! Karen

    Reply
  10. Katie

    10th July 2013 at 5:32 am

    Wow it all looks and sounds sensational! You should start a supper club with everything chocolate themed – it’d be a huge hit!

    Reply
  11. Katharine

    10th July 2013 at 9:06 am

    Inspired and original! What a fabulous meal – I just wish I could have been one of your lucky guests, it all looks so delicious!

    Reply
  12. Galina Varese

    10th July 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Oh my, that’s a very inspired dinner menu. I’ve seen a few posts for the Big Night In, but yours is a true winner, so original.

    Reply
  13. Angie Schneider

    10th July 2013 at 3:41 pm

    wow a 6-course chocolate menu…sounds and looks marvelous!

    Reply
  14. fiona maclean

    2nd August 2013 at 2:23 pm

    And this is a great example of one I missed! I did see it, and I meant to comment when you first posted, but I was REALLY busy!!!

    It DOES look fabulous – I love the idea of chocolate Dukkah:)

    Reply
  15. JM Daum

    2nd August 2013 at 7:10 pm

    I’m so glad you added this post to the Fab Fridays Linky. I immediately added it to my pâtissier escape route (for people who dream of chocolate as they commute).

    Reply
  16. Elizabeth S

    2nd August 2013 at 9:14 pm

    This sounds absolutely amazing! Yum indeed!

    Reply
  17. Baking Addict

    3rd August 2013 at 9:29 pm

    I am definitely not surprised that you created a chocolate themed menu but I never expected a middle eastern theme. Everything sounds delicious and I wish I could try everything especially the chocolate falafels. Staying in is definitely the new going out 🙂

    Reply

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