A Glug of Oil

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My Day with Jean-Christophe Novelli and Carte D'Or Ice Cream Sundays

I still can't believe how lucky I was to be invited to a Carte D'Or Dessert Masterclass with Jean-Christophe Novelli at his cooking academy (and home) a lovely 14th Century Farmhouse, in Hertfordshire last week. It was a seriously fantastic day!  It took me not too far short of 5 hours to get there by train; no point in me driving - too much Champagne and wine would have been missed!  

Carte D'Or have just bought out a couple of new flavours to their already scrummy and excellent range of ice creams. Macadamia Night and Cherry Blossom as part of their 'Ice Cream Sundays' Campaign....Mmmm Mmm!

After my quite traumatic taxi journey from the train station to the academy (which should have taken 10 minutes) 45 minutes later I arrived.  Turns out I got probably the only taxi driver in the world that despite using sat-nav, had no idea where he was going - but fancied he wouldn't tell me that until we'd set off!  Anyway, all was well and I got there in the end.  What a lovely place Jean-Christophe lives and works in - this is part of his garden: 

Once inside I almost fell over when I saw his oven!....It is HUMONGOUS and this is just half of it!

He sat and chatted to us, answering all our questions; nothing was too much trouble.

So, after a coffee and a chat, we were all now with Champagne in hand and listening to his every word......

Jean-Christophe first showed us how to make the starters we were having - Sea-bass with a tomato sauce which I must say was just the best thing ever.

 In a later post I will attempt (if I can) and without the aid of a safety net, to make it myself and try and show you what I mean.  The tomato sauce was by no means 'ordinary'.

We then had a main dish of pork belly which had been cooking for almost 6 hours along with Boulangere potatoes.  He made a gravy using the remains of some filter coffee adding a little cocoa powder....Delish is the only word.  Check out the wine glasses - they were the size of gold-fish bowls!

As I write I'm thinking a separate post would be good to show you the other desserts he made, or you'd be here till midnight night reading.

So for now, I'll just show you Jean-Christophe Novelli's 'Chocolate Trio'
Using 'Macadamia Night' ice cream by Carte D'Or.

This is really lovely, but very rich, so you'll only need small coffee cups to serve.  

From Jean-Christophe Novelli via the Carte D'Or website

Serves: 12

600ml semi skimmed milk
Half vanilla pod without its seeds
400g bitter chocolate, 70% cocoa solids broken up in bits
100g sieved chocolate powder
100g white chocolate
100ml double cream
2-3 dessert spoons whisky
1 tub Cart D’Or Macadamia Night ice cream


Step one
Pop a heavy saucepan onto the hob and heat for 30 seconds. Add the milk and the vanilla so that they all muddle and mix together. When the mixture’s is hot (not boiling), add the chocolate and take it off the heat, but keep stirring it until it’s rich and glossy.

Step two
Remove the vanilla pod and add 2 dessert spoons of your favourite whisky and stir

Step three
Spoon out the mixture into 12 ramekins, filling them about halfway up. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes

Step four
While they are chilling, place the cream in a hot pan and warm up, but do not boil, add the white chocolate, take off the heat and stir until the chocolate is totally melted, add a splash of whisky and stir. Leave to cool down for 10 minutes

Step five
Place a generous helping of Cart D’Or Macadamia Night Ice Cream on top of the dark chocolate mousse, top with the white chocolate mixture. Lightly dust with cocoa powder and decorate with a sprig of mint, then serve up and lose yourself in chocolate heaven.
Later he showed us how to make spun sugar:

As I say, I'll do another post later with some more yummy recipes. To finish off the day Jean-Christophe poured us all a coffee.

He was so sweet - he even asked me about my holiday!

We all received an unexpected cookery book from him and of course, being such a nice person he signed them for us.  The lovely Michelle from Utterly Scrummy blog was there too.

Sadly the day came to an end - but not without a picture!

A great big thank you goes to Jean-Christophe Novelli, Neil and Mel, and of course Carte D'Or for inviting me.  I had a seriously fantastic day.


  1. I have serious oven envy now Jan, it's beautiful!
    The ice cream recipe looks fabulous too. What's chocolate powder though?

  2. Nic - It's drinking chocolate.

  3. Oh thanks! I was thinking it probably was, but you never know with ingredients these days. xx

  4. How wonderful! It was lovely to share the day through your post!

  5. What a fab day Jan! Of course that smile on your face standing next to "him" says it all! xxoo

  6. Hi there Jan, sorry it's been so long - but what a post I return to - WOW!! How lucky you are to have such a fab day - you are very deserving though :) The ice-cream sounds delish - I will look out for these ranges. Hope you are well. Lucie x

  7. Was a lovely day wasn't it?

  8. Oh Jan, I'm so jealous! Looks like you had an amazing day; definitely worth the 5 hour train journey (and 45 mins in the cab, eek!). I want that house!!

  9. I would have swooned and fainted. Seriously that man is gorgeous! LOL

  10. Wow what a wonderful day! Glad you had such a great time with some inspiring recipes :)


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