Chocolate salad? Recipes to change how you think about sweet treats

Chocolate salad? Recipes to change how you think about sweet treats
A new cookbook has an important message for chocolate lovers, writes Keely Doll. There’s no reason you can’t enjoy it in every meal with these recipes

Chocolate lovers rejoice! You can now enjoy chocolate at all times of day, during every meal. Yep, you heard that correctly.

Jens Knoop, founder of the eponymous chocolate drinks cafe, has written a new cookbook, Knoops: Chocolate Through the Day, featuring 40 drinks and 20 dishes, both sweet and savoury, from around the world, to celebrate his favourite ingredient: chocolate. No longer reserved for dessert, the recipes include the likes of dark chocolate granola for breakfast, red endive salad for lunch and dinner treats such as chicken liver pate and chilli con carne.

Sweet tooths can still get their fix with tea-time delights such as financiers and tiger cake, or an indulgent chocolate dipping platter and the ultimate knickerbocker glory. Alongside dishes for all times of day, fans of the Knoop cafes will be delighted to see an array of expertly crafted drinks that you can recreate at home, from cocktails to share with friends and seasonal classics to some of Knoop’s favourite nightcaps for a good sleep.

Knoop discovered his love of chocolate growing up in rural Germany. Years later, he followed that passion to open the first Knoops in Rye, East Sussex. Following its overwhelming popularity, he now boasts two further stores in Kensington and Clapham, with two more due to open this summer in Chelsea and Brighton.

An advocate for experimentation with new flavours and methods, a process the chocolatier calls “Knoopology”, the book shows just how versatile our favourite confectionery can be.

Here are three perfect summer recipes extracted from the book to try.

Red pepper and puy lentil salad

Lentils are high in protein and low in fat

This salad is wonderful whether served warm or cold. The addition of 100 per cent dark chocolate flakes adds an earthy depth of flavour to the lentils.

Makes: 4 servings


4 red peppers

8-10 thyme sprigs

300g puy or small brown lentils

1 clove garlic, finely sliced

1 vegetable or chicken stock cube

Sea salt

Ground pepper

50g rocket leaves

50g flaked almonds

10g plain 100 per cent dark chocolate

50ml olive oil

½ tsp cayenne

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp tomato puree

Juice of one lime


1. Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan).

2. Core and deseed the peppers. Arrange them in a single layer in a roasting pan. Tuck in the herbs and scatter over the garlic. Drizzle the peppers with oil and season with salt and pepper.

3. Roast for 30-40 minutes until they are evenly cooked and caramelised at the edges. At this stage allow them to cool and slip off their skins. Slice them into thin rings.

4. Meanwhile, rinse the lentils in cold water, then simmer in fresh water with the stock cube for 20 minutes until the lentils are tender, but still holding their shape. Take the lentils off the heat and drain, then drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and stir through the chocolate to melt.

5. Whisk the dressing ingredients together until smooth.

6. Lay the lentils on the base of a shallow bowl or platter, cover with the rocket leaves and fan the peppers out on top. Serve the salad warm, or cold, drizzled with the dressing, and finish by sprinkling the flaked almonds and chocolate flakes all over the top.

Chicken liver pate

Dark chocolate adds a depth of flavour to this pate

A classic chicken liver pate is given an added depth of flavour by the addition of a little intense 100 per cent dark chocolate. It makes a wonderful starter, but another fun idea would be to spread it on crackers, or thin toast, and serve it as a canapé with drinks.


400g chicken livers

300g unsalted butter

1½ tsp brandy

15g 100 per cent dark chocolate flakes

Salt and pepper to season

To serve:

Choose any delicious crackers or gluten free crackers.


1. Pick over the chicken livers, and remove any yellowish bits with a sharp knife.

2. Heat a third of the butter in a small heavy pan. Cook the livers in it for 5 minutes, turning constantly. You want the outsides to be browned but not toughened, the insides pink but not raw. Lift the livers from the pan into the bowl of your food processor fixed with a blade.

3. Pour the brandy into the pan and allow it to sizzle for a moment, sprinkle the chocolate flakes onto the livers in the processor along with the rest of the butter. Pour the hot contents of the pan over the livers, butter and chocolate.

4. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and blend to a smooth paste. Use a spatula to spoon the mixture into a pot or bowl, smoothing down the top surface and cover with greaseproof paper.

5. Chill in the fridge. Enjoy eating the pate by spreading it onto a delicious cracker.

Chicory, pear, blue cheese and walnut salad

The flavours here contrast and complement one another

The contrasting and complimentary flavours of this crisp autumnal salad are as delicious as the colours on the plate.

Makes: 4 servings


2 ripe pears

2 heads red chicory

120g full flavoured blue cheese such as gorgonzola, roquefort or stilton

12 walnut halves, chopped into quarters

A couple of pinches 100 per cent dark chocolate flakes

5g 100 per cent dark chocolate flakes

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

1 tbsp mirin

4 tbsp olive oil


Ground pepper


1. Whisk together the dark chocolate, vinegar and mirin. Microwave for 10 seconds, or heat in a small pan over then whisk to melt the chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted and mixed in well, add the olive oil and whisk briskly to blend. Season to taste.

2. Slice the pears into eighths, and fan them out on the four plates. Separate the chicory leaves and scatter them on top, followed by the walnuts. Pour the dressing lightly over everything. Break the cheese into bitesize pieces and dot them across the plates.

3. Finally sprinkle the 100% chocolate flakes lightly over each plate. Enjoy.

‘Knoops: Chocolate Recipes Through the Day’ by Jens Knoop will be out in August, and will be stocked online and in all Knoops stores


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