William Harcourt-Cooze, a self-styled Willy Wonka, is launching what’s thought to be the strongest chocolate on sale in any UK supermarket. With 100% cacao content, the chocolate has such a powerful kick that it’s more suited for recipes than for nibbling.
Willie recommends the use of his chocolate in sweet and savoury dishes, including truffles, chocolate-marinated steak and soup. His unique Venezuelan Black is now hitting the Waitrose shelves after he impressed buyers with his passion and commitment to crafting the ultimate chocolate.
Willie’s lifelong quest to find the perfect chocolate and get it onto supermarket shelves is a labour of love that’s lasted more than a decade. But his passion for Venezuela goes back even further to a twist of fate nearly 20 years ago when his boat blew up off the coast of the South American country. He instantly fell in love with the country and its chocolate, which is regarded as the world’s finest and is prized by chocolate lovers worldwide.
He purchased his own land in Venezuela 11 years ago, and planted 10,000 cacao trees at the Hacienda El Tesoro below the cloud forests of the Henri Pittlier National Park. Soon afterwards, he set up a small chocolate factory in Devon and in his search for perfection, he even tracked down antique Spanish chocolate-making machinery.
“Chocolate is Willie’s life and his passion shows in the high quality of Venezuelan Black,” said Waitrose Home Baking Buyer, Christopher Moore. “Against all the odds, he has come up with a chocolate that takes your breath away. Willie’s cacao will inspire cooks to think about using chocolate in a different way.
“100% pure cacao is as perfect grated into gravy as it is for making the ultimate chocolate pud. A chocolate with 100% cacao content is something we haven’t offered our customers before. The strongest chocolate we currently offer is 85%. Venezuelan Black at 100% cacao certainly packs a punch and isn’t for the faint-hearted.”
Willie said: “Many people who knew me thought this was a madcap scheme, but for me it’s a passion and I’ve never been more serious about anything in my life. I’ve seen my Bank Manager more often than my wife in the last couple of years. But seeing the results of my labour on the supermarket shelves will be like a dream come true.”
Waitrose will be stocking all three cacao bars from Venezuelan Black.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019