Chocolate recipes for Easter

The seed of the cacao tree has been considered a precious delicacy for over 4,000 years.

Chocolate recipes: Lémuria’s chocolate and coconut nougat nest with chocolate ganache

Chocolate recipes: Lémuria’s chocolate and coconut nougat nest with chocolate ganache

From its origins as a medical cure via a religious offering to its position today as one of the world’s favourite treats, chocolate has become an integral part of many cultures around the world.

In recent years scientists have even come to agree with the ancient Mayans that it has important medicinal properties because of its richness in large flavonoid molecules known to help maintain cardiovascular health.

To get you in the mood for some chocolate-indulgence this Easter, here’s the first of a selection of chocolate recipes from our sweet-toothed chefs at Constance.

Recipe I: Halaveli’s Chocolate ice cream

Ingredients

  • 2kg full fat milk
  • 90g milk powder
  • 200g sugar
  • 180g invert sugar
  • 12g stabiliser
  • 540g guanaja chocolate

1. Take some of the sugar and mix with the stabiliser. Heat the milk powder.

2. At 30ºC add the sugar and inverted sugar.

3. At 45ºC add the sugar and stabiliser mixture and the chopped or melted chocolate. Mix vigorously and let cool in the fridge or freezer.

4. Leave for 4-12 hours at +4ºC, then mix vigorously with an electric mixer to obtain a homogeneous mass. Store at -18ºC and serve between
-10ºC and -12ºC.

Recipe II: Lémuria’s chocolate and coconut nougat nest with chocolate ganache

Ingredients (serves 4)

Chocolate and coconut nougat nest:

  • 250g fresh coconut (prepared in julienne style)
  • 500g white sugar
  • 15g vanilla essence
  • 5g nutmeg powder
  • 125g dark chocolate

1. Heat a saucepan and add the sugar, let it melt until it’s golden brown caramel then add the fresh coconut followed by the vanilla and nutmeg.

2. Stir well and add the dark chocolate, mix until the chocolate melts.

3. Place the nougat in a paper case in the shape of a nest and let it set.
Top with little candy Easter eggs.

Chocolate ganache:

Ingredients

  • 500g fresh cream
  • 500g dark chocolate semi-sweet

1. Boil the cream and pour on to the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted.

2. Let it cool down, then pour on to the coco nests.

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Culinary Festival fever mounts in Mauritius

As excitement continues to build for this year’s Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau we introduce the chefs and journalists who will bring the event to life over the next few days.

Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Reporting on the event and bringing us all the up-to-the-minute drama from the various teams will be festival co-founder, Constance’s Bruno Le Gac, and international luxury lifestyle journalist Peter Bojesen from Luxury Aficionados.

Bruno says: ‘It started with an idea to honour the legacy of the great chef Bernard Loiseau, and propose something that he would be proud of,’ Bruno explained.

‘When we first had the idea, we didn’t know what or how we would do it… but we knew that we wanted to create something true, sincere, with spirit, not just a business event, but a festival with a soul.’

Now in its 9th year the festival has gone from strength to strength, each year bringing together some of the world’s top chefs to share expertise, passion and guidance with the best of Constance’s own chefs.

Michelin-star chefs taking part:

Masters at work

Masters at work

These prestigious European chefs will be teamed with the very best of our island chefs to create six separate teams who will compete in a week-long culinary challenge.

Other highlights include:

  • The 6 stars dinner
  • The Culinary Festival cocktail competition
  • A wine competition
  • An art of the table competition.

Book a last minute break to Mauritius

There is plenty for guests to enjoy throughout the Festival with special festival dinners being hosted at both Constance Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice – see our Passion for Gastronomy Offer.

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2 ways to cook fish in the Seychelles

Chef Aviraj Pareeague from Constance Lémuria shares his knowledge of fish and how to cook them Seychellois style.

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

The Seychelles archipelago of 115 islands spreads over 1,200km, including large areas of national marine parks. Plentiful in the clear waters of our beautiful lagoons, fish is one of the main staples of Seychellois cuisine and features on everyone’s table almost every day.

Bourgeois (the most popular), Jobfish, Carangue, Vieille rouge, Vieille grise, Gueule longue, Bécune, Parrot fish, Madame berry, Maero, Kakatwa, Bonite… are found every day at the local markets or at stalls along the roads, caught and sold by local fishermen. The call of a conch shell announces a fresh catch and locals hurry to buy the fresh fish.

At Constance Lémuria, we have the freedom to create a selection of delectable dishes. But most of the time, thanks to the excellent quality of the product, a fish perfectly cooked, either steamed or grilled, with a Creole sauce, a side and some fresh vegetables, is just perfect.

Here is one of our Parrot fish recipes from the Beach Bar & Grill restaurant located on the beautiful Petite Anse Kerlan.

Recipe: Pan seared Parrot fish with local spices, breadfruit mash, banana curry, Chayote comfit and light curry sauce

Ingredients (Serves 2)

Breadfruit mash:

  • 400g breadfruit
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 2g curry powder
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Peel the breadfruit and cut it into big chunks. Place it in an oven tray, cover with chicken stock, curry leaves, curry powder, salt and pepper and seal tight with aluminum foil.

Bake for 25 to 30 min at 180ºC (or till soft). Mash the breadfruit with butter and chicken stock (as needed to obtain a soft mash). Season to taste and set aside.

Fish in the Seychelles: Bourgeois

The vibrant Bourgeois

Banana curry:

  • 400g of banana St Jacques
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 30g chopped onions
  • 10g chopped garlic
  • 10g of chopped ginger
  • 4g turmeric
  • 4g curry powder
  • 20g of diced peeled tomatoes
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Blanch the banana St Jacques with their skins in boiling water for 30 min or till soft.

Cool down, remove the skin and grate the flesh. Set aside.

Sautée garlic, ginger and onion in butter till light brown then add curry leaves, turmeric, curry powder and mix together.

Add the grated banana to the pan and mix together well. Finally add the tomato. Season to taste.

Chayote confit:

  • 200g chayote
  • 6g aniseed
  • 6g sugar
  • 5g butter

Peel the chayote and slice it very thin (1mm). Comfit in a pan using the butter, sugar and aniseed for 5-6 min on a low heat. Set aside.

Light curry sauce:

  • 200ml fish stock
  • 30g chopped garlic
  • 20g chopped ginger
  • 20g of chopped onion
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 5g curry powder
  • 4g turmeric
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sautée in a pan the onion, garlic and ginger till light brown.

Add the curry powder, turmeric, curry leaves and mix well.

Add the fish stock and reduce by half. Now add the coconut milk powder and bring to the boil.

Blend the sauce. Pass it through sieve, montee with butter, season to taste.

Fish in the Seychelles

Fish in the Seychelles

For decoration:

  • 1 banana St Jacques
  • Sliced coconut
  • 10 curry leaves

Slice the banana longwise to a thickness of 1mm and deep fry in oil at 170ºC, then dry on paper towel.

Dry out the thin slices of coconut in an oven at 140ºC.

Deep fry the curry leaves in hot oil and dry on paper towel.

For presentation:

  • Sear the Parrot fish in oil and butter on both side and then finish the cooking in a hot oven
  • Heat the breadfruit mash and banana curry and place nicely in the bowl
  • Decorate with banana chips, dry coconut slice and deep fried curry leaves and lemon.
  • Place the sauce in a dip bowl

Recipe II: Fish Carpaccio

We couldn’t resist giving you this delicious carpaccio recipe… quick, healthy and delicious.

Ingredients (serves 10)

  • 3kg fish
  • 500g mixed salad
  • 50g chopped shallots
  • 500g carrots
  • 500g turnips
  • 500g oranges
  • 500g lime
  • Handful of parsley
  • 200ml Olive oil
  • Salt and white pepper powder to taste

Make your citrus dressing using orange and lime juice reduction, then whisk it with olive oil and add some mustard seed. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the fish in thin slices, place it flat on the plate then add sea salt, white pepper powder and chopped shallots, then add your dressing and petit crouton.

On top you can add your mixed salad together with your carrots, chopped in a julienne style, with olive oil and vinaigrette.

Visit our website for more information on Constance Lémuria.

 

Candlelit beach dining at Halaveli’s Meeru restaurant

Experience the laid back charm of dining by candlelight on the powder-white sand at Meeru, the beachside restaurant at Constance Halaveli.

Beach dining at Meeru

Beach dining at Meeru

Watch the sun sink into the ocean as you enjoy sumptuous fine dining with sand between your toes at this evening-only beach restaurant.

Take in the stunning ocean views while you enjoy freshly caught fish, ripe tropical fruits and vegetables prepared with Maldivian spices.

Recent delicacies added to the menu by our Executive Chef Jordi Vila include:

  • Tuna Carpaccio with avocado, fennel salad and lime
  • Argentinian style ‘provoleta cheese’ with oregano and chilli
  • Meeru garden salad with French dressing
  • Reef fish, with vegetables and lemon mayonnaise
  • Fried squid with black ink alioli
  • Tropical fruit and raspberry mousse.

Visit our website for more information about Constance Halaveli or to make a booking.

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Rising stars head to Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2014

The rising culinary stars of Constance Hotels and Resorts have been battling it out in kitchens across the Indian Ocean in order to make it to the prestigious Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

Will you be seeing dishes like this at the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau?

Will you be seeing dishes like this at the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau?

The festival, held at Constance Belle Mare Plage from 31 March to 7 April, gives the island chefs the opportunity to cook alongside some of the leading Michelin-starred chefs of the world.

Competition has been fierce as young, inspired chefs seize the opportunity to compete for a chance to represent their hotel or resort in a festival which celebrates culinary passion, and inspires innovation and the sharing of expertise.

The road to Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

To qualify the chefs have gone through several rounds of internal competitions with only the winner moving on to the next stage.

Challenges have included a written stage where the chef must describe why they want to be entered into the competition and practical stages including creating dishes following a recipe from classic French cuisine and creating their own dishes from a mystery box of ingredients under timed conditions.

The chefs who have made it through have proved not only their culinary skills but their passion and dedication to creating innovative and inspiring food.

The chefs

The island chefs who have made it through to the final in Mauritius are:

Sasha Dinnoo – Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Traditional Indian Ocean flavours with a contemporary twist

Traditional Indian Ocean flavours with a contemporary twist

Sasha started as a trainee at Le Prince Maurice and has worked her way up through the kitchen. She qualified for the final stage of the competition last year and loved the experience so much she’s come back for more, although this year she’s more determined than ever to win.

Emmanuel Fortuno – Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Emmanuel loves cooking and is constantly striving for perfection, slowly and methodically improving his skills. It is this dedication and hard work which has taken him through the qualifying stages of this competition and into the Culinary Festival.

Sandy Sokalingum – Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Mauritian born Sandy doesn’t let being a new father distract him from his passion for cooking or his determination to get to the final. Currently a chef de Partie at The Sea Horse, he describes himself as ‘in love’ with cooking.

Dammika Sarath – Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Used to working under pressure, Dammika brings a sense of serene and calm to the kitchen when he works. He loves everything to do with food and is proud to be part of the prestigious Festival.

Dinushan Patabadage – Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Always keen to learn new dishes and try new techniques, Dinushan is a very creative chef and is excited by the learning experience offered by competing in the Culinary Festival. Both passionate and ambitious, he is keen to put everything he has into the event.

Yogessen Ramen – Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

A chef at Ephélia, Yogessen is passionate about food and keen to add to his expanding skillset with techniques and advice acquired from the Michelin-starred chef he is paired with.

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Recipe of the Week: Bread with green mango pickles

Our chefs at Constance Le Prince Maurice are always striving to create new delicious and interesting flavour combinations for our guests.

Bread rolls with mango pickles

Bread rolls with mango pickles

By blending his passion for artisan baking techniques with his love of classic Mauritian flavours, Chef Isreeparsund Roshan has developed this unique buttery, sweet and sour dough.

Bread rolls with mango pickles

Ingredients (makes 20 rolls):

  • 10g fresh yeast
  • 25ml warm water
  • 500g pasta flour T65
  • 10g fine salt
  • 35g caster sugar
  • 15g trimoline
  • 50g milk powder
  • 200ml iced water
  • 400g mango pickles
  • 265g butter extra dry (for layering)

1. Mix the fresh yeast with 25 ml of warm water, add the flour, salt, sugar, trimoline, powdered milk and iced water in a mixer until the dough is smooth. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

2. Crush the mango pickles.

3. Spread the dough and add extra dry butter in the center, fold and give 3 single turns like puff pastry, allow 30mns rest between each turn.

4. After completing, allow to rest in a cold place for 1 hour approximately.

5. Spread the dough and lay down the crushed mango pickles. Roll like raisin bread.

6. Place the roll in the fridge for half an hour, then cut 2cm thick.

7. Put in room temperature and let rise up for 30 minutes.

8. Pre heat the oven 180°C vent and cook for 20 minutes.

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