This Elizabethan dessert could well be England’s earliest chocolate recipe. This version comes from Hilary Spurling’s book Lady Elinor Fettisplace’s Elizabethan Recipe Book.
Chocolate from the New World began to be sold in England in the 1650s: the first London chocolate house was opened in 1657; White’s Club in St James’ started life as another shortly afterwards, by which time chocolate was well on the way to becoming an exceedingly fashionable drink. This mixture makes one of those semi-solid confections like a syllabub, part dessert, part thick, frothy drink:
For 6 generous glassfuls, scald
Pour the cream into glasses, leave it to set in the refrigerator, and serve with more grated chocolate on the top. It should develop a stiff foam, or head, so much liked in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with a runnier chocolate underneath – less cloying than chocolate mousse, frothier and more ethereal than a cold soufflé set with gelatine.
*Molinillo – a Mexican invention, widely used in the preparation of drinking chocolate.
© 1993 Chantal Coady. All rights reserved.