This delicious and unusual recipe for chocolate gluwein comes from Julia Hattingh, the head chef at Franschhoek Kitchen on Holden Manz Wine Estate in Franschhoek. I fell in love with the idea of it. I also knew immediately that dark chocolate and red wine would work so well together. Served warm, as you would a hot chocolate, its the perfect winter tipple. At the restaurant they serve it with home-made cinnamon marshmallows which is reason enough to pop out there for a visit.
The restaurant is in good hands under Julia’s leadership. A born and bred Capetonian, she studied under David Higgs and Wade van der Merwe at Meerendal Academy. Her first job after college was a stint at Le Quartier Francais under Chris Erasmus and then she spread her wings and moved to London where she worked at Rhodes24 a 1 Michelen star restaurant. She came back to the Cape and worked at Waterkloof for 3 years before heading back to Europe, this time to work in Paris at Alain Senderens (2 Michelin stars). So she seems to have done a full circle and is back in Franschhoek making her mark at Holden Manz. I look forward to hearing more about Julia’s food in the future.
You can see their 2014 winter specials here.
I’m a big fan of Holden Manz having visited and eaten in the restaurant before, but on a recent trip I was lucky enough to stay in their five-star luxury Country House. Its nestled between the Franschhoek and Stony Brook rivers, which according to feng shui is one of the most ideal places you could live. Set away from the restaurant and winery, its positioned in its own private corner on the estate looking over the vineyards and up at the majestic mountains. You can pop into the spa, picnic under the tress or ly next to the pool in summer.
The night I visited a Cape Storm hit and I was lulled to sleep by the sound of rain softly falling on the thatch roof and the distant rivers bubbling over their rocky beds. Wallowing in the lap of luxury under high thread count cotton and the fluffiest of fluffy bedding, it truly was a piece of heaven. There are fireplaces in the rooms so this is really a perfect winter romantic getaway place.
Not only is Holden Manz all about food, wine and luxury accommodation, the owners of the estate have a large portfolio of contemporary art housed at their Franschhoek Gallery the Holden Manz Collection. The guest house is filled with so mamy incredible pieces, its an art gallery in its own right.
They have abundant gardens including a fruit orchard and I loved my stroll around the estate the next day to check it all out.
* Notes on the recipe ~ This is a decadent twist on a classic gluwein but I found 150g very sweet. Next time I make it I will use 100g and then taste and see if I should add more. If however you are wanting a very hot chocolate experience, then the quantity is just perfect. I used a 70% Valrhona chocolate and a bottle of Pintotage.
- 1 bottle red wine
- 1 orange, juice and peel
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 cloves
- 2 all spice berries
- 60g brown sugar
- 150g good quality dark chocolate
- Using a peeler, remove the skin of the orange, then juice the orange and keep aside.
- Toast all the spices in a pan over low heat just until fragrant.
- Place 250ml of the wine in a saucepan with the zest, sugar and spices and bring this to a boil then reduce to a syrup.
- Add the orange juice and the rest of the wine, bring this up to a boil again then cover and allow to infuse for 10 minutes.
- Strain into another container then put it back into the pot and bring to a simmer.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate
- Serve hot with marshmallows (optional)
For contact details and more information, visit HoldenManz.com
*Disclaimer – I enjoyed a complimentary one nights accomodation with breakfast.
I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.