Maddie Salters pays a visit to ChoccyWoccydoodah, Carnaby Street’s infamous chocolatier, for a look at its long-awaited cookery book, Chocolate, Cake and Curses.
On the top floor of ChoccyWoccydoodah, Carnaby Street’s infamous chocolatier, The Secret Room is decorated in enough dessert-inspired opulence to make Willy Wonka jealous. Turkish delight, champagne milkshakes, liquorice straws, and flying saucers line tables with sumptuous spreads. If the child in you has ever wanted to sit in a rose-studdedd swing, sipping bubbly and picking truffles out of martini glasses, I’d suggest looking into their booking policy.
I visited to check out the launch of their long-awaited cookery book, Chocolate, Cake and Curses. It’s no surprise that they’ve had numerous offers in the past to put their recipes to pen and page, but the creative team responsible for Chocolate Potato Cake and Walnut Whirls wanted to wait for the right publisher to come along. When Preface Publishing turned up with a healthy respect for their cheeky wit and outstandingly outlandish ideas, it was a match made in pastry heaven.
The new book contains much more than kitchen tips. Hand-written notes from staff, personal-pick recipes, eclectic illustrations, and more grace the pages between tutorials for whipping up killer cakes and awesome confections. (It even has a colouring book, if you feel so inclined.) Its punk rock feel is original and hip, which matches the company’s ethos of having fun with what you do. Even the formulas aren’t dull: Candied orange slices include the tip that they’re for decoration, or for “really intense flavour on cakes, puddings, and ducks.” The recipe for Choccytoffee Shortbread notes that you should “store [them] in your belly.” The book manages not to take itself too seriously, while simultaneously offering some seriously fantastic recipes, making it a playful read and activity book as much as a useful tool, come dessert time.
One recipe I was especially impressed by was Choccywoccy’s classic “Rocky Road.” Imagine everything you’d love to eat, in one geometrically confused block of chocolate. Nougat, coconut, fudge, honeycomb, marshmallow, and jelly beans lambasted together like a colourful arts project, one that left me licking my fingers and feeling quite full after.
The store itself, the London branch of the Brighton-born chain that flew into popularity after a successful TV series that aired for five seasons, boasts a shop downstairs where patrons can marvel at cake creations and pick up a few treats to go. The second-floor cafe is nearly so lavishly decorated as the top floor (give or take a few flamingos and chocolate fountains,) and offers sit-in tea and treats.
In all, a visit to Choccywoccydoodah would not go amiss with fans of food artistry or anyone with sweet tooth. The team’s daredevil attitude towards trying anything once means that they serve up some of the most unforgettable and truly magical treats in all of London. Their talent shines through in “Chocolate, Cake, and Curses,” which is delightfully personal and welcoming. It’s a must for any quirky cook, or those looking to spice up their dessert regime- maybe literally.
You can pick up a copy of Chocolate, Cake, and Curses online or at their London store at 30-32 Fouberts Place, W1F 7PS. Visit Choccywoccydoodah online at choccywoccydoodah.com.