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Recipe  •  11 March 2024


Creamy cauliflower risotto with dark chocolate

This smoothly savoury risotto has a surprising addition in the form of grated dark chocolate.

It might sound a little strange but the bittersweet fruity tones of a good dark chocolate enhance and boost the nuttiness of the fresh cauliflower, adding richness and complexity. I also love the contrast and drama of the almost black chocolate strewn across the creamy white risotto on the plate.

Serves: 4


  • 30g/1oz butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 260g/9 ½oz risotto rice (such as arborio or carnaroli)
  • 185ml/6 fl oz/ ¾ cup white wine (about 1 mini bottle)
  • 750ml/25 fl oz/3 cups vegetable stock (strained if you’d like to keep the risotto as creamy white as possible)
  • 250g/9oz cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 50g/2oz parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 60ml double/heavy cream
  • About 40g/1 ½oz dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids), or more to taste
  • Sea salt and white pepper


Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan over a low-medium heat and add the onion and celery. Cook for 8-10 minutes until tender and translucent, but not colouring. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.

Add the risotto rice to the pan and stir it around for a minute to get it well coated in the flavoured butter. Pour in the wine and let it cook down until almost all the liquid has gone. At this point, start adding the hot stock a little at a time, allowing the latest addition to be absorbed before adding the next, stirring very regularly.

After about 10 minutes of adding stock and stirring, add the cauliflower and continue the same process for another 10 minutes or so, until all the stock is incorporated and both the cauliflower and rice are just slightly al dente. The risotto should be thick but still loose – the consistency of rolling lava.

Turn off the heat, stir in the Parmesan and cream, and beat vigorously until everything is well incorporated. Pop a lid on the pan and leave to rest for a few minutes while you grate the chocolate and pop it into a small bowl.

Once the risotto has rested, taste and season well with salt and white pepper, then serve immediately with the grated chocolate for spooning generously over the top.

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