Cacao Barry – The Finest Chocolate

At The Butler’s Pantry, quality and provenance are at the core of everything we do. That’s why it is so important to us that we chose to use a chocolate that is not only of the finest quality but is sustainable. Cacao Barry is, in our opinion, the best chocolate on the market and that’s why it is used by the best chefs and restaurants in the world.

We use a top quality chocolate as an ingredient in a huge variety of recipes, across a variety of events; from corporate catering to wedding cakes.

Why Cacao Barry

In 1842, Charles Barry, a former coffee and tea merchant, travelled to Africa to seek out and harvest a selection of cocoa beans to transform them into an exquisitely refined and delicate cocoa and chocolate product. Cacao Barry specialises in rare chocolate with a unique farmer-to-chef process. The range that we use for the products at The Butler’s Pantry is Pureté which is a sustainable and fully traceable couverture chocolate with a distinctive, pure cocoa taste.

16 co-operatives with 5000 farmers on the Ivory Coast supply the quality beans. These farmers are trained in agricultural practices and processes that ensure sustainability.

Healthy and mature cocoa pods are selected and the farmers open and pick the fruits by hand to start the fermentation process. Only beans of perfect quality with close to zero impurities are chosen. The beans are placed in piles and covered with banana leaves for four days to ferment. The beans are then spread on bamboo mats to let them dry naturally in the sun which further enhances the flavour. They are turned regularly so that they dry evenly for approximately 5 days.

The beans are then sent to Cacao Barry quality centres where sensory and quality checks are undertaken. If the beans are passed and deemed to have the purest flavours, the cocoa farmers are paid a premium price per kg. The beans are sorted and documented to ensure 100% traceability of each bag before being stored and transported to Europe.

To produce cocoa mass from cocoa beans, the shell is separated from the beans to obtain the nibs. The nibs are then roasted at the lowest possible temperature to protect the flavour. These nibs are then mixed with quality ingredients and refined until a perfect taste and smooth texture is achieved.

After tempering, the chocolate is moulded and packed before being sent to our kitchens for our chefs to play with! Each type of chocolate has a unique flavour and aroma which defines the taste of that a recipe will produce. We feel that the quality of this chocolate is far superior to others and this really makes the difference between an ordinary and an extraordinary end product. We use Ocoa 70% for dark chocolate recipes, Lactée Supérieure 38% for milk chocolate and Blanc Satin 29% for white chocolate. Simply delicious!

We are proud to work with partners who have similar ethics as us when it comes to sustainability and provenance and hope that you too can taste the difference.

 

 

 

 

Vegan Chocolate and Coconut Cake

Vegan Chocolate and Coconut Cake

One thing that we are getting asked about in store more is vegetarian and vegan food options. Not only can dairy be a serious allergen but more and more people are making a choice to become vegetarian or vegan. Health and environmental reasons are becoming a common factor in this decision.

Some research has found that a vegan diet can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. It is important to note however that it can be harder to get the correct nutrients that your body needs when limiting certain food groups.

We are also becoming more aware that animal agriculture places a heavy burden on the environment. Eating vegan food for even just one meal a week can significantly lower your carbon footprint. Why not try ‘Meatless Mondays’ and see how you feel by reducing your meat intake.

To meet this demand from customers, our chefs have been introducing more vegetarian and vegan options (try our potato, squash and red lentil curry and our wild mushroom stroganoff) to our range. Vegan baking can be slightly more challenging and our pastry chefs were determined to create a product that was so good that you would not be able to tell that they didn’t use butter, eggs or dairy products. We didn’t want people to say that it ‘tastes good for a vegan cake’, we wanted them to think that it tastes just as good as a regular cake! We spent months perfecting this product and the response has been fantastic.

The delicious chocolate flavour comes from unprocessed cocoa powder which is mixed with coconut oil and maple syrup amongst other ingredients. There are no dairy, eggs, additives or preservatives in the cake making it a healthier option for a treat. Our sumptuous vegan cake is deliciously rich and fudgy, almost like a brownie. We hope that you will enjoy it and please let us know what you think by emailing info@thebutlerspantry.ie.
Please be aware that The Butler’s Pantry isn’t a diary free environment and we bake with dairy products and eggs every day. While our vegan cake is baked without any dairy, we cannot guarantee that they won’t contain traces of dairy products and eggs.

barbeque butlers pantry

Fire Up the Barbeque with help from The Butler’s Pantry

We may not have had the warmest weather this summer but it is still a great time to gather your friends and family for a barbeque! We can help bring the WOW factor to your event. See our handy hints below for entertaining with ease.

Light the barbeque before your guests arrive

Barbeque purists insist that the smoke from is like an ingredient in itself. There is no better smell than the waft of a barbeque grill, it just screams summer! Get the coals burning ahead of time to whet your guests appetites. If you have a gas grill perhaps you could cook some nibbles to welcome your guests with, think cocktail sausages served with The Butler’s Pantry Beetroot Ketchup or grilled veggies with The Butler’s Pantry Hummus.

Mise en place

The key to relaxed entertaining is being ‘en place’. This essentially means that you have everything laid out and ready to go. If you can, marinade your meat the day before and have salads and sides prepped – just make sure not to dress your salads until the last minute. This will leave you free to mingle with your guests with a glass of something chilled in hand!

Be organised at the barbeque

Make sure that you have clear work surface near your barbeque. Ensure to use separate utensils and dishes for raw and cooked meat. Calculate timings so that the meat that takes the longest goes on first. If you don’t have enough space to cook everything at once, loosely cover cooked meat with foil and keep warm in a low oven until you are ready to serve.

Use wonderful ingredients

We always use Irish meat in our dishes and we recommend that you do too. Drop into your local butcher where they will be happy to advise what’s best to throw on the barbie. Seasonal fruit and veg are in abundance in the summer and will taste wonderful when barbequed or added to salads. We can take some of the pressure off with our entertaining portion side salads. We recommend trying our Summer Pea, Grilled Courgette and Asparagus salad with garden mint and feta or our baby potato and radish salad in buttermilk dressing.

buffet bbq

Flavouring your meat

Marinating is the best way to inject flavour into your meat. If you can do this the day before, it will really allow the flavour to permeate and tenderise the meat. Always shake off the excess so that it doesn’t cause the barbeque to spit and burn the meat. Season with salt just before barbequing as salt can break down the meat and make it tough. Allow at least 20 minutes out of the fridge for the meat to come to room temperature. If you have a fantastic piece of quality meat, you should only need a light brushing of oil, salt and pepper.

Temperature control

If your barbeque has a rack system, ensure to shuffle your food around from hot to cool patches so that it cooks evenly. If the food is cooking too quickly and is at risk of burning on the outside and not cooking properly on the inside, wrap it in foil and move to a cooler rack. Try not to keep opening the lid of the grill as you will loose heat.

Rest the meat

It’s essential to rest meat after barbequing to allow it to relax and reabsorb the juices. If you cut into the meat straight off the grill, the delicious juices will simply run off it and you will lose flavour. Place it on a warmed tray wrapped loosely in foil, away from the direct heat of the grill or in a low oven.

Serve and enjoy

Dress your salads, arrange the meat on platters and lay out sauces for your guests to help themselves. Our fabulous barbeque sauce range of chipotle mayonnaise, salsa verde and chimichurri will add a flavour explosion! They are all handmade and bursting with fresh herbs and ingredients. Enjoy!

barbeque butlers pantry dublin

If all of the above sounds like too much hard work, why not hire one of our chefs to come to your house and BBQ for your party! We can prepare and cook everything from meats, salads and sides. Contact us to find out more events@thebutlerspantry.ie.

Yes You Can – Recycle Our Paper Cups

As you are probably aware, most paper cups used for hot drinks cannot be recycled. You might have wondered why that’s the case and the reason is because there’s a plastic coating inside the cup that recyclers can’t process through their recycling equipment. There’s some excellent information and video’s which explain the issue here. As a result, most takeaway coffee and tea cups are used once only and then go to landfill, which is against the basic principles of best practice for the environment i.e. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

At The Butlers Pantry, we are committed to improving our green credentials and are proud to introduce  new initiative’s to reduce waste

100% Recyclable Cups

We’ve teamed up with reCUP, produced by CupPrint, to source paper cups that are fully recyclable and manufactured in Ireland.  These cups work in the same way as a standard cup but the inner plastic coating is replaced with a recyclable material which can be handled by all the mainstream recyclers in Ireland. This means you can simply dispose of it in your green bin, as you would with any paper product. And we’ve applied our gorgeous branding to the reCUP, to add to your enjoyment of our delicious range of teas and coffees.

paper cup

Reusable Cups – 20c Discount

Of course we always encourage our customers to use reusable cups ahead of the disposable option and we sell branded reusable cups instore. A reusable cup contributes to sustainability for everyone and we love to see customers arrive with their own cup. In fact, in order to encourage you to do this, if you bring one of our reusable cups to any of our stores, we offer a significant 20c discount off our coffee – so you can be rewarded for your love of great coffee – and your care for the environment. The Conscious Cup Campaign gave us the heads up in recognition of our commitment to reusable cups and we were glad to see they loved our cakes as well!

Repak Team Green

Another initiative we have taken recently is to join the Repak Team Green campaign. This is a great idea which encourages everybody to recycle just one more piece of plastic each week. If everyone in Ireland did this, they have calculated that 250 million more pieces of plastic would be recycled. You can sign up yourself here – a nice thing to do with the kids maybe to show you are on board with saving the environment for their future?

At The Butler’s Pantry, sustainability is core to our business and we are proud to implement plastic reduction targets with a view to making all of our packaging 100% recyclable in the near future. If we all do our bit we can deliver real and lasting benefits for everyone. Of course we also welcome feedback from customers on how we might improve our approach and keep the ethos of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle at the centre of our commercial activities.

See you soon at one of our stores – don’t forget to being along your reusable cup!

Chefs Challenge the butlers Pantry

Chef’s Challenge

chef challenge butler's pantry food dublin

Our talented chefs are constantly recipe testing and tasting and coming up with delicious new catering ideas. So, we recently gave five of them the challenge to showcase a special tasting menu, with each one curating their own recipes.  Neil, Gary, Dean, Tom and Wes rose to the culinary challenge and treated a lucky team of The Butler’s Pantry staff to four delicious courses. This was a great opportunity for the team to showcase modern techniques, explore new ideas and get creative – in the stunning surrounds of The Sycamore Room in Dublin.

Start Well

To begin our journey, we were presented with an array of amuse bouches to whet the appetite! Tom really showcased his culinary skills by serving a shot of consommé, which is notoriously difficult to get right. This was no ordinary soup; the broth was bursting with flavours from sweet summer tomatoes and fresh herbs. Wes took a more playful approach with his flavourful ‘crisp sambo’ – spring onion butter and parmesan cheese on a potato chip. Not your average crisp sambo, that’s for sure!

 

Tomato Consume broad beans, black olive, summer herbs and parmesan

Tomato Consume broad beans, black olive, summer herbs and parmesan

 

Cashel Blue, endive, walnut, chive and cranberry

Cashel Blue, endive, walnut, chive and cranberry

 

Find out more about Cashel Blue – one of our favourite Irish Cheese suppliers…..

Next up were our incredible starters. Our crab starter tasted like it had just come straight off the boat. A tickle of textures of asparagus and the inclusion of a Spanish specialty, jamon Iberico made this dish a real treat. A classic pairing of goat’s cheese and beetroot was taken to another level with a trendy olive clay and Neil’s skill was clearly evident with his varying methods of beetroot preparation. I can confirm first-hand that the colour on the plate was as vibrant to the eye as it was in the mouth.

Crab mayonnaise textures of asparagus, jamon Iberico, pesto, garden leaves

Crab mayonnaise textures of asparagus, jamon Iberico, pesto, garden leaves

 

Ardsallagh goats cheese, roasted and pickled beetroot, black olive clay, hazelnuts

Ardsallagh goats cheese, roasted and pickled beetroot, black olive clay, hazelnuts

 

Slow cooked pork cheek apple, celeriac

Slow cooked pork cheek apple, celeriac

 

Soy & beetroot cured salmon capers, dill cream

Soy & beetroot cured salmon capers, dill cream

Download our Spring -Summer Entertaining Menu.

The Main Event

The main courses were an exceptional showcase of Irish artisan producers. Incredibly fresh line caught cod was wrapped in Parma ham and cooked until perfectly firm. The light and zingy wild garlic cream enhanced every mouthful while the summer fricassee of pea and samphire added a beautiful depth of flavour and texture. It was definitely my favourite dish of the evening, a symphony for the senses!

Another stand out dish was a tender rump of lamb served with braised shoulder and a crispy potato fondant. In my opinion, pea and mint are simply essential with lamb and the dish was lifted beautifully by the unusual piquant flavour of a tomato and caper jus. We were informed that the delicious Wicklow lamb was reared only 10 minutes away from our kitchens in Bray. Local Irish food really is the very best food.

Salmon is always a welcome inclusion in any summer menu and this next dish certainly set the bar high! The wild salmon was perfection with the addition of mild fennel flavour and the punchy pops of pomegranate. It tasted so light and natural and it really highlighted the fact that less is more. With ingredients as good as this, the quality clearly shines through.

Line Caught Cod Parma ham, summer fricassee, wild garlic cream

Line Caught Cod Parma ham, summer fricassee, wild garlic cream

 

Rump of Lamb braised shoulder, potato fondant, pea and mint fricassee, tomato and caper jus

Rump of Lamb braised shoulder, potato fondant, pea and mint fricassee, tomato and caper jus

 

Pan Fried Salmon fennel, pomegranate, quinoa, orange

Pan Fried Salmon fennel, pomegranate, quinoa, orange

 

Crispy pork belly black pudding, celeriac remoulade, apple puree

Crispy pork belly black pudding, celeriac remoulade, apple puree

Sweet to Eat

Although by this stage we were completely satisfied by our delicious dinner, the arrival of desserts to the table was an indulgence that we could not pass up. A vanilla panna cotta with strawberries, poached rhubarb, and honeycomb looked like something that belonged in an art gallery. The sweetness of the honeycomb and strawberry shard was offset perfectly by the tart rhubarb.

A plate of pure prettiness arrived to the table in the form of Gary’s lemon posset. Again quality ingredients sang out loud through every bite. The zesty lemon posset arrived with charred grapefruit and raspberries to cleanse the palate, while the meringue kisses added a delicious bite to the dish.

Vanilla panna cotta strawberries, poached rhubarb, and honeycomb

Vanilla panna cotta strawberries, poached rhubarb, and honeycomb

 

Lemon posset charred grapefruit, raspberries, meringue kisses

Lemon posset charred grapefruit, raspberries, meringue kisses

 

Chocolate and caramel mousse textures of raspberry, hazelnut praline cream

Chocolate and caramel mousse textures of raspberry, hazelnut praline cream

 We finished up with an exquisite raspberry and lemon cheesecake with a crunchy coconut biscuit base. This was a modern and refreshing take on one of our classic desserts. Keep an eye out for it in the shops soon! Our amazing desserts were absolutely devoured with not one regret.

Office or home party on horizon? Let us take the hassle out of the occasion so you can get on with enjoying your evening.

Inspiration for the future

If you shop with us regularly, you’ll know that we make all of our food by hand and from scratch. And because our kitchen is small and flexible, we are always ready to try new ingredients and recipes. We love to make the most of seasonal produce which is the cornerstone of the food we make.

Our chef’s showcase dining experience re-affirmed the truth behind high quality dining. The key is fantastic produce handled properly, just like the chef’s do every day in our kitchens. The pure dedication and passion that our chefs devote to our recipes is evident in the gorgeous balanced flavours in our food. We can’t wait to see what dishes they produce for our customers in the coming seasons, given the chance they had to showcase some great new ideas for the Chefs Challenge event. Watch this retail space!