More About the Chocolate

Art by Freya Hartas

In The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart, my fierce dragon-girl heroine follows her passion to become an apprentice chocolatier at Drachenburg’s quirkiest chocolate house…but the methods she uses aren’t ones you’ll find in any modern chocolate house! The treats she makes aren’t quite the same, either.

I made up Aventurine’s fantasy world, but I based it on late-eighteenth-century/early nineteenth-century Germany, which meant using the chocolate-making techniques of that time period. There were no Willy Wonka-style chocolate bars back then; the process that makes chocolate bars possible wasn’t invented until 1828. Instead, all of the treats that Aventurine and her mentor make come from real eighteenth-century recipes.

If you’d like to taste what Aventurine’s kind of hot chocolate might have been like, you can visit the historic 18th-century chocolate kitchen in Hampton Court Palace – and even if you can’t visit it in person, you can find all sorts of details about the chocolate-making process and the way it was served, along with recipes (and a cooking video!) on their website.

If you want to enjoy some chocolate treats made in your own kitchen with more modern methods, the wonderful people at Bloomsbury Books have put together a chocolate recipe pack that includes my own very favorite hot chocolate recipe. (Dark chocolate, cinnamon & nutmeg…DELICIOUS!) You can download the PDF of the recipe pack here.

There’s also a chocolate museum in Cologne (Köln), Germany, which I would absolutely love to visit one day. If you ever go there, *please* take pictures and tell me all about it! :)