We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.

Skip main navigation

The Georgian cook-a-long

Make your very own Georgian drinking chocolate in this cook-a-long video with Marc Meltonville from the Historic Royal Palace team.
Hello. I’m Marc Meltonville, one of the food historians here at the Royal Palaces. And I’m stood in the King’s chocolate kitchen at Hampton Court Palace, the room used to make a pot of hot chocolate for his Majesty’s breakfast every day. And I want to make a pot of hot chocolate for you to try at home. Something rich and tasty. But if you’re here in a Georgian kitchen, you can’t just start with a block of chocolate. You have to actually make it. You have to process the chocolate here in the kitchens. Most Georgian chocolate drinks were made with water, because the chocolate was so rich and expensive. Sometimes they used milk.
And sometimes they used alcohol, such as wine, sherry, or port. And I thought a port chocolate drink would be the perfect one to try. We’re going to need a pot to cook it in.
Something that will take the heat. And I need my liquid. As I said, we’re going to use port. And the recipe talks about a pint of port.
There we go. To a pint of port, they suggest you put one ounce of pure chocolate. If you’re using modern chocolate, you might want to put a little bit more in. Our cakes are pure chocolate. They come off the waxed paper, and we break up one ounce and pop it into the port. There’s no natural sweetness in the chocolate at all. Our sugar starts off as a loaf– a huge great lump that comes into the palace, and someone has to grind this up for me. I think chocolate port’s going to need two or three tablespoons. When you heat alcohol, it goes bitter. So you always have to put a little bit more in than you think.
But do it to taste. One–
And the last ingredient seems a little bit odd, but it’s going to add some thickness and hold all the chocolate together. Just the back of a spoon– tiny little bit of plain flour. Now that just needs cooking on the stove until it’s all melted together. Almost boiled, just so the few bubbles start appearing around the edge of the liquid.
All right, so everything has cooked together. It’s almost boiling, but not quite.
And we have ourselves a pot of hot chocolate that’s fit for a king. But it needs to be served for a king. And for that, we need a nice silver chocolate pot. You can always tell a chocolate pot because not only does it have a lid, it has a mini lid on the top, which allows you to put this thing– a moulinette, or mill, a whisk– into the chocolate pot.
And what that’s going to do is allow us to froth up the chocolate with that final flourish before you serve it.
We can then give it that final few stirs, bring all that chocolate together, bring the sugar around, and a pot of rich, dark, porty chocolate, fit for a king.
In this cook-a-long video, Marc Meltonville from the Historic Kitchens Team at Historic Royal Palaces, shows you how to make your own Georgian chocolate drink.
Tempted to taste this dish? Why not try making it at home, in the comfort of your own kitchen and let us know how you get on? You can download a PDF of the recipe to accompany this video.
Please note: the recipe used in the video has been adapted to produce a weaker version of that provided in the PDF (Marc uses less chocolate than John Nott’s recipe calls for). The PDF provides John Nott’s original recipe: why not try both and share your experience with other learners?
For the keen cook amongst you (or for those who’d prefer to taste an alternative dish!) we’ve provided some additional recipes to choose from in the next Step.
Don’t forget to mark this Step as ‘Complete’ before you move on.
This article is from the free online

A History of Royal Food and Feasting

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education