Godiva: A Chocolate Legend
The tale of Godiva starts in a Brussels home with the Belgian praline. “Godiva’s heritage dates back to 1926,” Ilse Wilmots, one of the five Godiva chef chocolatiers, explains. “When our founding chocolatier Pierre Draps started making traditional Belgian pralines for the luxury department stores of Brussels.” From the workshop in their house, Pierre, along with his wife and four children, produced handcrafted praline chocolates. “Pierre Draps decided to name his company Godiva after being inspired by the passion, boldness and generosity of Lady Godiva from the old English legend.”
Today, the artistry and vision of Pierre Draps has been passed down to the Godiva chef chocolatiers. Based across the world, they are placed to design chocolates specifically for local tastes. “Godiva is the only chocolatier which makes seasonal collections specific for local seasons,” Isle says, adding: “All chocolates created in our kitchen are handcrafted. The development of recipes is still done in an artisanal manner.” Hence, from concept to the final chocolate, it can take a year; Godiva chooses the finest, and sometimes rarest, ingredients available, not using preservatives or alcohol to enhance shelf life. “Sometimes you have to start ten times over because you’re not satisfied, but that’s part of the game. Sometimes I brood at length on an idea and then all of a sudden it’s there.”
From the instantly recognisable gold packaging to the exquisite piped touches, Godiva has become synonymous with luxurious Belgian confectionary, “but before the Royal Warrant and the global recognition,” Isle asserts, “Godiva was – and still is – the story of an exceptional Belgian family whose passion for chocolate drove them to greatness.”
To celebrate an impressive 90 years of business, Godiva has taken eight of its most iconic chocolates and curated an anniversary box, with each chocolate telling a narrative. Shop this and more sumptuous Godiva treats below, plus visit Café Godiva in-store.
Indulge your sweet tooth with these mouth-watering chocolate melting pots from the Godiva recipe.
Chocolate Melting Pots (Serves 2)
27g shelled hazelnuts
80g dark chocolate (such as Godiva’s Dark Chocolate Tablet)
35g butter, plus extra for greasing the tins
60g caster sugar
2 eggs, separated
20g soft flour
2 praline chocolates (any of Godiva’s milk or dark chocolates would be perfect)
You will need two round cake tins of approximately 6cm in diameter
1- The day before, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 6. Toast the hazelnuts on a pie tin until they begin to release a delicious aroma.
2- Melt the chocolate in a bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water (bain-marie). Turn off the heat and add the butter.
3- While the mixture cools, cut two circles of greaseproof paper, the same diameter as the cake tins. Grease them well and stick the paper circles to the bottoms. Then grease the paper. Place the tins in the freezer.
4- Ground the hazelnuts in a food processor. Add the flour to the chocolate mix before adding the hazelnuts and the egg yolks.
5- Beat the egg whites until stiff and gradually add the sugar using a whisk. Stir into the dough.
6- Pour approximately 2cm of dough into the tins and freeze for 1 hour. Place the remaining dough in the fridge.
7- Place one praline on the frozen dough, cover with the remaining dough and freeze overnight.
8- On the day, turn the oven to 180°C/gas mark 6. Place the frozen preparations in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
9- Remove from oven, turn out while still hot and enjoy immediately.
Make the pinnacle of festivities truly delicious by cooking a recipe from Tom Sellers or Frances Atkins for Christmas Day.