Recipes from the Inventing Room: Banana-Cocoa and Mango & Coconut Smoothies

Chocolatier Rachel Smith shares her recipes for two summer drinks: one indulgently creamy and one fruity and refreshing…

“We have smoothies here quite a lot,” chocolatier Rachel Smith tells me as we sit in the Cambridgeshire inventing room, among the marble tables where she and her fellow chocolatiers let their imaginations run riot. “I’ll make them and share them out for everyone to try. They inspired some of the recipes for our Smoothies-to-chill.”

Those Smoothies-to-chill weren’t quite as straightforward as the Banana-Cocoa and Mango & Coconut Smoothie recipes we’re here to talk about today though: when creating fruit combinations to pair with chocolate balance is key – and not easy to strike.

“We created a strawberry and coconut smoothie for Smoothies-to-chill, but after four trials on different bases the pressed strawberry and coconut just didn’t work together,” Rachel says. “The final flavour combinations taste so good because of their balance: strawberry and blueberry are both quite acidic; coconut and mango make for a creamy and subtle taste profile; passion fruit and raspberry are both punchy so they don’t overwhelm one another and the banana is perfect with the white ganache because of its natural creaminess.”

When I ask which are Rachel’s favourite Smoothies-to-chill she smiles and admits she can’t help being biased: “Well I created the Banana and the Coconut & Mango,” she says, “and they’re inspired by the smoothies I make at home, so I’m bound to like them best!”

Banana-Cocoa Smoothie recipe

Rachel recommends spotty, ripe bananas for best results when making her Banana-Cocoa Smoothie. “They make it really creamy,” she explains, “and they work with the cocoa powder to make it especially indulgent.”

That cocoa powder also helps to curb the natural sweetness of the fruit for a rounded flavour, while the peanut butter adds a hint of saltiness. Coconut milk thickens the recipe for a luxurious finish, but Rachel recommends making this with coconut water instead if you prefer your smoothies more on the refreshing side.

“Both of these recipes make plenty, a full pint glass,” she says, “so you’ll have enough to share with a friend or save some for later. They also happen to be vegan if you’ve got dietary requirements to think of!”

Ingredients Method
– 1 or 2 ripe bananas, to taste
– 200ml coconut milk/coconut water
– 1 tbsp cocoa powder
– 1 tbsp peanut butter
1. Peel your banana, tear it by hand and add to your blender with all the other ingredients.

2. Blast until smooth, about 30 seconds, on a medium setting for the most part and then high-speed to finish.

3. Serve and enjoy!

Mango & Coconut Smoothie recipe

“This one is heavy on the mango, which I love,” Rachel enthuses of her Mango & Coconut Smoothie. “It’s more refreshing and light than the Banana-Cocoa recipe, if that’s what you’re in the mood for.”

She suggests pineapple as an optional extra, but only if it’s nice and ripe, and chia seeds if you’re a fan – but she has a word of caution on those: “Only add chia seeds if you’re confident your blender is a strong one,” she says. “They expand as they take in water so they can be tough to blitz!”

Ingredients Method
– 1 mango
– 200ml coconut milk/coconut water
– pineapple, to taste (optional)
– chia seeds, to taste (optional)
1. Use a peeler to remove the skin of the mango and then cut the flesh away from the stone.

2. Add all of your preferred ingredients to the blender.

3. Blast until smooth, about 30 seconds, on a medium setting for the most part and then high-speed to finish.

4. Serve and enjoy!

Smoothies and spirits

If you’re sharing out those Smoothies-to-chill too, Rachel recommends pairing them with a light alcohol to complement the fruits while letting them shine through.

“I’d suggest a clear spirit, a crisp white wine, a gin and tonic or our Prosecco with your Smoothies-to-chill,” says Rachel. Think of it like strawberries and sparkling wine on the verandah as the sun goes down…

More summer recipes

Our Smoothies-to-chill aren’t the only chocolates we’ve developed to taste even more refreshing after 30 minutes in the fridge: if you’re a fan of a tipple or two, try our Cocktails-to-chill, or opt for a little of everything with desserts, cocktails, smoothies and more in our Chocs-to-chill H-Box or Sleekster.

In the mood for raspberry-white chocolate, Seville orange and feuilletine or Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream Bombes? Dive in to our Summer recipes!

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