Willy or Charlie? Who Cares? It’s Chocolate

Which film do you like better: Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or the original Gene Wilder 70’s version titled Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Oh, wait. Pause. This is a column about books. And we are talking about Roald Dahl’s classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Roald Dahl is a dark, dark writer, more suited to adults and/or my still-goth-at-heart soul in many ways. His books are incredibly macabre and downright stomach-turning disgusting. If you’ve ever read his autobiography, Boy, you’ll see where all that is coming from. Severed nose, anyone?

Oh, wait. Time out. This is supposed to be a column about food. And we are talking about Roald Dahl’s classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I promise to focus.

I expected to get really ravenous reading this choco-phile’s dream, but just as I would get excited about whatever food was being described, something gross would happen to one of the kids and kill my mojo.  For instance, there is Wonka’s delectable chocolate river. Sounds amazing, and probably is the waterfall that launched 1,000 of those germ-tastic chocolate fountains at buffets. If only the inventor had considered the fact that a nasty little child was sucked up into the pipelines of that chocolate goodness, fouling the waters.

My history with Dahl’s tale is rocky. The first time I watched the movie I had to leave the room after Violet turned blue. Granted, I was little. My parents continued to merrily enjoy their VHS entertainment but I felt physically ill. I actually began to fear something like that happening to me unprovoked. In a non-blueberry related incident. The movie had put forth the idea in my brain that such things were possible. Unfortunately, this fear of turning blue did not keep me from plastering my eyes with blue eye shadow as I went through that awkward preteen phases we all go through. You didn’t? Well now. I guess I have yet another issue to resolve.

Good news though! The ending of the book is happy. The kids don’t die and do get their lifetime supply of candy. And Charlie gets the whole dang factory. Job security is priceless.

It became obvious to me that the appropriate chocolate treat to create for this book was something that appeared to be for kids but was actually for adults. Also, it needed to sound sinister. Most importantly, I needed to prove to myself that I wouldn’t turn into a blueberry.

Paging through one of my far-too-many cookbooks I came upon a drink recipe called Death by Chocolate and knew I had it. An adult kid drink. I added a bit more ice cream and threw in some blueberries. The berries are important. And fresh fruit is the difference between a mind-eraser mudslide being ordered by the douche who is hoping to score with his date later, and a sophisticated beverage ordered by a drink snoot. Which I tend to be.

Oh! Random thought: I think that Rowling might have been borrowing from Roald when she came up with butterbeer. Before Potter was created, Willy Wonka was getting the Oompa Loompas drunk on “butterscotch and soda” and “buttergin and tonic”. Much like our mudslide-ordering douche, it seems Wonka was also into submission via intoxication.

This glass of boozy shake-y goodness toes the line delightfully between the adult and child world. The smell of alcohol will hopefully turn the little ones away, so we adults can be at peace to delight in our dessert. And not turn into blueberries.

Death By Chocolate until Blue(berry) in the Face adapted from The Ultimate Bar Book by Mittie Hellmich

  • 3/4 oz. Bailey’s
  • 3/4 oz. dark creme de cacao
  • 3/4 oz. vodka
  • 1/2 c. chocolate ice cream
  • 1/4 cup blueberries, frozen
  • whipped cream
  • cocoa powder
  • a few extra blueberries

Blend the Bailey’s, creme de cacao, vodka, chocolate ice cream and frozen blueberries. Pour into a chilled glass. Add a dollop of whipped cream, sprinkle on some cocoa powder and garnish with blueberries.