Sam Warburton: I prefer chocolate to beer

Wales and Lions captain Sam Warburton can’t stand beer and would rather celebrate a win with nice big bar of chocolate.

“Chocolate is extremely important in my life,” Warburton told FUEL in an exclusive interview.

“I remember if Wales had a big win in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, I’d walk to the nearest convenience store and buy a bar of chocolate. And I’d walk back to my room and eat the bar of chocolate and that would be my reward.”

Watch chef Richard Davies teach Sam Warburton how to make chocolate mousse

While Warburton will celebrate after a match with his team-mates, it will not be with a glass in his hand because he cannot find a drink that he likes the taste of.

“Some boys like to have a beer and part of me would love to sit down and have a beer with the boys after a game.

“I’ll obviously spend time with them but I don’t want to have a beer. I genuinely don’t like the taste of it and I can’t find anything I enjoy drinking.”

Instead, heaven to Warburton is a land of chocolate.

“I don’t know if it releases some hormone or chemical but it genuinely makes me happy when I eat it.”

Warburton recalls getting quite a reputation on his honeymoon over his love of chocolate: “The people at the hotel laughed because every day when we went for dinner I had chocolate ice cream, every single time for dessert.

“And they had all these things like tiramisu and fancy cheesecakes and all that and I’d just say: Can I have three scoops of your chocolat ice cream please. I’m quite simple really and the simple things keep me happy. So chocolate ice cream is a good start for me.”

And he admits that his ideal holiday destination would also involve lots of chocolate: “My food heaven would be this place where it’s just like a stream of chocolate, and there’s a spa where there’s like a bubbling chocolate jacuzzi…”

But the Cardiff Blues player who once confessed to blending a chicken dinner and drinking it, admitted he had to restrict himself to chocolate at weekends.

“The day of a game and the day after a game I’ll eat some chocolate but from Monday into a game I try to stay away from it and only put good stuff into my body.”

On a rare day off from training, Fuel paired Warburton up with The Celtic Manor Resort chef Richard Davies, who came up with a simple dessert crammed with chocolate that Warburton could make himself – a warm chocolate mousse.

Davies first showed Warburton the ingredients: broken Hobnobs and chocolate brownies for the base and the mousse topped with ice cream and a selection of chocolate-coated nuts and raisins.

The chef said: “This is one of my favourite desserts. It’s so simple and you can use your favourite biscuits, brownies, chocolate raisins, coated nuts, whatever you like.”

Warburton was impressed: “You had me with the Hobnobs.”

When he tasted the finished dessert, he loved it: “I’d pay a fortune for this if it was on the menu, it’s probably the best dessert I’ve ever had, on my daughter’s life that is amazing.”

Sam Warburton & Richard Davies
Sam Warburton & Richard Davies

Watch Warburton learning how to use a siphon gun above and have a crack at recreating the chocolate mousse at home using the recipe below – you can use a piping bag if you don’t have a siphon, just remember to allow extra time to chill the mixture before you pipe it into serving bowls.

Ingredients (serves 4)
5 oz / 150g double cream
4 oz / 110g 70% dark chocolate
4 oz / 110g 55% dark chocolate
6 oz / 175g egg white
Pinch of salt

Method
Heat a pan of water to a simmer on the stove
Place the chocolates and cream in a bowl and gently melt over the simmering water
Add the salt and egg white, whisk gently to combine
Pour into siphon gun and charge with 2-3 Nitrous Oxide cartridges
Place crushed biscuits and pieces of brownie in the bottom of large serving dishes, siphon in the mousse, add other ingredients such as chocolate raisins and coated nuts to your heart’s content, and top with a dollop of ice cream and chopped nuts