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Posts Tagged ‘Chocolate’

Petit pots au chocolat

We find Rick Stein exceptionally reliable and when we needed a dessert for entertaining thought we’d give his recipe a go. Unsurprisingly they worked a treat and the result was a silkly, rich, and indulgent pot of chocolate to finish a meal with friends.

Wine Suggestion: Chocolate is notoriously difficult to pair with wine so we’d probably skip the wine altogether and go for a liqueur to complement this dish – Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Whiskey… choose your poison.

Petit pots au chocolate – makes 6

  • 225g plain chocolate, minimum 60% coco solids
  • 15g soft butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150ml full-cream milk
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 6 tsp crème fraîche and a little cocoa powder, to decorate

Break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and melt over a pan of just-simmering water. Remove and stir until smooth, then stir in the softened butter and egg yolks.

Put the cream, milk and sugar into a small pan, bring to the boil and then stir into the chocolate.

Pour the mix into six 100ml receptacles (we used small glasses but you could also use espresso cups or ramekins) and leave somewhere cold to set, but don’t refrigerate.

Decorate the pots with a little quenelle of crème fraîche and dust with cocoa powder to serve.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s French Odyssey, BBC Books, 2005)

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We gave each other a food mixer for Christmas and hence have baked more cakes in the last month than we’ve made in all our years of blogging. This one can be mixed up really quickly and can be made wheat-free for our coeliac friends with no adverse affect. We made this example with wheat; the wheat-free version which substitutes nuts (ground almonds) for the flour is  more squidgy and dessert-like.

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake 

  • 150ml olive oil (not extra virgin), plus extra for greasing
  • 50g good quality cocoa powder
  • 125ml boiling water
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g plain flour (OR 150g ground almonds)
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 170ºC/Gas 3/325ºF.

Grease a 22 or 23cm springform tin with a little olive oil and line the base with baking parchment.

Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl and whisk in the boiling water to give a smooth paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract and set aside to cool a little.

In another bowl, combine the flour (or ground almonds) with the bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt.

Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment (or use whatever bowl and whisk you have) and beat vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale yellow and thickened cream.

Turn down the speed a little and add the cocoa mixture. When this is mixed in, add the flour (or ground almond) mixture.

Scrape down and stir a little with a spatula, then pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre still looks slightly damp. A skewer inserted into the cake should come out mostly clean.

Cool on a wire rack, still in the tin, for 10 minutes before easing the sides gently away with a metal spatula and springing out of the tin. Leave to cool completely and serve with cream and berries or eat while still warm with ice-cream.

(Original recipe from Nigella.com)

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A very easy and delicious cake that’s perfect for using the bananas that have gone black in the fruit bowl. It’s even worth letting them go black for! We made this twice in a week and are tempted to make it again soon.

Chocolate and Banana Cake 

  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 125g softened butter
  • 235g muscovado sugar
  • 400g (peeled weight) very ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g dark chocolate

You need a non-stick loaf tin approx. 24cm x 12cm x 7cm deep, lined with baking paper.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas 4.

Sift the flour and baking powder together.

Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar together until light, fluffy and pale coffee coloured.

Put the bananas in a bowl and mash with a fork, lumps are ok as you don’t want a purée. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Beat the eggs lightly with a fork then beat them into the butter and sugar mixture. If it threatens to curdle add a spoonful of flour.

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and fold them and the bananas into the butter and sugar mixture. Gently fold in the flour and baking powder.

Scrape the mixture into the baking tin and bake for about 50 minutes. Check that it is cooked by inserting a metal skewer into the centre. If it is moist but clean then the cake is ready. If there is any sign of wet cake mixture on the skewer, return the cake to the oven for a few more minutes. Cover the surface with foil if it starts getting too dark.

Leave the cake to settle in the tin for about 15 minutes, then loosen sides with a palette knife and carefully lift the cake out. Leave to cool for a bit longer before peeling off the paper. Serve cool.

(Original recipe from Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries II, Fourth Estate, 2012.)

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Jono’s mum Gera often comments that we rarely put desserts on our blog. She sent us a collection of her favourite dessert and cake recipes and this is her chocolate fudge cake which was a great hit at our annual New Year’s Day lunch. The original recipe uses Australian cup measures so apologies for the odd measurements – they will work.

Gera’s Chocolate Fudge Cake

  • 180g butter
  • 250ml cocoa, sifted
  • 375ml castor sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs – separated and whites stiffly beaten
  • 375ml self-raising flour, sifted
  • 187ml plain flour, sifted
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • whipped cream
  • icing sugar

Beat the butter to a cream with the sifted cocoa. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, then add vanilla.

Beat in egg yolks, one by one.

Stir in sifted flours alternately with the water.

Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites

Pour into 2 prepared 20cm cake tins.

Bake at 150-160ºC for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cake rack.

When the cake is cooled, sandwich together with whipped cream and sift icing sugar over the top.

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This month’s Irish Food Bloggers’ Association Cookalong theme was chocolate.

Anyone who follows this blog will know that we don’t do too many desserts but we got the Green and Black’s Chocolate book – Unwrapped – out with enthusiasm anyway. Flicking through the many fabulous looking desserts we came across this Chicken Mole, a savoury South American dish with chocolate sauce.

To be honest we weren’t too sure if we’d like the result and to be really honest we didn’t. I’ve used a square of chocolate in a big pot of chilli before and there is no doubt it can add a bit of character. This recipe uses 75g of dark chocolate and was a bit much we thought.

Having said that all four of us cleared our plates and two even had seconds so it wasn’t that bad, maybe just not quite to our tastes. Interesting nonetheless and we made a cracking guacamole to serve on the side (which we shall blog about later) with some tortilla chips which pleased us more.

Here’s the recipe if you’re feeling brave.

Chicken Mole – to serve 4

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 8 pieces of chicken on the bone (we used thighs and drumsticks)
  • 400g tin of red kidney beans
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 75g dark chocolate, minimum 60% cocoa solids

Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas mark 2.

Crush the garlic and slice the onions.

Seal the chicken in some olive oil in a big casserole pot that can go in the oven. When the chicken is lightly browned add the onions and garlic.

When the onions are lightly browned, add the tomatoes and kidney beans (including the juice), plus the paprika and 50g of the chocolate.

Bring to simmer and put in the oven for 1 hr 30 minutes.

Skim the surface to remove any chicken fat. Taste and adjust seasoning – you’ll need some salt. Add another 20g of chocolate to taste.

We served this with pilau rice, tortilla chips and guacamole.

Wine suggestion: This went well with a rich Tempranillo/Garnacha blend from Toro in Spain.


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