Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category

Chocolate and pear torte

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Serves 8

Preparation time 30 mins to 1 hour

Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

Free from: wheat, gluten and eggs, can be dairy, soya and nut freeIngredients
100g/3½oz gram flour and 100g/3½oz rice or potato flour, OR 200g/7oz gluten-free and wheat-free flour
1 level tsp xanthan gum (available in health food stores and in some supermarkets)
110g/4oz dairy-free margarine OR butter (cow or goat) if you can eat it
30ml/1fl oz cold water
350ml/12fl oz cows’, soya or rice milk (rice milk will be rather thinner and sweeter)
15g/½oz cornflour
80g/3oz dark dairy-free chocolate (70% cocoa solids minimum)
2 tbsp Cointreau, Grand Marnier or brandy
3 ripe pears
Method
1. Sift the flour or flours with the xanthan gum into the bowl of a food processor.
2. Cut the margarine or butter into the flour and blend it until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Add the water and blend again; if it looks dry, add a little more water. Blend until the dough forms a ball.
4. Remove from the processor, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
5. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
6. Remove the pastry from the fridge. Roll it out onto a well floured board and line a 20-25cm/8-9in loose-bottomed flan tin. The pastry will be quite soft, so you may need to patch any bits that tear. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and weight with baking beans.
7. Bake for 15 minutes then remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 10 minutes to crisp the pastry. Cool.
8. Meanwhile, gradually mix whichever milk you are using into the cornflour and heat slowly, stirring continually until it thickens. Cook for a minute or two then remove from the heat.
9. Break up 60g/2½oz of the chocolate and add it to the cornflour mix, stirring until it is all melted.
10. Stir in the liqueur or brandy.
11. Quarter the pears, core and peel them and arrange them, pointed side to the middle, in the flan dish.
12. Spoon the chocolate sauce over the pears and allow to cool entirely.
13. Grate over the remaining chocolate before serving.

Coffee mushrooms

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

 Serves 4

Preparation time 30 mins to 1 hour

Cooking time less than 10 mins

Ingredients
570ml/1 pint good quality coffee ice cream, slightly softened
255g/9oz dark chocolate, roughly grated
cocoa powder and icing sugar, for dusting
For the tuiles:
110g/4oz butter softened
140g/5oz icing sugar
110g/4oz plain flour
3 eggs, whites only
For the sauce:
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
2 tbsp caster sugar
120ml/4fl oz double cream
 

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. To make the stalks of the mushrooms, take four large and four small dariole mounds or vodka shot glasses, and line them with cling film. Fill with the slightly softened ice cream and re-freeze until set hard again.
3. To make the tuiles, cream the butter and sugar together. Slowly add the egg whites to the mix, then fold in the flour. Using one large and one small round template (margarine tub lids – cut a circle out of the lid and place on a baking tray, lipped side up and spread the tuile mix over the hole with a palette knife, then lift the template off to leave a perfect circle) – you will need 4 of each size. Bake in the preheated oven for 2-3 minutes until lightly coloured at the edges. Remove and place each disc of tuile over an egg cup or similar until cold. The soft tuile will fold over into mushroom cap shapes and become crisp.
5. Dissolving together the coffee and sugar with a very little boiling water to make a syrup. Stir the cooled coffee syrup into the double cream, making a coffee sauce.
6. To serve, scatter the gratings in a circle around the edges of four serving plates. Spoon some of the coffee sauce into the centre. Unmould the ice cream, removing the cling film, and stand the stalks upright on the pool of sauce, one of each size on each plate.
7. To make the mushroom caps turn the tuiles dome side up. Using a small sieve, dust the tuile domes with cocoa powder and icing sugar. Place the small caps on the small stalks and the large caps on the large stalks. Serve at once.

Red wine, biscuit and chocolate mousse

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Serves 4

Preparation time overnight

Cooking time less than 10 mins

Ingredients
140g/5oz good quality plain chocolate, broken into pieces
40g/1½oz butter, melted
4 egg yolks
55g/2oz caster sugar
2 egg whites
12 small macaroon biscuits
150ml/5fl oz good quality red wine, ideally St Emilion or Merlot
1 small orange, zest and juice only
 

Method
1. Place the chocolate in a bowl and melt either over a pan of hot water or in a microwave for 30 seconds. Stir in the melted butter.
2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until light and thick (the ribbon stage), then pour into a large bowl.
3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, and then leave to one side.
4. Take four large wine glasses and place three of the biscuits in the bottom of each. Pour half the wine evenly into the bottoms of the glasses.
5. Stir the orange zest and juice into the sugar and egg mixture and then quickly fold in the melted chocolate followed by the egg white. Be careful and take your time with this stage so as not to lose the air.
6. Half fill the glasses with this mousse mixture and then top with the remaining biscuits.
7. Pour the rest of the wine over the top and then fill the glasses up to the top with the remaining mousse.
8. Put in the fridge to set for a few hours, preferably overnight, before serving.

White chocolate chilli brownies

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Makes 25 small or 12 medium

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour

Ingredients
200g/7oz butter
300g/10½oz quality white chocolate, chopped
3 medium eggs
150g/5oz caster sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
200g/7oz plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
icing sugar for serving
For the chillies
1 large fresh red chilli, de-seeded
1 large fresh green chilli, de-seeded
100g/3½oz caster sugar
150ml/5fl oz water
Method
1. Heat the oven to 180C/355F/Gas 4.
2. Lightly butter a 20cm x 30cm/8in x 12in straight-sided baking tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
3. Finely slice the chillies on the diagonal.
4. Combine the sugar, water and chillies and bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer for five minutes.
5. In a heatproof bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water, melt the butter with 150g/5oz of the white chocolate, whisking well until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
6. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together until pale. Beat in the melted white chocolate mixture.
7. Fold in the sifted flour and salt, then the remaining chopped white chocolate. Drain the chillies and add most of them to the batter.
8. Pour into the baking pan, strew the remaining chillies on top, and bake for 25 minutes or until the top is firm and lightly golden. Remove and cool in the pan.
9. Cut into small or large squares, dust with icing sugar and serve.

Chocolate sponge pudding

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Serves 2

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time less than 10 mins

Ingredients
55g/2oz unsalted butter, softened
55g/2oz caster sugar
55g/2oz self-raising flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 egg
For the chocolate sauce
2 tbsp double cream
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp cocoa
 

Method
1. Cream the butter and sugar together in a food processor. Add the flour and cocoa powder and pulse to combine. Add the egg and pulse again.
2. Grease a small oven-proof glass bowl with butter and pour the sponge mixture in.
3. Microwave for 4-5 minutes on high or until cooked and springy to the touch.
4. To make the chocolate sauce, heat the cream, sugar, butter and cocoa together in a pan, stirring occasionally. Simmer gently for a few minutes.
5. Turn the pudding out onto a serving plate and pour the chocolate sauce over to serve.