Monday, 29 April 2013

Sweet Like Chocolate

Hi all!

And with Sunday now a distant memory, let's sweeten this week up with some amazing sweet recipes. Check this out:

Glissade Chocolate Pudding by 101 Cookbooks:
Ingredients:
2 eggs, brought to room temperature shortly before using*
6 ounces / 170 g good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons fine grain sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
fine grain sea salt
to top: heavy cream, loosely whipped, slightly sweetened (optional)

Method:
Separate the whites and yolks of the eggs. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold very stiff peaks.

Combine the chocolate, water, sugar, butter, and a pinch of salt in a double boiler. If you don't have a double-boiler, you can fashion one by combining the ingredients in a medium stainless steel bowl, and then placing this bowl atop a small simmering saucepan of water. The idea is to apply just enough gentle heat to melt the chocolate. Stir until the ingredients come together smoothly. Remove from heat, and beat in the egg yolks. Add the egg whites, and fold gently until the pudding is uniform in texture. Pour the pudding into serving cups or glasses, and chill well - preferably for a few hours. Serve topped with a bit of whipped cream.
Serves 2-4.

Chocolate Truffles
Ingredients:

Basic truffle ingredients
8 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (high quality, 62% cacao or higher), well chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Optional base flavorings:
Mint leaves (1 bunch, stems removed, chopped, about 1 cup)
Cinnamon and cardamon (1 cinnamon stick, 2 cardamom pods)
Amaretto (1-2 tablespoons)
Almond extract (1 teaspoon)
Truffle coatings
Cocoa powder
Finely chopped walnuts
Finely chopped almonds

Method:

1 In a small, heavy saucepan bring the heavy whipping cream to a simmer (this may take a while, be sure to stir and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula every few minutes).

If you are using one of the other recommended flavorings, stir it in with the cream (and ignore vanilla in the next step). If adding mint or other solids, after the cream simmers, remove from heat and let seep for an hour. Then strain away solids, and return the cream to a simmer and proceed with recipe.

2 Place the chocolate in a separate bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate, add the vanilla, and allow to stand for a few minutes then stir until smooth. (This chocolate base is called ganache.)

3 Allow to cool, then place in the refrigerator for two hours. Remove and with a teaspoon roll out balls of the ganache. Roll in your hands quickly (as it will melt from the heat of your hands) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

4 Roll in cocoa powder or chopped nuts and serve, or place back in the refrigerator until needed.

Rich Chocolate Cheesecake:
Ingredients:

Chocolate Cheesecake Crust:
1 1/2 cups (150 grams) chocolate wafer crumbs
1/3 cup (75 grams) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
12 ounces (340 grams) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
24 ounces (680 grams) (3 - 8 ounces packages) full fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) full fat or light sour cream, room temperature

Ganache:
4 ounces (115 grams) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, room temperature

Instructions:

Chocolate Cheesecake: Butter or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 10 inch (25 cm) spring form pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) with rack in center of oven.

Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the chocolate wafer crumbs and melted butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom of the spring form pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.

For Filling: Melt the chopped chocolate in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat the cream cheese, on medium low speed, until smooth. Gradually beat in the sugar. Add the melted chocolate and beat until fully incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract and sour cream and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Place the cheesecake pan on a larger baking pan and place in the oven.

Bake for about 50 - 55 minutes or until firm yet the center of the cheesecake will still look a little wet and wobbly. Remove from oven and carefully run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake (helps prevent the surface from cracking as it cools). Let cool and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours before covering with the ganache.

Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a stainless steel bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a few minutes. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly and then pour over cheesecake. With an offset spatula or back of a spoon, evenly spread the ganache over the top of the cheesecake. Cover and return to the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. This cheesecake tastes best after being refrigerated for at least a day. Serve in small slices.
Serves at 12 - 16 people.

Aaah man! Chocolate makes everything better! Join me for some awesome facts about chocolate tomorrow!

Stay sweet!
Chef Shants xxxxx

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