Category Archives: chocolate

Recipe – Chocolate fondant with lavender flower cream

 The perfect spring dessert
Yay for Spring! The lavender is out, the bees are dropping in again and the balcony plants are bursting back into life.
The lavender variety I’m growing has large soft lilac flowers with a gentler aroma than the tight hedge variety. The flowers are perfect stirred through some cream and served with a luscious oozy chocolate pudding.
Recipe: Chocolate fondant with lavender blossom cream
Ingredients:
350 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
50g soft butter
150g caster sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons plain flour
For lavender blossom cream
1 cup of thick cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar
5-6 lavender flower buds
Method:
To make the lavender cream: beat the cream and sugar with a whisk until it is thick. Stir in the lavender flowers and set aside in the fridge for the flavours to infuse.
Grease 6 dariole moulds and place them on a baking tray.
Melt the chocolate by placing a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water making sure the bowl does not touch the water.
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Add the flour and mix well. Add the melted chocolate and beat to form a smooth batter.
Divide the chocolate mixture evenly between the 6 moulds. At this stage the fondants can be set aside in the fridge for up to a day.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Place the fondants in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. Check them by inserting a skewer. They should still be gooey and runny in the middle. They should be cooked at least a 1cm in from the edge.
When ready, turn the dariole moulds on to a plate and serve with a dusting of icing sugar and a large dollop of the lavender cream.

If the word fondant made you break out into a cold sweat in the past you have got to try this recipe.
Fail safe, delicious .. your friends and family will swoon…

Recipe: Heavenly Flourless Chocolate Cake – It works!

This recipe is adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s ‘chocolate and almond cake’ recipe from her cook’s companion.
Ingredients:
125g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon brandy (I used kirsch left over from Christmas)
1 tablespoon black coffee
100g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
3 eggs, separated
icing sugar
Method:
Preheat oven to 160 C. Butter an 18cm round tin and line it with baking paper ( I used a lined spring form flan tin). Combine chocolate, coffee and brandy in a bowl over a double boiler. Stir when melted and add butter and sugar. Mix well. Add ground almonds and stir very well. Lightly beat egg yolks and stir into bowl off the heat. Beat egg whites until firm. Lighten chocolate mixture with a spoonful of egg white, then fold in the rest of the egg whites and spoon into prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes. The cake will test a little gooey in the centre. It will have developed a crust and be very fragile. Cool completely in the tin, then carefully invert onto a serving plate and dust with icing sugar.
Verdict:
This cake was delicious. Moist and deeply flavoured with the chocolate and coffee. I served it with some King Island vanilla bean yoghurt and some fresh raspberries.

Chocolate-led recovery

I think I’ve mentioned my mother-in-law Gwen to you a few times. She is a one-off. No higher than a whirlpool washing-machine but with a similar G-force. Born on the same day 83 years ago as Queen Elizabeth II but with more airs and graces.She has Dame Edna’s brutual comic timing but a fear of the world beyond her white picket fence a la John Howard. There’s nothing she wouldn’t do to help a stranger in need but “we have to keep those ‘illegals’ out of the country”. Our Gwen is a swirling mass of contradictions. The only thing that calms her (other than her medications) are desserts and chocolates. Amen to the Cook’s Garden in North Turramurra for their wonderful range of Colefax chocolates. Lunch today was a much more relaxed affair after they arrived.