Crack through the solid chocolate lid to reach a smooth chocolate ganache; beneath which, lies dreamy salted caramel. Rich and super indulgent. Happy chocolatey Easter.
30g unsalted butter
100g light muscovado sugar
150ml double cream
1/4 tsp sea-salt
100g dark chocolate, chopped (your favourite kind)
150ml double cream
1tsp unsalted butter
50g dark chocolate, chopped: for a solid top to the dessert
These measurements make about 4/5 ramekins worth of dessert.
To make the caramel, melt the butter in a pan. Add sugar and cream.
Stir the mixture over a low heat until it dissolves, then increase the heat a little, and simmer until the sauce thickens, and turns a deep caramel brown.
Remove from the heat, and leave it to cool for about 10 minutes. Stir in the salt flakes, and pour the mixture into your serving ramekins. Pop them in the fridge to set.
To make the chocolate ganache, heat the cream in a pan and pour it over the chopped chocolate.
Stir until the chocolate has dissolved, and mix in the butter.
Pour the ganache over the set caramel, and leave it to set in the fridge.
Melt the remaining chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl at all.
Carefully spoon the chocolate over the set ganache layer, and tilt the ramekin to ensure it is totally covered with chocolate. This will set as quite a hard layer of chocolate, that needs to be smashed before you can reach the gooey caramel – so good!
Slightly adapted from goodtoknow recipes – Thanks G!
I hope you have all had a great start to 2013. I most certainly did. I brought in the new year with some of my favourite things: food, cheese, friends, laughter, and DESSERT!
We started 2013 with a mountain of my profiteroles, bathed in a mixture of chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache. We just dove in, fingers first.
It. Was. SO. Good.
Profiteroles come with a slight contention in my mums house. They are traditionally my sister’s classic dessert. Not using her recipe meant the little profits were under real scrutiny. Eek!
This mixture made about 70 small profiteroles. Yes I was shocked to see so many. Please don’t hesitate to half the mixture. Unless you want to feed an army of course.
150g plain flour
1 tsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
Is basically cream infused with vanilla pods. Sorry about the fancy pants name.
1 vanilla pod, split
600ml double cream
3-4tbsp icing sugar
200g chocolate (use your favourite)
100ml double cream
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Place the milk, cold water and sugar in a pan and set over a low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the butter. Once the butter has melted, bring to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat then tip in the flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon. As soon as the mixture starts to come away from the side of the pan, stop beating and tip onto a plate to cool.
Return the mixture to a bowl, and gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, mixing well between each addition, until you have a smooth paste. Be sure to add the eggs slowly, as your mixture is at risk of turning lumpy.
Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper, and pre-heat the oven to about 200C.
Spoon the choux pastry into a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle (about 1.5cm in diameter). Pipe a small blob of the pastry mix under each corner of the greaseproof to keep the paper in place. Now pipe about 20 walnut-sized balls onto the baking sheet, spaced well apart. Level the peaked tops with the tip of a wet finger then bake for 18-20 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Repeat and repeat if you make the full quota.
Remove the profiteroles from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
For the Chantilly cream scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into a large mixing bowl. Add the cream, and icing sugar then whisk together until the consistency of a soft meringue with floppy peaks. Spoon the cream into a clean piping bag, fitted with a small plain nozzle. Pierce the base of a choux bun with the tip of the nozzle and pipe in the cream until oozing-ly full. Repeat with the remaining choux buns.
For the ganache, break the chocolate into small pieces in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and mix in the double cream. Let the mixture cool before you top the profiteroles. If the mixture is too solid, warm it in the microwave for 10 seconds, or until it becomes easier to work with again.
If you would like to make a profiterole dessert like I did, then you will need to prepare a portion of my chocolate mousse.
In a large bowl, layer the profiteroles, chocolate mousse and ganache. Cover with sparkles, gold balls, gold leaf (it was NYE), more sparkles and sparklers, and bring to the table to wow your friends.
This serves about 4 people. The fruits, nuts and chocolate are all optional and can be replaced by whatever you want. Enjoy!
Grease a 1 litre pretty pie dish with butter.
Cut the brioche into thin slices. Don’t use the very end crust pieces of the brioche (not wasted – eaten).
Arrange a layer of the brioche at the bottom of the pie dish. Add a few blobs of butter, a layer of pecans and dates and a sprinkle of cinnamon and chocolate if you are using it. Repeat the layers of brioche, butter, pecans, dates, cinnamon and chocolate until you have used up all the brioche. Finish with a layer of brioche, and set aside.
Gently warm the milk and cream (and vanilla seeds and pod if using) in a pan over a low heat to scalding point. Don’t let it boil.
Crack the eggs into a bowl. Add three quarters of the sugar and lightly whisk until pale.
Add the warm milk and cream mixture and stir well, then strain the custard into a bowl.
Pour the custard over the prepared brioche layers and sprinkle with cinnamon, some grated chocolate and the remaining sugar and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Place the dish into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the custard has set and the top is golden-brown. Bubbling hot you might have to wait a few minutes before you can warm your insides with this hot steamy pudding.
Continuing with the macaroon tradition, here comes the recipe for my chocolate and raspberry macaroons.
75g egg white (whites from approx 2 large eggs)
65g granulated sugar
50g ground almonds
100g icing sugar
25g unsweetened cocoa powder
Weigh the egg whites. I try to use Two Chicks when I can find it, so I don’t end up with a million egg yolks to use.
Whisk the egg whites like you would a meringue. As the mixture comes to soft peaks, slowly add the caster sugar until it’s all worked in and smooth and glossy.
Sift half of the almond, icing sugar and cocoa powder into the meringue mixture.
Fold this in using a metal spoon or spatula.
Sift and fold in the final half of the almond, icing sugar and cocoa powder.
Fold until the mixture has just combined.
Pop the mixture in a piping bag with a wide nozzle, and pipe onto a baking sheet with circles drawn on it. OK you don’t have to draw circles on the baking sheet, but I’m a fuss pot.
Now the fun part – bang the baking trays on a surface to remove the air pockets in the macaroons.
Leave the UNBAKED macaroons on the side for between 30mins-1hr. A type of ‘skin’ will form on the top that you can lightly touch.
Put the macaroons in a pre-heated oven at about 120-140C (depending on your oven) for about 15 minutes. If the macaroons don’t look done, don’t be afraid to pop them in the oven again with the door slightly ajar, so they don’t burn. I prefer to go for a lower oven temperature, and a longer baking time than that which is always prescribed in the recipe information.
Remove the macaroons from the oven and allow them to cool, still on the tray. Good macaroons should be smooth and glossy with a good foot and not flat (See photos above and below!)