Salame di Cioccolato – Italian Chocolate Salami

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 4 tbs orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
  • 7 oz tea biscuits and/or plain butter cookies
  • 3 oz chopped pistachios
  • 2 tbs chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • powdered sugar, for decoration

METHOD:

  1. Break cookies into a large bowl and sprinkle with ½ the Grand Marnier, set aside.
  2. In a bowl, vigorously mix egg yolks with sugar until the mixture turns thick and the sugar is fully incorporated. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the butter over low heat. With the back of a spoon smash the butter as it softens and begins to melt. Remove from heat as soon as the butter starts to liquify. Stir to combine.
  4. Next combine the broken cookies, butter and sugar mixture. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. The chocolate mixture will be sticky a bit messy to handle.
  5. Lay out a long sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap on a hard surface, about 18 inches long. Roll the mixture onto the wax paper and shape into a salami shape length wise to the paper. Mold salami to the desired length and thickness, somewhere between 2-3 inches. Bring salami to one side of paper and roll paper around log gently but firmly, twist ends similar to that of a salami.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  7. When ready to serve, unwrap the salami and lightly roll it in powdered sugar to give it a look of aged salami.
  8. Keep refrigerated.

Note: Salami will be very firm when cutting slices, so its best to take it out of the refrigerator a few minutes before serving. Entire salami can be cut into slices and refrigerated to make it easier to serve later. Or if entertaining, salami can be presented whole and guests can cut their own slices.

The Lady Grey Trio – Earl Grey Dark Chocolate Ice Cream / Orange Creme Brulee / Chocolate Orbit Cake with white chocolate Lady Grey creme anglaise

Earl Grey Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups manufacturing/heavy cream
  • 2 Tbspn black cocoa
  • 1 Tbspn Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 5 Earl Grey teabags
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tspn vanilla

METHOD:

  1. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of cream with the cocoa powders, whisking thoroughly.
  2. Bring the cream and cocoa powder to a boil and simmer for thirty seconds.
  3. Remove from heat and add the chopped dark chocolate, stirring until smooth.
  4. Stir in the remaining cup of cream.  Pour the cream mixture into a bowl, prepare a fine mesh sieve on top of the bowl, and set aside.
  5. In a saucepan (or the same one, if you’re lazy like me), combine the milk and teabags.  Bring just to a boil, remove from heat, and cover tightly with a lid.  Let the milk steep for ten minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks together in a separate bowl.  Set aside.
  7. Remove the tea bags from the milk, making sure to squeeze out all of the liquid.  Discard the tea bags.  Add the sugar and salt to the milk and return to just a bare simmer.
  8. Whisking constantly, pour the milk gradually into the prepared egg yolks and return to the saucepan.
  9. Cook the milk and yolk mixture over medium heat while stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and can coat the spoon/spatula.  Remove from heat immediately and pour through the strainer into the chocolate cream.
  10. Add the vanilla and stir until smooth.
  11. Chill mixture thoroughly in the fridge, then freeze it in your ice cream maker of choice.

Orange Creme Brûlée

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup manufacturing cream
  • 2 oz. vanilla sugar
  • zest of 2 large oranges
  • 1 tspn Grand Marnier
  • turbinado sugar
  • (blow torch)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees C. Prepare eight 2oz. ramekins in a water bath, filling the water half-way up the sides of the ramekins.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, cream, vanilla sugar, and orange zest. Bring to just a simmer.
  4. Temper the egg yolks by pouring the heated milk mixture gradually into the yolks, whisking the entire time. Once the milk and yolks are combined, whisk in the Grand Marnier.
  5. Strain the custard through a fine sieve into the eight prepared ramekins. Cover the ramekins tightly with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are set but the creme still jiggles a little when gently bumped. Remove from oven, remove from water bath, and let cool completely.
  7. Cover the custards with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  8. An hour or two before serving, remove the custards from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. (This helps to prevent condensation on the surface of the custards.)
  9. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle a thin layer of turbinado sugar on top of each custard and caramelize with a blow torch. Serve immediately.

David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Orbit Cake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 oz. butter, in small chunks
  • 6 oz. bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Line the bottoms of two 4.5″ round pans with parchment paper and butter the bottoms and sides.
  3. Combine the butter and chocolate in a double boiler. Cook until melted.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and the eggs.
  5. Whisk in the melted chocolate to the sugar and eggs.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and place this cake pan into a water bath, with warm water reaching about half-way up the sides.
  7. Cover tightly with foil. (Don’t forget this step!)
  8. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until the cake appears set and your finger comes away clean when you touch the center.
  9. Remove from oven and water bath and let cool completely.

Lady Grey White Chocolate Creme Anglaise

  • 6 oz. white chocolate
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 oz. whole milk
  • 4 oz. heavy cream
  • 3-4 Earl Grey teabags
  • 2 Tbspn vanilla sugar
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • pinch of salt

METHOD:

  1. Place chopped white chocolate in a bowl with a fine mesh sieve on top. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks until light. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, cream, and teabags.  Bring just to a simmer, remove from heat, and cover tightly with a lid.  Let simmer for ten minutes.
  4. Remove the teabags from the milk and cream, making sure to squeeze out all of the liquid.  Discard the teabags.
  5. Add the vanilla sugar, salt, and zest to the milk mixture.  Bring to a bare simmer.
  6. Whisking constantly, pour a small but steady stream of the heated milk and cream into the egg yolks to temper. Do this slowly, while whisking quickly. Once the milk and egg yolks are combined, return to the saucepan and to the stove.
  7. Heat the egg yolks and milk mixture while stirring constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom so that nothing burns or sticks. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil and cook until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about one minute. Remove from heat immediately.
  8. Pour the hot creme anglaise through the strainer onto the white chocolate. Let sit for a minute and then whisk until the white chocolate completely melts.
  9. Keep the sauce warm in a double boiler.
  10. Top the chocolate orbit cake with creme anglaise and candied orange peel.

Candied Orange Peel

  • 4 oranges, peel of (or any thick skinned orange)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar for rolling

or

  • 8 oz. chocolate for dipping

METHOD:

You can harvest the peel in many ways. Here are two I recommend: 1) Cut the oranges in half and juice them. Cut each half in half again and take a spoon to scrape the pulp out, leaving a clean pith. 2) Lop off the top and bottom of each orange (think of removing the polar caps where the stem and opposite end are) just to the fruit. Score the orange peel like lines of longitude every 60 degrees. Peel the orange and clean the inside of the peel with a spoon. (I generally don’t like to remove too much pith.)

Cut peel into 1/4 inch strips. Place peels in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Heat on high until water comes to a boil. Pour off the water. Repeat twice more. Combine sugar and water in the saucepan and bring to boil over high heat until temperature reaches 110°C. Add peel and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until peels are translucent (30 minutes or longer ). Remove peels from syrup and roll in sugar if desired, and set on rack to dry for 4-5 hours (well, I dry for 2 days and more humid regions will require more time). Once the peel is dry, you can dip in tempered dark chocolate – shake off excess, and place on foil, wax paper, or baking sheet to dry. Store in a tupperware, or if not chocolate dipped, store in sugar or as is.

Spanish Donuts with Spiced Chocolate (Chocolate con Rosquillas)

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INGREDIENTS:

Spanish Donuts

(makes approx 30 pieces)

  • 280g self raising flour
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 30g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 60ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 115g caster sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon in a shallow dish and set aside
  • Canola oil

METHOD:

  1. Sift into a large bowl the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon and mix to combine.
  2. Whisk in a separate bowl the milk, eggs and cooled melted butter. Add liquid ingredients to flour and whisk together to form a thick batter (it’ll be a little sticky).
  3. Heat about 4 cm of oil in a pan to 180°C (it’s the right temperature when a piece of bread cooks to golden in 30 seconds).
  4. Dust your hands with flour and form teaspoon-sized balls and drop into pan. Cook each side for about a minute until evenly golden. Don’t cook too much at one time or it’ll drop the temperature of the oil, which will make the donuts really heavy with grease.
  5. Remove with a slotted spoon and toss in the cinnamon sugar until coated. You can keep the donuts warm in a low oven (about 100°C) until all of it has been cooked. Best eaten warm on the day.

Spiced Chocolate

  • 250ml milk
  • 200ml pouring cream (thin cream)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground all-spice
  • 40ml brandy or liqueur such as Grand Marnier (optional)
  • 250g good quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces

METHOD:

  1. Combine milk, cream, spices and liqueur (if using) in a pan and bring to the simmer over low heat. Add chocolate and stir continuously over low heat until melted and combined. Keep warm while you cook the donuts.

Note: To change up the chocolate, use Grand Marnier and replace spices with large strips of rind from an orange (in which after you bring it to a simmer, cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly over low heat to infuse. Strain to remove rind and then add the chocolate as instructed). Alternatively use a different chocolate flavoured with orange, mint or spices.

If you want your chocolate to be thick add a little cornflour.

Palm Sugar and Brown Sugar Meringues

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INGREDIENTS:

Recipe 1: Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova)

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp (110 grams) white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (30 grams) cocoa powder

METHOD:

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200º F (95º C) degrees. Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment and set aside.
  2. Put the egg whites in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar about 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form. (The whites should be firm but moist.)
  3. Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder over the egg whites and fold the dry ingredients into the white. (This looks like it will not happen. Fold gently and it will eventually come together.)
  4. Fill a pastry bag with the meringue. Pipe the meringue into whatever shapes you desire. Alternatively, you could just free form your shapes and level them a bit with the back of a spoon. (Class made rounds, hearts, diamonds and an attempt at a clover was made!)
  5. Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Recipe 2: Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (for the top of the Pavlova base)

  • 1.5 cups (355 mls) heavy cream (cream with a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent)
  • grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
  • 9 ounces (255 grams) 72% chocolate, chopped
  • 1 2/3 cups (390 mls) mascarpone
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp (30 mls) Grand Marnier (or orange juice)

METHOD:

  1. Put ½ cup (120 mls) of the heavy cream and the lemon zest in a saucepan over medium high heat. Once warm, add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let sit at room temperature until cool.
  2. Place the mascarpone, the remaining cup of cream and nutmeg in a bowl. Whip on low for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. Add the Grand Marnier and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks. (DO NOT OVERBEAT AS THE MASCARPONE WILL BREAK.)
  3. Mix about ¼ of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate to lighten. Fold in the remaining mascarpone until well incorporated. Fill a pastry bag with the mousse. Again, you could just free form mousse on top of the pavlova.


Recipe 3: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling)

  • 1 recipe crème anglaise (recipe below)
  • ½ cup (120 mls) mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp (30 mls) Sambucca (optional)
  • ½ cup (120 mls) heavy cream

METHOD:

  1. Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and the Sambucca and let the mixture cool. Put the cream in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until very soft peaks are formed. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.


Recipe 4: Crème Anglaise (a component of the Mascarpone Cream above)

  • 1 cup (235 mls) whole milk
  • 1 cup (235 mls) heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp (75 grams) sugar

METHOD:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
  2. Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat.
  3. Pour about ½ cup of the hot liquid into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to keep from making scrambled eggs. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining cream mixture and put the heat back on medium. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
  4. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain it through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours or overnight.


Assembly

Pipe the mousse onto the pavlovas and drizzle with the mascarpone cream over the top. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and fresh fruit if desired.

***Now if you had to separate fresh eggs, what to do with the leftover egg yolks? Simple! No-bake pot de crèmes or chocolate pots

Chocolate Pots de Crème

  • 225g good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
  • 3 egg yolks (from the Meringue recipe above)
  • 1.5 Tbl (22.5ml) liquid glucose / glucose syrup / light corn syrup
  • 3 Tbl (45ml) warm water
  • 225ml double cream

METHOD:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over gently simmering water (making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water).
  2. Mix the glucose and the 2 Tbl warm water to the egg yolks, then mix into the melted chocolate.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it has reached ribbon consistency and gently fold into the chocolate mixture, without overmixing.
  4. Pour into the glasses or ramekins and refrigerate for about an hour berfore serving. If it has chilled for too long, sit at room temperature for around 30 minutes prior to serving. Top with extra cream and brown sugar meringue if you wish (recipe below).


Burnt Honey Ice cream

  • 150g honey
  • 600ml pouring cream (35% fat content)
  • 150ml milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 30g caster sugar

METHOD:

  1. Cook honey in a heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat until caramelised (about 7-8 minutes). Remove from heat, add the cream and milk (be careful because the mixture will spit and foam up), then return to the heat and stir until it just comes to the boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thickened. Pour cream mixture over and whisk to combine.
  3. Return to pan and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon (6-7 minutes). Strain into a bowl placed over ice and cool completely, then freeze in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Makes about 1 litre.

Molten Chocolate Orange Puddings

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INGREDIENTS:

Makes 4 large ramekins or 8 small pudding moulds

Grand Marnier Ganache Filling:

  • 40ml pouring cream
  • 10ml Grand Marnier
  • 75g dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids), finely chopped

Chocolate Pudding:

  • 150g dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids)
  • 90g butter
  • 30ml Grand Marnier
  • Rind of 1 orange
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 45g plain flour
  • 30g Dutch processed cocoa powder

METHOD:

  1. For ganache filling – In a pot over low heat, melt the chocolate with cream and Grand Marnier and mix to incorporate. Refrigerate until ganache is firm then divide and roll into 4 balls for the large ramekins (or 8 small balls). Refrigerate ganache balls until needed.
  2. For chocolate pudding – In a pot over low heat, place chocolate, butter, Grand Marnier and orange rind to melt. Mix to combine.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and thickened (about 5 minutes of beating). Add the chocolate mixture and fold to combine.
  4. Sift over the flour and cocoa powder and gently fold to combine. Refrigerate batter for an hour or two to firm up.
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease and flour four ramekins (or 8 small pudding moulds). Half fill the moulds with pudding batter, making sure to press firmly into the moulds. Place a ganache ball in the centre and gently press down into the pudding (don’t push it too far down).
  6. Top with more pudding mixture, up to 1cm below the rim and level top. Bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly risen and just firm to the touch.
  7. Rest for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto your serving plates.

Note – great thing about this type of fondant is that you can flavour the ganache filling and cake differently.