Friday, November 30, 2007

Tips on chocolate

Last night a friend of my husband’s came for dinner. I did chicken breasts (free range of course!) which I rolled in chopped rosemary, salt and pepper and then wrapped in proscuitto and baked, roast kumara and jersey benne potatoes with a sour cream dressing (from the latest Dish magazine) and broccoli. But the piece de resistance was pudding! Ever since I got the Donna Hay Instant Entertaining book a couple of years ago I have wanted to make the recipe for molten chocolate puddings. I made them last night.

They were so delicious, but incredibly rich!! I can stomach pretty rich food but even I couldn’t eat my whole pudding and it really needed the cream to cut through the richness.

A few people have asked me to blog about the type of chocolate I use in my baking, so now is probably an appropriate time to do that. I always look for chocolate that has greater than 60% cocoa solids – my favourite is whittakers 70% and I also use Cadbury old gold which has 70% cocoa solids. You can get quite good results with the whittakers and Cadbury dark chocolates that have about 47% cocoa solids, but to get the really chocolatey flavour, you need more. The percentage is always listed in the ingredients list. I never use cooking chocolate as it is not really chocolate and I have never bought the really expensive stuff like valhrona as I reckon Whittakers is very good. For things like ganache and dipping truffles I use dark chocolate melts (only nestle) because they set quickly and if the filling is rich I don’t think you need such good quality chocolate. Anyway, if you have anymore questions, post a comment – but try these puddings, they are a real treat!!!!

Molten chocolate puddings

¼ c flour
1/3 c icing sugar
¾ c ground almonds
2 egg whites, beaten
80 g butter, melted
160g dark chocolate, melted
4 x 10g pieces dark chocolate

· Mix all ingredients (apart from the chocolate pieces) together.
· Divide half the mixture between 4 greased ramekins, pop a square of chocolate on top and then top up with the remaining mixture
· Bake at 160deg for 20 minutes
· Leave for 5 minutes before turning out on plates
· Serve while still warm so that the centres are flowing

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