Category Archives: chocolate

Banana flavoured disaster

I AM ON HOLIDAY! Woohoo!

This means that I have time to cook and cook and bake. No more assignments (well for this week at least), no more shifts. The most strenuous thing that I will be doing is kneading some pastry and blowing the dust off my sewing machine. Too good, such a shame it will only be this week.

Spring is also showing its head from time to time, so I’m hoping that this week I can skip through some flower filled fields or something similar. Right now, unfortunately, it is pouring down and the wind is shaking my room. I was particularly unimpressed when it started to bucket down when I was going to the supermarket.

So, I will share what I have made in the past couple of days. Including… last night’s puddle pie!

The recipe was actually supposed to be a banana cream pie, from my beloved Milk Bar cookbook. DISASTER!

Sadly, my crust was too thin, the banana cream did not set and so we ate a textural, luminous yellow puddle

Taste-wise? Incredible. Imagine the flavour of your favourite banana bread combined with a luscious custard and intense dark chocolate biscuit.

Here is a lovely picture, taken before we attempted to set the pie and eventually serve it.

I won’t share a picture of it served up. It ain’t pretty. There are no redeeming features. I threw a wee tantrum… it was late… I’d spent hours making this… then I read some Harry Potter and all was ok.

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Banana Bread

Also, in other news, my search for the best ever banana bread is officially over. This recipe in the best ever series on A Cup of Jo from Joy the Baker officially takes the cake (‘scuse the pun). For goodness sake, click the link and make it this week, I mean, it has bourbon and chocolate chips, do you need any other reason?

Oh yead, and y’all can now subscribe to receive blog posts by email if you fill in the box at the bottom of the page- thanks!

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Happy Easter!

Appropriately, tonight’s dessert is thoroughly chocolate, inside and out. Maybe you’ve already had too much chocolate today, in which case, my condolences to you. Save this recipe for another time then, you will want to. This Rhubarb and Chocolate tart is delectable and well worth the time and effort and screaming in the kitchen.

The screaming was due to the pastry part of this recipe. I have always been confused by those who find pastry making difficult since, until now, I have never had any issue. Mum thinks it’s because I have really cold hands all the time, I think she’s probably right. However, this time I dutifully followed the recipe as I always do and to my horror I did not end up with a dough, rather a sticky paste. This was quickly rectified with the addition of more flour, but the dough was still extra sticky. Then when rolling out the chilled dough between sheets of baking paper, it stuck to the baking paper, badly, and I had to patch up holes. I wanted to cry at that point, but big salty tears would have done this pastry no good.

After all that, I gotta say the taste of this tart is a party in your mouth. Though, more of an elegant james bond-esque party in your mouth. The chocolate is rich and silky, the rhubarb a delightfully tangy contrast, plus you get a subtle waft of roses, wonderful. And the pastry? Not too bad, though I have fiddled with the recipe to hopefully give a less stressful outcome. Consume in thin slices, this stuff is powerful.

Chocolate and Rhubarb Tart Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 58

1/4 C (25g) Dutch Cocoa, plus extra for dusting

1 1/4 C (185g) plain flour

125g chilled butter, cubed

1/2 C (80g) icing sugar

2 egg yolks

2 T iced water

for the baked rhubarb

400g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 10cm lengths

2T caster sugar

1T rosewater

dark chocolate ganache

300g dark chocolate, chopped

1C (250mL) cream

Place the cocoa, flour, butter and icing sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. While the motor is running, add the egg yolks and process to combine. If the dough has not come together, add the iced water a little at a time until it comes together. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Roll pastry out between two sheets of non-stick baking paper to 3mm thick. Line a 24cm round loose-bottomed tart tin with the pastry, trim the edges and prick the base with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 mins. Line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper, fill with baking weights and bake for 15 mins. Remove the paper and weights and bake for another 10-15 mins or until the pastry is light golden. Allow to cool in the tin.

To make the baked rhubarb, place the rhubarb, sugar and rosewater in a bowl and mix to combine. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, cover with foil and bake for 15-20 mins until tender. Allow to cool.

To make dark chocolate ganache, place the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Set aside for 10 mins or until thickened slightly.

Place the rhubarb and its syrup in the base of the pastry case and pour over the ganache. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until set. Dust with cocoa to serve. Serves 6-8.

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Chocolate Soufflé

A couple of months ago I decided to be brave and attempt soufflé. It was hard and there was cursing and rushing to get it finished in time so that I could watch Dr. Who… priorities, people, priorities. I was excited when I took these babies out of the oven: they looked good, smelt incredible and for the depths of winter, this was true happiness. Unfortunately, though flavour was chocolate heaven, there were wee bits of cocoa which had not mixed in as at that stage in the cooking, my mix with the cocoa had completely seized- sad face! Having said that, it was devoured by my adoring fan club (I love you Ma and Pa!) and next time I hope to perfect it!

Chocolate soufflé