Roofs and grass were all dusted with white in the early morning.
Short day, chilly night and morning frost…
Yes, winter is here for good now !
A cup of warm tea in hand, I was thinking what I would like to bake to satisfy my chocolate fix.
I soon realised it’s not about the form, but aroma I was interested in this time…
Indeed, served warm in a soufflé or cold in a custard, the blend of spices and flavours is what makes the specific character of these chocolate desserts.
And what’s the blend made of, you asked?
Vanilla, for the simply addictive smell…
Cardamom, it makes everything special, don’t you think so ?
Rose pepper, for a sweet peppery hint…
And orange rind, to balance with a tangy note.
An exotic twist to these classic recipes and two happy faces while eating them…
Feel free to adjust spices to your liking.
Spicy Chocolate Soufflé (makes 4 mugs, 225ml each)
20 g cornflour
140 ml milk
140 g dark Chocolate, chopped
4 egg yolks
100 g muscovado
8 cardamom pods, seeds finely pound
1/2 tsp rose pepper finely pound
1 vanilla bean split and seeds scraped
1/4 unwaxed orange rind, finely grated
4 egg whites
A pinch of salt
A knob of butter for greasing mug
Preheat oven to 190°C
Brush mugs with the softened butter from the base to the rim. Chill the dishes for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle a little cocoa powder into each dish, tilting and rolling the dishes around to line them with an even layer of cocoa powder.
In a sauce pan, mix the corn flour with a little of the milk, then gradually add the rest of the milk until you have a smooth mixture and slowly bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Add muscovado and boil for 30 seconds then off the heat, add the chocolate and whisk until smooth and stir in cardamom, rose pepper, vanilla seeds and orange rind. Beat in the egg yolks until smooth before transferring to a bowl to cool.
Whisk the egg whites to stiff peak. Add one third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and mix well. Now add in the remaining egg white and gently fold into the mix. Do not over work the mixture as it will become too hard and stiff.
Divide the mixture between the mugs. Level the surface with a palate knife then bake for 10 minutes, or until well risen. Remove from the oven and dust with the remaining cocoa powder. Serve immediately.
Spicy Chocolate Crème (makes 6)
70 g muscovado
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
3-4 cardamom pods, seeds finely pound
1/4 tsp rose pepper, finely pound
Unwaxed orange rind, finely grated
100 g dark chocolate
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
In a sauce pan, pour the milk and add the vanilla bean, seeds, cardamom, rose pepper and orange zest. Bring to a boil and then stop the heat, cover and let infuse for 30 minutes. Filter.
In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a double-boiler and keep on the side.
Preheat oven at 160°C.
In a bowl, beat eggs with muscovado for one minute, then add hot milk slowly while beating.
Add melted chocolate and cocoa powder and mix.
Pour the preparation in small ramekins and remove the foam that might have formed on top. Place ramekins in a dish filled with hot water, so that they are half immersed.
Place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until set. The middle should still be moving a little but will firm up as it cool down. Take the ramekins out and let them cool down completely. Place a plastic wrap on top and place them in the fridge to rest for a few hours before eating.