Hey ya mates, seems all I’ve posted lately is chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. Thank goodness the recipes aren’t alike!
So, big dinner, a bunch of kids and a lot of things to prepare. If you’ve read Trippin’ with the Buddies, let me tell you now that this surpassed six people (and almost no chairs!). We’re talking about ten people or so, and as we’re only two hosts (me and my father), it’s important that we keep everything extremely organized since the beginning of the day. I think desserts should always be made before anything else. Unless it’s something that has to be served directly from the oven of course. As for our main-dish, some fabulous moules mariniére (or my father’s version of it, that I believe to be as good or even better than the original) with french fries. I wasn’t too optimistic about moules because of their peculiar texture, but I found out quite quickly that it’s something I really enjoy! Don’t worry, next time I invite my buddies that’s exactly what I’m going to make, and it will be posted!
Since we had children present, and I was somewhat apprehensive regarding the Chocolate Tart’s intensity, I thought it would be a great idea to include gelatin, something I consider to be side-dessert. I used the instant powder that you get in the supermarket and I have to admit that I like it, and so do children (and that’s exactly the point). To make it just a little more sophisticated, I added a mix of whole raspberries and blackberries. It gives fresh polish, and it doesn’t make it quite as boring as it inevitably is. I’m only going to write the recipe for the Chocolate Tart and it’s garnish, the Créme Anglaise. Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph the custard…but it’s probable that most people know what it looks like.
Simple baked Chocolate Tart (Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef)
1x25cm/10 inch flan or tart shell, baked blind*
140g butter, unsalted
150g best-quality chocolate (Valrhona, Lindt or Callebaut preferably)
8 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
small pinch of salt
200g caster sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup (I think this is optional, really)
3 medium heaped tablespoons sour cream or créme fraiche
Place the butter, chocolate, cocoa powder ans salt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and allow to melt slowly, stirring occasionally until well mixed in. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and sugar together until light and well creamed, and then add the golden syrup and sour cream/créme fraiche. Stir your chocolate mixture into this mixture, scraping all the chocolate out with a spatula. Once you’ve mixed it well, pour it into the pastry shell. Place into a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes at 150ºC (300ºF). During cooking a beautiful crust will form on top.
Carefully remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool on a rack at least 45 minutes, during which time the skin will crack and the filling will shrink slightly.
This cake is a true midnight express, even on the dark side. Why? Chocolate, pure and simple, and dark. This was a sort-of improvised adventure, but I will write down the recipe that I based myself on. The original would be a Moelleux au Chocolat, but I didn’t beat the egg white…so it may be more similar to a Petit Gâteau. Anyway, I’ll try to adapt this one the closest to reality! I can’t believe I did this in half an hour…
Midnight Express Cake
- 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (good quality on this one, preferably Valrhona)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 6 tablespoons caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- cocoa powder
- confectioners’ sugar
- fresh berries
- vanilla ice-cream (I didn’t have this at home, but I figure it’s the perfect match for a dessert like this!)
1. Pre-heat your oven at 400ºF (200ºC). Butter and lightly flour with cocoa powder, 6 mini ramekins or aluminum tins.
2. Melt the chocolate and the butter in a pot over simmering water. Whisk well, until glossy and smooth. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Set aside.
3. In a bowl beat the eggs until a light ribbon consistency, and gradually adding the sugar. Mix this well, because it has to be quite thick. Add the flour and stir gently (you want it to be quite fluffy).
4. Pour the mixture into the ramekins evenly and place in the oven to bake. They will be ready when the tops are puffed and slightly cracked (about 15 minutes).
To serve: Unmold the cakes directly to the plates. Place a scoop of ice-cream over each cake (or on the side) with a few berries. Dust with cocoa powder and the confectioner’s sugar, and if possible, with a pinch of instant coffee!