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Cover: Loco for cocoa

Recipes with cocoa powder

27Mar 12

Chocolate Lava Cakes

Chocolate Lava CakeI discovered Chocolate Lava Cakes only recently, and they are a true delight!  They are not like your traditional chocolate fudge cake.  As you bite into the chocolate sponge, the warm, gooey chocolate filling spills out onto your tongue.  A sensuous, and very welcome surprise for those not expecting it – and a treat for those who already know!  In fact, you need to eat these little heavenly parcels with a spoon, unless you want to get messy.  Chocolate Lava cakes are always eaten warm!

Ingredients:

  • 100g bar of good quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 2 large or extra large eggs
  • 1 large or extra large egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • A sprinkle of icing sugar or chocolate syrup to top before serving

Preparation Guidelines:

  1. Slowly melt the chocolate and the butter together in a heat-proof bowl that sits in a saucepan of hot water.  Once melted, combine them well.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and the sugar together until light and creamy.
  3. Fold the chocolate mixture into the creamed eggs and sugar until well-combined.
  4. Sift the flour, cocoa and salt into the chocolate and egg mix, and stir the whole mixture together with a spatula.
  5. Line 4 x 140g ramekins or small oven-proof pots with butter before dividing the mixture evenly into them. Give them a little tap on the work surface to release any trapped air bubbles, and put them in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes.
  6. Whilst the mixture is cooling, preheat the oven to 220ºC.  Take a deep roasting tray, and after the chilling time, transfer the pots from the fridge to the tray, and then pour water into the tray around the ramekins until it reaches halfway up the outsides of the pots.  Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.  Remove the ramekins from the water and put them on a serving plate.  Sprinkle over a little chocolate syrup or icing sugar and serve the lava cakes warm with a teaspoon.  Alternatively, turn the cakes out onto a plate, serving them warm and with a spoon.

Note:  This dessert is also wonderful served hot with ice cream.

Time: 15 minutes to prepare, 30 minutes cooling time, 15 minutes to cook

Cocoa Treats: 4

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14Feb 12

Totally Chilled Chocolate Truffles

Chilled Chocolate TrufflesThese Totally Chilled Chocolate Truffles look wonderful, taste wonderful, melt in the mouth and take no time at all to make. OK, you can buy chocolate truffles in the shops – but these will be better, and make your guests go WOW! This recipe makes a small bowl of attractive little truffles (about 24) ideal for a small party. You can also make them into slices to accompany your morning coffee. If you want more, just double up the quantity, and always serve straight from the fridge.

Ingredients:

  • 120g good quality milk chocolate
  • 120ml of double cream
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 1 small tsp cocoa powder (optional)
  • 1 dtsp icing sugar (optional)
  • Coating – a couple of tablespoons of either cocoa powder or drinking chocolate for rolling

Preparation Guidlines:

To make the ganache (chocolate and cream mix)
1. Heat your cream to near boiling point.
2. While it’s heating, break the chocolate into small pieces in a heatproof bowl (warm for a few seconds in the microwave if cold).
3. Let the cream cool a little then pour over the chocolate and stir until melted.
4. Add in the cocoa powder and the icing sugar for a sweeter fudgier texture. (You can leave these out if you like a really smooth ganache.)
5. Add the butter a bit at a time, and continuing to stir gently so as not to create bubbles.
6. Cover and cool in the fridge overnight, or for a minimum of a few hours.

To serve:
1. When you are ready, or about an hour before you serve, take small teaspoonfuls of the chilled mix, form into balls and roll in your preferred dusting powder – cocoa will develop the rich flavour, drinking chocolate will sweeten the truffles a little.
2. Put the finished truffles straight back into the fridge on the serving dish you want to use – ready to hand to your guests.

Note: Any truffles that don’t get gobbled immediately will keep for a couple of days in a container in the fridge, but they probably won’t last that long!

Time: 20 mins to prepare plus overnight chill in fridge
Cocoa Treats: 20-24 small truffles – a small dishful

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