Sunday, September 17, 2006
chocolate for your inner child
The other day while I was shopping, I saw the September issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine. On the cover is a beautiful photo of Martha’s new kitchen. I gave in, bought the magazine and lusted over Martha’s: marble countertops, pots, knives, convection oven, stainless steel appliances and tableware. I then flipped through the magazine to see if there were any recipes I wanted to try. I found two chocolate recipes. The first was a chocolate ginger brownie, which is one of those mix everything in one-bowl recipes and the second was a simple chocolate pudding. The memories I associate with both these desserts are of childhood – when things were simple and carefree. So I dedicate these desserts to the child in all of us.
When making chocolate desserts, I usually go by the following guideline: use good chocolate! The types of chocolate that I prefer to use are Valrhona, Scharfenberg, Callebaut or Lindt. The quality of your chocolate will affect the quality of your desserts and baked goods - try not to compromise. For the brownies I used a dark bittersweet Callebaut and for the pudding, I used a dark semisweet Callebaut. The ginger in the brownies was a nice touch, it gave the brownies a rich and complex flavour, that was familiar and comforting, without being too sweet or intense. The chocolate pudding was tasty, simple and satisfying. The flavour and consistency is exactly what a chocolate pudding should be. Both recipes are incredibly simple and comforting.
chocolate ginger brownies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp course salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Butter an 8” square baking dish. Line bottom with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over 2 sides. Butter parchment; set aside. Melt butter and chocolate together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining ingredients.
2. Pour batter into prepared dish. Smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out with moist crumbs, 30- 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Brownies can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature up to 4 days.
chocolate pudding with whipped cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
4 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
1. Whisk granulated sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt in a medium pan. Whisk in milk and yolks. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking, until thickened, 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and butter; whisk until melted.
2. Pour pudding through a sieve into a heatproof bowl and set in an ice-water bath. To prevent a skin from forming, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until cold and set, about 40 minutes (up to 2 days).
3. Whip cream and confectioner’s sugar in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Divide cold pudding among 4 bowls, and serve with whipped cream.
Both recipes are from Martha Stewart Living, September 2006