Chocolate lovers… prepare to indulge your every desire.
“CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES ARE LACED WITH MOREISH FROSTING, AND DOUBLE-CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE IS THE PERFECT LEVEL OF INDULGENCE. JUST ENOUGH.”
CHOC BROWN BUTTER COOKIES WITH BOURBON FROSTING MAKES 8
Begin this recipe at least 6 hours ahead.
250g unsalted butter, chopped 1 firmly packed cup (250g) brown sugar 22/ 3 cups (400g) plain flour, sifted
1/ 2 tsp baking powder 1 cup (100g) milk powder
1/4 cup (60ml) bourbon 2 eggs 200g milk chocolate buttons
WHITE CHOC-BOURBON FROSTING
90g unsalted butter, softened 1 cup (120g) pure icing sugar, sifted 2 tbs bourbon 200g white chocolate, melted, cooled
Place butter in a frypan over medium heat and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for 5 minutes or until nut brown and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl and chill until set, then remove from fridge and bring to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Beat butter and sugar together with electric beaters until pale. Fold in flour, baking powder and milk powder, then add bourbon, eggs and chocolate buttons, and beat until combined. Roll into 16 even balls and press down slightly to flatten.
Arrange cookies on baking trays, leaving 4cm between each. Bake, swapping trays halfway, for 18-20 minutes or until light golden and just firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
For the frosting, beat butter, icing sugar and bourbon together until pale. Add white chocolate and beat to combine, then chill for 20 minutes to stiffen. Spread frosting over flat side of half the cookies, then sandwich with remaining cookies to serve.
CHOC-ESPRESSO PANNA COTTA WITH PEANUT BRITTLE SERVES 6-8
Begin this recipe 1 day ahead. You will need a sugar thermometer.
1/ 2 cup (110g) caster sugar 900ml thickened cream 400g dark (70%) chocolate,
finely chopped 1 tsp vanilla extract 3 titanium-strength gelatine leaves
250g caster sugar 125g unsalted butter, chopped tsp bicarbonate of soda cup (35g) crushed salted peanuts 1/ 2 1/4
ESPRESSO VANILLA SYRUP
1 cup (250ml) espresso or strong
black coffee 1 cup (220g) caster sugar 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
Grease a 20cm round, 1.5L (6-cup) non-stick baking pan. Place sugar and cream in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and add chocolate. Set aside for 2 minutes for chocolate to melt, then return to heat and stir for 2 minutes until completely melted and combined. Stir in vanilla.
Soak gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, then stir into cream mixture for 1 minute until melted and combined. Strain through a fine sieve into prepared pan and chill overnight to set.
For peanut brittle, line a baking tray with foil and lightly grease. Place sugar, butter and 1/4 cup (60ml) boiling water in a deep saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook for 10 minutes until 160°C on a sugar thermometer. Stir in bicarb, then pour into prepared tray. Scatter over peanuts while sugar mixture is still hot. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour or until set, then snap into pieces.
For the syrup, place espresso, sugar and vanilla pod and seeds in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely (mixture will thicken as it cools.)
When ready to serve, run a warm knife around edge of panna cotta and invert onto a serving plate. Pour over the syrup and serve with shards of peanut brittle.
CHOCOLATE LICORICE TART SERVES 8-10
Begin this recipe 1 day ahead.
12/ 3 cups (250g) plain flour, sifted 1/ 2 cup (60g) pure icing sugar, sifted 1/ 2 cup (50g) good-quality cocoa, plus extra to dust 125g cold unsalted butter, chopped 1 egg yolk 300g plain soft licorice 1 cup (250ml) thickened cream 400g dark and milk chocolate, chopped
To make the tart, place flour, icing sugar and cocoa in a bowl and stir to combine. Add butter and rub together until it resembles fine crumbs. Combine egg yolk with 11/ 2 tbs iced water and add to centre of bowl. Bring dough together until smooth, then enclose in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, place licorice in a heatproof bowl and pour over 1 cup (250ml) boiling water. Set aside for 2 hours to soften, then whiz in a food processor until smooth. Press through a fine sieve into a bowl.
Place cream and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water) to melt, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is completely melted. Remove bowl and set aside. Place licorice puree over the pan and warm to the same temperature as the chocolate, then remove from heat. Gradually add chocolate mixture to licorice puree, stirring until well combined. Set aside.
Dust a work surface with cocoa and roll out pastry to 3mm thick. Use to line base and sides of an 11cm x 34cm loosebottomed fluted tart pan and chill for 30 minutes. Line pastry with baking paper and fill with pastry weights. Bake for 15 minutes or until starting to dry. Remove weights and paper, and bake for a further 15 minutes or until dry to the touch. Cool completely, then pour in chocolate licorice filling. Smooth filling with the back of a spoon and chill for 6 hours or until medium set. To serve, dust with cocoa, remove from pan and slice with a large serrated knife.
CHOC-BANANA BUNDT WITH HOT CHOCOLATE BUTTERSCOTCH SERVES 8-10
200g unsalted butter,
at room temperature 250g cream cheese,
at room temperature 300g brown sugar 4 eggs 300g ripe bananas, mashed 100g good-quality dark cocoa, sifted 2 cups (300g) self-raising flour, sifted 1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
HOT CHOCOLATE BUTTERSCOTCH
120g unsalted butter, chopped 200g brown sugar 1 cup (250ml) pure (thin) cream 50g dark (70%) chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 160°C and grease a 24cm bundt pan. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, cream cheese and sugar together until thick and pale. With the motor running, add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana and beat until combined. Sift cocoa and flour together. Turn off mixer and fold through cocoa mixture and buttermilk. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into cake comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a wire rack.
Make butterscotch when ready to serve. Place butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add cream and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, then stir in chocolate and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes or until melted and smooth. Pour butterscotch over cake just before serving.