Short & sweet

When you’re af­ter a lit­tle some­thing sweet, to end a meal or just as a treat, try one of these dark de­lights, sug­gests NZ House & Gar­den Food Edi­tor Sally But­ters. CHO­CO­LATE & SALTED CARAMEL FRUIT & NUT TARTS

The Dominion Post - Your Weekend (Dominion Post) - - Weekend Kitchen -

THICK & SPICY HOT CHO­CO­LATE Dark cho­co­late, cream and eggs make this a won­der­fully in­dul­gent fire­side drink – and the per­fect ex­cuse to toast some marsh­mal­lows.

200g dark cho­co­late (50-70%), coarsely chopped ½ cup boil­ing wa­ter 3 cups full cream milk 300ml cream Seeds from 1 vanilla pod 1 tea­spoon ground cin­na­mon ½ tea­spoon ground chilli pow­der ¼ tea­spoon five spice pow­der 1 ta­ble­spoon caster su­gar 2 eggs

Place cho­co­late in a large pot, pour boil­ing wa­ter over and stir un­til most of the cho­co­late has melted. Place over a gen­tle heat and add milk and cream. Stir un­til mix­ture is warm.

Add vanilla seeds, cin­na­mon, chilli pow­der, five spice and su­gar. In­crease heat and whisk mix­ture un­til it boils. Re­duce heat to a sim­mer for 5 min­utes,

This divine, rich fill­ing makes enough for 16 sin­gle-serve 6cm tarts or 24 pe­tit four-style 4cm tarts.

1 cup caster su­gar 100g good-qual­ity dark cho­co­late, bro­ken into pieces 25g but­ter ¼ cup cream Flaky sea salt 2 cups chopped dried fruits ½ cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped 16-24 pre-baked pas­try cases (de­pend­ing on size)

Place su­gar and 1/ cup wa­ter in a pot

3 and bring to the boil, shak­ing pan to dis­solve su­gar. Boil with­out stir­ring un­til a golden caramel colour. Re­move from heat and care­fully mix in cho­co­late, but­ter, cream and a good pinch of flaky sea salt, then stir in dried fruits and peanuts. Spoon mix­ture into pre-baked pas­try cases and sprin­kle with ex­tra flaky salt be­fore serv­ing. whisk­ing con­tin­u­ously. Re­move pan from heat.

In a bowl, whisk eggs un­til frothy. Grad­u­ally add a cup of the hot cho­co­late, whisk­ing con­stantly. Pour mix­ture back into saucepan and place over gen­tle heat, whisk­ing mix­ture for a fur­ther 3 min­utes.

Pour into warmed mugs. If de­sired, gar­nish with sifted co­coa pow­der and a side of toasted marsh­mal­lows. Serves 6

COF­FEE CHIA PUD­DINGS WITH CA­CAO NIB BRIT­TLE This make-ahead pud­ding is loaded with so many good things, you could al­most be ex­cused for de­vour­ing it for break­fast – mi­nus the tof­fee, per­haps.

1 cup strong espresso 2 cups co­conut cream 2/ cup chia seeds

3 ¼ cup des­ic­cated co­conut ½ tea­spoon vanilla ex­tract Maple syrup or honey to taste Co­conut chips for gar­nish

Ca­cao nibs Coarsely ground cof­fee beans 1 cup caster su­gar Whisk to­gether cof­fee, co­conut cream, chia seeds, co­conut, vanilla and sweet­ener to taste. Re­frig­er­ate 4-6 hours un­til thick­ened and a pud­ding con­sis­tency.

Serve chilled, gar­nished with ca­cao nib brit­tle and/or co­conut chips, and driz­zled with ex­tra maple syrup. Al­ter­na­tively you can douse it with a sim­ple cof­fee syrup, made by sim­mer­ing 1 cup espresso with ½ cup caster su­gar un­til syrupy – about 10 min­utes. Ca­cao nib brit­tle: Sprin­kle ca­cao nibs and coarsely ground cof­fee over an oiled oven tray.

Heat caster su­gar and 3 ta­ble­spoons wa­ter in a heavy-based pot over low heat un­til su­gar has com­pletely dis­solved and melted. In­crease heat slightly and cook, with­out stir­ring, un­til golden and caramelised.

Re­move from heat and im­me­di­ately pour the tof­fee in a thin layer over the ca­cao and cof­fee. Break into shards when com­pletely cooled and set.

Recipes & food styling: Bernadette Hogg Pho­to­graphs: Manja Wachsmuth

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