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
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.