Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Chocolate puddings!

Image result for melting easter egg

Lent and the time of abstinence is over- Easter tide is well upon us. With that our fancy turns to thoughts of ....chocolate.

This month's blog salutes that most sublime of puds- chocolate mousse/sponge/cream in all (or many at least) of its forms.

I am featuring 4 choccy puds- two made with eggs, two without.

The first is the most wacky- made with aquafaba ( the water drained from a can of chickpeas)- so a really unusual way to use up something that would ordinarily be thrown away.

The chickpeas of course can be used in a variety of dishes- hummus, falafel, tagines...

Chocolate Mousse with Aquafaba 

Now you have to trust me on this, as it might seem weird - but it does work.

You need 100g dark bitter chocolate, 100 ml of water drained from a can of chickpeas (known as aquafaba), 2 tbsp of icing sugar and 1 sachet of vegegel or agar-agar.

Simply melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water(as in the title pic above).Pour the chickpea liquid into a mixing bowl.
Whisk on high speed with an electric whisk ( too much work to do by hand), adding the icing sugar as you go, until the mixture begins to foam and turn into a mousse. (It will never be stiff like a meringue but it will be foamy)

Whisk the aquafaba until foamy
Sprinkle on the vegegel and whisk in. Now quickly add the melted chocolate and fold in until incorporated but still mousseux.
Pour into glasses or ramekins and chill for one hour before serving.

Chocolate Mousse with Aquafaba
Et voilà! A dark chocolate mousse- with no raw egg!

The second pud however does use eggs for a more traditional bitter Chocolate and Coffee Cream.

Chocolate and Coffee Creams

You will need 200g of dark chocolate, 90 ml of strong coffee, 60 ml of brandy or other liqueur of your choice and 3 eggs.

1. Melt the chocolate over simmering water as before. When melted, whisk in the coffee and brandy and allow to cool slightly whilst you whip the eggs.
2. Separate the eggs and whisk the whites to soft peaks.
3. Whisk the yolks into the chocolate
4. Pour the chocolate into the egg white mix and fold together until incorporated, keeping the mixture as light as possible.
5. Pour into ramekins or expresso cups and allow to chill for 1-2 hours before serving.

This dessert is quite rich- and not very sweet- so can benefit from a little pouring cream over the top.
Chocolate and Coffee Cream

Still using those eggs up- the third dish mixes crème anglaise with a chocolate custard to make a two-tone Crème Mic-Mac. (We made this at our Atelier de Cuisine so many thanks to Joselyne for the idea.)

Crème Mic-Mac

1. Heat 400 ml milk with 100g of sugar and warm through until the sugar is dissolved and the milk is hot but not boiling. Allow to cool whilst you prepare the eggs.
2. In a bowl, beat 4 eggs with a tbsp of cornflour until pale and frothy.
3. Also melt 100g of chocolate ( milk or plain) in a bowl over simmering water as before.
4. Pour the milk in  a steady stream over the eggs, beating as you do so

Carefully make your custard mix

5. Return it to the pan and heat through until it begins to thicken.
6. Now divide the custard evenly between two jugs with good pouring lips.
7. Whisk the melted chocolate into one of the custards and a tsp of vanilla extract into the other.
8. Now- hold your nerve! Line up the chosen ramekins or cups for the pud, take a jug in each hand and pour a steady stream into each side of the cup so you end up with a two-tone pud.

Crème Mic-Mac
Chill for 1-2 hours before serving.

And finally a little touch of magic with a Wizard Chocolate Sponge- self-saucing to make a complete dish in a few minutes. You can do this in the microwave or in a conventional oven.

Wizard Chocolate Sponge

100g plain flour
5 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
200g soft brown sugar
175 ml milk
30 ml vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

1.Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and 2 tbsp of the cocoa powder into a bowl and add 100g of the sugar
2. Pour in the milk, oil and vanilla and mix to a smooth batter
3. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 20cm cake tin or mould
4. Mix the remaining sugar and cocoa powder together and sprinkle evenly over the batter
5. Pour 350ml of boiling water over the mix
6. Either microwave on HIGH for 12-14 minutes or bake in a hot oven (180 degrees) until firm on the surface.(Around 20 minutes)
Chocolate sponge ready for spooning out
7. As if by magic, the cake has made its very own chocolate sauce underneath- ready to spoon over itself!

Saucy Chocolate Pud
So, here ends my tale of four chocolate puddings. I hope you get to try at least one of them- if not the whole lot!