Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chocolate Fetish

It's that time of year....indulging in chocolates is on the cards as it's almost Valentines! Not just to be fed them by your dearest but also to gorge out yourself - any excuse! Here are some test shots i worked on many moons ago with photographer Lis Parsons when we were both starting out. I have given the recipes (2 of them are mine) also in case they have you coming over in a hot flush...


Makes about 24

225g plain or milk chocolate, chopped
100ml double cream
3 tbsp coffee or orange liqueur (or coffee or orange extract)

to decorate:
- cocoa powder
- finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
- finely chopped pistachios
- ground almonds

Place the chocolate and cream in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water and leave until the chocolate melts. Stir until smooth, remove from the heat and leave for about 20-30 minutes until cooled and thickened.

Add your choice of liqueur (or extract) and beat with an electric whisk for about 5 minutes until light, fluffy and paler in colour. (This will take double the time if done by hand, but will obviously work off more calories!). Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until quite firm.

Scatter your choice of coatings on small plates and make sure your hands are cold. Scoop out a teaspoon of the chocolate mixture at a time and roll it into a small ball. Toss the truffle in a coating to stick evenly and arrange on a parchment lined tray. Repeat until all the truffles are made and either refrigerate until ready to serve or package into pretty boxes to give as gifts.


Serves 2-4

100g white chocolate, chopped (milky bar is ideal)
2 tbsp cold water
150ml double cream
1 egg white
1 warm shot of espresso mixed with good glug of coffee liqueur
small handful coffee beans

(This was written by my friend Jo Pratt for the book to accompany a series we worked on for the BBC called Nation's Favourite Food. I added the coffee beans in as they looked nice for the shot)

Place the chocolate and water in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and leave to slowly melt. Remove from the heat, stir and leave to cool for about 5 minutes.

Whip the cream until it thickens to form soft peaks and, in a seperate bowl, whisk the egg white until it also forms soft peaks.

Pour the melted chocolate into the whipped cream and gently stir in. Fold in the egg white before spooning into coffee cups, making sure you leave about 1cm of a rim at the top for the coffee.

Place in the fridge for about 2-3 hours until set. Just before serving, pour over the warm espresso and coffee liqueur mixture, decorate with the coffee beans and enjoy straight away.


Makes about 450ml

150ml double cream
75ml milk
200g plain 70% cocoa chocolate, broken into small pieces
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp of your favourite liqueur (eg tia maria, frangelico, ameretto, grand marnier)
25g unsalted butter, softened

Heat the cream and milk in a small pan until just coming to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted and smooth.

Beat in the egg yolks and your chosen liqueur and leave to cool slightly. Stir the butter through until melted.

Pour the chocolate mixture into a 500ml kilner jar and refrigerate for about 4 hours until set. Label and then package with a small pastry brush tied with ribbon. (This should be kept refrigerated when not in use and will keep for up to a week).

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