There's much fun to be had when cooking with chocolate, for example licking the bowl afterwards.
But a few cautionary tips:
When melting chocolate, do not let water intrude into its space. Remember steam is also water. As it sets, the chocolate will bloom, meaning it will have white streaks across it.
It does not like heat either, and will go grainy if the melting temperature is too high.
The refrigerator is a moist environment so do not store finished chocolate in the fridge. Use the freezer ahead of the fridge but aim for an ambient temperature such as a pantry.
Beware of predators, which are more often human than not, and remember, studies have shown that chocolate has medicinal benefits. Yeah right.
JUMBO RAISIN AND GINGER MILK CHOCOLATE SLAB
Makes 36 pieces
A chunky piece of milk chocolate is filled chock-a-block with raisins and ginger.
500g milk chocolate tablet (roughly chopped)
110g jumbo raisins (a medley of raisins in different colours and sizes is available at Alison's Pantry in New World supermarkets)
65g (1/2 cup) ginger in syrup (sold in jars from specialty food shops; drain well and cut each piece into 6-8 pieces)
Line a 21-centimetre square tin with a Teflon sheet.
Place chocolate into a bowl. Set the bowl over a pot half-filled with warm water and set over a gentle heat. The bowl needs to fit snugly so that steam does not fall back into chocolate.
Melt chocolate until three-quarters melted. Remove from heat and stir until chocolate is fully melted. Cool to room temperature.
Add raisins and ginger and gently stir just to combine.
Spoon chocolate into prepared tin (chocolate should be about 1cm thick when finished). Shake tin back and forth on the bench to smooth the top.
Leave at room temperature until chocolate is set.
Remove from tin and place on to a chopping board.
Remove Teflon and cut into 3.5cm squares. Cut each square in half into two triangles.
Use immediately or store in an airtight container in a cool place, such as a pantry. (If layering pieces place waxed paper between layers.)
CHOCOLATE COCONUT SLICE
Makes 21 pieces
Serve with coffee or for dessert with icecream.
250g butter (chopped and at room temperature)
200g (1 cup) sugar
280g (2 cups) flour
1 tsp baking powder
24g (4 Tbsp) cocoa (preferably Dutched cocoa)
180g (1 cup less 2 Tbsp) sugar
320g (4 cups) desiccated coconut
1 egg white
Soft Chocolate Ganache
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Lightly grease base and sides of a 15cm x 23cm sponge roll tin with baking spray or additional butter. Line base with baking paper.
Place butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle and beat until light and creamy. Remove bowl from mixer.
Sift in flour, baking powder and cocoa and mix well to combine.
Divide mixture in half.
Place one half of the mixture into base of prepared tin and press to evenly cover.
To make filling: place eggs and sugar into a clean bowl of electric mixer fitted with a whisk and whisk until light and fluffy.
Remove bowl from mixer.
Add coconut and mix to combine.
Place egg white into a small bowl and whisk just to loosen but not to create foam.
Brush base lightly with egg white, top with coconut filling and press down evenly.
Brush top of coconut with egg white. Place remaining chocolate mix in blobs on top of coconut mixture.
Lightly wet your hand and press mixture evenly to cover coconut.
Place into preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until mixture comes away from sides when pulled gently.
Cool completely and ice with Soft Chocolate Ganache.
Once ganache is set, cut into 21 rectangles 5cm x 3cm. For maximum yield divide the short side by five and the long side by three. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in a cool place, such as pantry.
SOFT CHOCOLATE GANACHE
100ml (1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp) cream
200g dark (70%) chocolate tablet (roughly chopped)
Place cream into a small pot set over a low heat and heat until below boiling point.
Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted and ganache is smooth. You may need to return the pot very briefly if the chocolate doesn't melt.
Cool and use immediately.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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