Chocolate and Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients

2 cups warm milk
1/4 cup sugar
4-1/2 teaspoons (2 envelopes) active dry yeast
1-3/4 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
1 egg, plus 1 egg, beaten
8 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

Filling

3 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Glaze

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water

Method

  1. Start by making the dough. Put the milk, sugar, yeast, melted butter, vanilla, and whole egg into the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook, then mix together until smooth. Sift the flour, then gradually add to the bowl, mixing until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl. Place the dough in a large, lightly floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel. Let rise for 45 minutes-1 hour at room temperature, or until the dough has almost doubled in volume.
  2. To make the filling, beat the grated chocolate, cooled melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl to a smooth, spreadable paste and put to one side.
  3. When the dough has risen, punch it down to release the air, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to a 1/2-inch thick rectangle, about 11 x 27 inches. Using a spatula, spread the filling all over the dough. Starting at a long edge, roll the dough into a long log shape without stretching it. Using a sharp knife, cut into slices about 2-1/2 inches wide. Place them on two greased and floured baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, add the water to the beaten egg to make an egg wash. Use a pastry brush and lightly brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash.
  5. Bake the rolls in the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown, cooked in the center, and the rolls sound hollow when tapped on the bottoms.
  6. Meanwhile, to make the glaze, mix together the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and water in a bowl. As soon as the rolls are cooked, brush them generously with the glaze and let cool. These are fantastic served with coffee or hot chocolate.

Makes 11 rolls.

Source: Chocolat

Baked Pears Served with Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients

4 under-ripe, firm Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled, halved and cored
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Chocolate Sauce

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (essence)

Method

  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish, arrange the pears, cut side down, and top with the lemon juice.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the water, sugar and corn syrup and stir to mix well. Pour over the pears. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until the pears are tender when pierced with a fork, 25-35 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a container, cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to 8 hours. Discard the syrup.
  5. To make the Chocolate Sauce, combine the sugar, milk, cocoa and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  6. To serve, slice each pear half lengthwise into thin slices, without cutting all the way through the stem end, place 2 halves on each dessert plate and press down gently to form fans. Top each with 1 tablespoon of the chocolate sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Cooking for Healthy Living

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients

Base
6 oz chocolate bourbon biscuits, crushed
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter

Filling

1 lb Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
6 oz sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 oz dark chocolate
3 eggs

Icing

8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lb icing sugar, sifted
6 oz dark cooking chocolate
toasted flaked almonds

Method

  1. To make the base, combine the biscuit crumbs, sugar and butter and use the mixture to line a greased 9-inch springform tin. Bake the mixture in a preheated moderate oven (160°C/325°F) for 10 minutes.
  2. To prepare the filling, beat the cheese and sugar with the milk and vanilla essence. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water and beat it into the mixture. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Pour the mixture over the base and bake the cake in a preheated moderate oven (160°C/325°F) for 40 minutes. Cool the cake in the oven for 1 hour before removing it and loosening the rim. Cool, then chill. Decorate just before serving.
  3. To make the icing, first melt the chocolate. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese, milk, vanilla and salt until thoroughly blended. Add the sifted icing sugar gradually, beating well after each addition. Stir in the melted chocolate and beat well. Use a palette knife to cover the cake with the icing. Sprinkle toasted flaked almonds around the edge.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Source: Cheesecakes

Crème Brûlées with Chocolate and Sweet Tonka Bean

Ingredients

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tonka bean
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup demerara sugar or other raw cane sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 225ºF.
  2. Place six brûlée dishes or flameproof ramekins into a shallow roasting pan and fill the pan with water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes.
  3. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Using a nutmeg grater, grate the tonka bean, then mix with the chocolate. Put the cream into a saucepan and heat to just below boiling point, then pour over the chocolate and mix gently until the chocolate has melted.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks and granulated sugar using an electric handheld mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat the chocolate cream, a little at a time, into the egg mixture.
  5. Pour into the dishes in the bain-marie and bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until set.
  6. Let cool, then chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. To serve, sprinkle demerara sugar over the top of each dish, then caramelize using a kitchen blowtorch.

Tip

If you do not have a kitchen blowtorch, sprinkle the creme brfil6es with the sugar and put on a baking sheet. Place under a hot broiler until the sugar caramelizes.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Chocolat


Tonka Bean

Chocolate Strudel

Ingredients

1 cup regular flour
1/2 a beaten egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
a few drops of vinegar
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

Filling

3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup vanilla sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup heavy cream
a pinch of ground cinnamon
2 tbsp fine sugar
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, grated
2-1/2 oz chopped walnuts
confectioner’s sugar

Method

  1. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
  2. Beat together the egg, salt, water, vinegar and 1-1/4 tbsp of the melted butter. Pour this mixture into the well. Mix all the ingredients together to a dough.
  3. Knead the dough on a well-floured board until smooth and elastic (this will take about 15 minutes).
  4. Put the dough into a floured bowl and cover with a cloth. Leave for 15 minutes.
  5. While the dough is resting make the filling.
  6. Beat together the butter and vanilla sugar until light and fluffy.
  7. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.
  8. Add the walnuts, cream, cinnamon, chocolate and raisins and mix well.
  9. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry, and then gradually beat in the fine sugar. Fold this mixture gently into the chocolate mixture.
  10. Cover the work surface with a large, clean cloth and dust the cloth with flour.
  11. Put the dough into the middle of the cloth and brush the top with melted butter. Working around the dough, roll it out to a thickness of 1/8 inch.
  12. Brush it with more butter and, using four hands (you’ll need to enlist help!), stretch the dough outwards as thinly as possible. Try to work around the dough so it does not tear. Cut the dough into a rectangle measuring 14- x 18-inch.
  13. Butter a large cookie sheet. Spoon the filling onto the strudel pastry, leaving a margin of 2 inches around three of the edges. Fold the margins over the filling and brush the remaining pastry with the melted butter. Gently lift the cloth so that the dough rolls itself up. Roll the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, basting with melted butter once or twice, until golden and crisp.
  14. Remove the strudel from the oven and dust with confectioner’s sugar. Cut into pieces and serve warm or cold.

Makes a 14-inch strudel.

Source: Chocolate Cooking