World Chocolate Day is finally here. Time to go crazy sampling sinful fare like berry cups, nutty bars and s’mores.
Follow Chef Sabyasachi Gorai‘s lead and whip up these extravagant recipes for your loved ones.
Chocolate Berry Cups
For the base and filling
- 40 gm walnuts
- 10 gm extra virgin olive oil
- 120 ml walnut/almond milk
- 60 gm dark chocolate, chopped (preferably 85 per cent dark)
- 3 gm agar-agar
- 100 gm fresh cherries or any frozen berries + water to boil, around ½ cup
- 2 glasses or bowls
For the topping
- 2 walnut halves
- Dash agave syrup or honey or maple syrup
- Fresh mint leaves
- Fresh cherries or any frozen berries
For the base
- Roughly crush the walnuts.
Add the extra virgin olive oil to the walnuts and mix well.
Spoon the walnut-oil mixture into the bottom of the glasses/bowls.
You may need to press the layer down a little so that it sticks to the bottom and sides of the glass/bowl.
Chill in the refrigerator.
- For the chocolate layer, heat the walnut/almond milk over low to medium heat without letting it boil.
Once hot, add the chopped chocolate and stir until it melts.
Add 2 gm of the agar-agar, keep warming till it melts too.
Take off heat, strain if necessary, and pour half of the mixture into the glasses over the walnut layers.
Refrigerate until it sets.
Keep the balance chocolate mixture for the top layer.
- For the next layer, boil the frozen berries or cherries (you’ll need to remove the seeds) with very little water.
Keep stirring until the berries/cherries turn soft.
Take off heat and mash.
Strain, discard the pulp and boil the fruit liquid with the remaining agar-agar.
Stir and pour over the first layer of dark chocolate.
Refrigerate and wait for it to set.
Then add the remaining chocolate mixture on top of the fruity layer and refrigerate.
- In a small frying pan, caramelise the walnut halves with a dash of agave/maple syrup or honey.
Top the glasses with the caramelised walnuts, fresh berries or cherries, and some mint leaves.
Nutty Chocolate Bars
- 1½ cups walnuts
- ½ cup fresh pomegranate seed pods or arils
- 340 gm dark chocolate chips (or use milk chocolate chips)
- 340 gm white chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, butter, margarine or ghee
- Sea salt to sprinkle, about 1 tsp
- Parchment paper for lining the baking tray
- Waxed paper to store the chocolate
- Coarsely break the walnuts in a bowl and sift off any skins that have come off.
- Place 2/3 of the dark chocolate chips in a medium glass bowl with 1 tbsp vegetable oil/butter/margarine/ghee.
Microwave and keep stirring every 30 seconds.
When the chips are mostly melted, slowly add the remaining chocolate chips, stirring vigorously.
If chips aren’t fully melting, place back in the microwave for 5 seconds intervals, stirring.
Repeat the process with the white chocolate chips and the remaining vegetable oil/butter/margarine/ghee.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spread both the melted chocolate on the paper in layers.
Use a spatula to spread the chocolate out evenly into a ¼-inch thick layer.
Sprinkle with walnuts, pomegranate arils and sea salt and lightly press down.
Refrigerate until firm.
- Once set, carefully break the chocolate into pieces and store between pieces of waxed paper in the fridge or an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Chef Saby’s Note: Make sure to melt chocolate slowly at a lower power, stirring frequently. Melting too fast may cause the chocolate to discolour.
Melting 2/3 of the chocolate, then add the remaining chips will give you the best texture. Stirring well to cool the melted chocolate will also help give the bars the best texture.
For the walnut butter
- 4½ tbsp coconut oil
- 85 gm dark chocolate
- ¾ tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 cup walnuts
- 6 small oven-safe ramekins
For the walnut crumbs
- ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
- 3 tbsp crushed Marie biscuits
For the topping
- 72 small marshmallows
- 2 tbsp glazed walnuts
- To prepare the walnut butter, melt the dark chocolate and the coconut oil over low heat in a small saucepan.
Stir in the vanilla extract and the sea salt.
- Place the 1 cup walnuts in a food processor and process for 2-3 minutes or until walnuts become a paste.
Add the melted chocolate mixture to the ground walnuts and process until well mixed.
- For the walnut crumbs, pulse together the walnuts and the Marie biscuits in a food processor to create fine crumbs.
- To assemble, place 1 tbsp of the chocolate crumbs into the 6 ramekins.
Top with equal amounts of walnut butter and place 12 mini marshmallows on top of each ramekin.
Place the filled ramekins under the broiler or grill of an oven, about 8-inches from direct heat, and warm until the tops are golden brown.
Take out of the oven, garnish with the glazed walnuts and serve.
Chef Sabyasachi Gorai is a consultant chef and mentor.
- REDIFF RECIPES
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