Sticky Chocolate Prune Cake

 

The plums soaked in cognac and the pure chocolate make for such a rich and warm combination that the giving away part might fall hard on you. The trick in getting a sticky cake is the baking time. You should slightly under bake it so the interior is not yet set. You can check the interior of the cake with a wooden pick; when it comes out not entirely wet but with some wet crumbs on it, that’s the sign to take it out of the oven. When the wood comes out dry, you are too late and I wish you better luck next time, you’ll get it right in your following chance.

This cake tastes best when slightly cooled but still a bit warm on the inside.

Sorry little ones, this is really a grown up cake. The cognac and the bitter chocolate are combined with a minimum amount of sugar with the result that the cake does not come out very sweet. This makes it great next to a good espresso or strong black coffee. (inspired by my ottolenghi cooking book)

Sticky Chocolate Prune Cake

8 dried plums without pits

250 ml cognac

100 gram cake flour

5 tablespoons non sweet cacao powder

100 gram pure chocolate roughly chopped

5 tablespoons caster sugar

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 heaping tablespoon date syrup

2 eggs

½ cup sun flower oil

100 gram cream cheese

Soak the plums in the cognac overnight.

Put the plums in the food processor and add the eggs, cream cheese, date syrup, sun flower oil. Mix it together into a smooth mixture.

Combine the flour, cacao powder, pure chocolate, salt, sugar and baking powder in a big bowl and add the wet mixture to it. Mix it into a smooth and thick batter. Grease a cake tin or make one out of aluminum foil.

Preheat the oven to 170C.

Pour the batter in your cake tin and bake for about 25 minutes. Try after 20 minutes with a wooden pick. There should be some wet crumbs on the wood when you take it out, only then you‘ll get a sticky cake. When you bake the cake to long,(when the wood comes out dry) it will be a bit dry, still nice but not what we were looking for.

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Chocolate Breaking Bread

Breaking Bread

 

These buns are also a little healthier than the regular ones, using soy milk and whole wheat flour, no sugar (But I did use syrup so that one doesn’t count). (I adopted this recipe from desert candy and changed some parts of it).

Chocolate Breaking Bread

1 cup soya milk

1 ½ cup non bleached flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon dried yeast

1 beaten egg

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon kitchen syrup (Zeeuwse keuken stroop)

¼ teaspoon salt

100 gram chopped chocolate (about 76% cacao)

100 gram dried (and soaked) cranberries

Warm the milk until luke warm. Stir in the non bleached flour until you have a smooth batter, mix in the butter, egg, salt, syrup, salt, yeast. Add the whole wheat flour in batches and stir everything together. Mix in the cranberries and the chocolate.

The dough will be very stick still but that’s alright, we’re going to handle it lightly along the way. Generously flour a clean worktop and put the dough on top. Dust the dough with flour and start folding it over with your fingers. Just use the tips of your fingers to press the dough and fold it over for about 5 minutes. You’ll probably have to add some more flour to it, just add enough so it won’t stick to your worktop.

Grease a bowl and put the dough inside. Cover it with cling film and leave it to rise on a warm spot until doubled in size (about 1 to 1 ½ hour).

Preheat the oven to 400F or 200C.

When doubled in size put the dough again on a floured worktop and cut in 8 pieces of the same size.

Grease a cake pan with butter and. Form the pieces into balls and place them in the cake pan, cover again and let them rise for about half an hour.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown, let them cool down on a rack.

If you like to give them a sweater touch, lightly brush them with sugar water 5 minutes before you take them out of the oven.

Lime Chocolate Dice

 

lime chocolate dices

Lime and Chocolate Dices

60 gram flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 tablespoon honey

30 ml sun flower oil

1 egg

30 ml Greek yoghurt

40 gram light brown caster sugar

Pinch of salt

Lime zest of one lime

Lime juice of one lime

30 gram finely grated pure chocolate

30 gram coarsely chopped chocolate

Preheat the oven to 170C/ 340F. Grease a cake tin.cake

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt lime zest and chocolate in a bowl.

In another bowl mix the honey, oil, egg, yogurt, lime juice, sugar until it comes nicely together. Add the liquid to the flour and combine into a smooth mixture. Pour this mixture in the cake tin and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, check if the cake is done, when a skewer comes out clean it’s ready.

Take the cake out of the oven; let it stand for 5 minutes then take it out of the tin and let it cool down on a rack. When cooled down, sift some icing sugar on top and cut in dices.

Nutty Chocolate Cookies

 

chocolate cookies 2

150 gram unsalted butter

220 gram plain flour

¼  teaspoon salt

20 gram icing sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

Handful of dried cranberries

2 teaspoons of sumac

80 gram pure chocolate

Small hand of pecan nuts

Small hand of almonds

Chop 40 gram of the chocolate coarsely, about chocolate chip size and shred the other half finely.

Mix together the butter, the flour, the icing sugar, sumac, the fine chocolate and the salt in a kitchen machine. Add the cranberries plus the coarse chocolate and mix with a spoon, it should still be a crumbly mixture.

Transfer to a bowl or a clean work top and work the mixture with your hands into a log of about 4 cm diameter. Cover with cling film and cool in the fridge for minimum one hour.chocolate cookies

Chop the nuts finely, but not completely into dust, a few chunks can remain.

Brush your dough with the beaten egg and roll all the sides firmly through the nuts. Wrap it back in the cling film and place it for another 30 minutes in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 150C and cut the log into slices of 5mm- 1 cm thick. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and place the cookies 2 cm from each other on the tray. Bake for about 20 minutes, they don’t have to color toomuch. Take from the oven and let them cool down.

Fig Bonbons

For all the chocolate and fig lovers!

Fig bonbons

10 dried figs

1 pound pure chocolate (at least 54% cacao)

10 walnuts and/or almonds

1/2 tablespoon butter

200 milliliters fig liquor

Place the figs in a little bowl and cover them with fig liquor. Let them stay like this for one night so they can get soft and soak up some of the liquid.

Melt pure chocolate with a little butter ‘au bain marie’. Take the figs out of the liquid and put them in the melted chocolate. Push them around. put them on a stick and hang them over a bowl so they keep their nice and round shape, put them in the fridge so the chocolate can get hard; another method is: transfer them to a baking sheet and then put them into the fridge.

Figs

When the chocolate has dried, repeat the process so you get another layer of chocolate on them. You can repeat this until you think the chocolate is thick enough or until you’re out of melted chocolate. I made three layers of chocolate because I am crazy for pure chocolate but you can do less (or more) if you like. Push a nut on the last layer of chocolate and put in the fridge until the chocolate is entirely dry and hard.

When Orange met Chocolate

The hardest part of making this cake is waiting until it cooled down. Of course we did not manage to do so and warm it is also delicious; but it is best when the chocolate is completely hard. Using the entire orange including the peel gives the tart an incredible rich orange flavor and I like to think that it also keeps some vitamins, or am I just kidding myself?

orangecake

Ingredients

2 oranges

500 gram/ 1 pound Greek yogurt

5 eggs

100g/ 3.5 ounces whipping cream

150 gram/ 5 ounces caster sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla sugar

1 teaspoon orange blossom

200 gram/ 7 ounces flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ tablespoon butter

before the chocolate

this is how it looks like

before the chocolate

  • Boil the oranges in water with a teaspoon of orange blossom for 1 hour.  Preheat the oven to 160 C/ 320F. Take a round cake form about 24 cm/10 inch diameter; grease it with butter and dust it with flour.
  • Puree the whole oranges, peel and all, in a kitchen machine with the whipping cream until almost smooth.
  • Separate the eggs and mix the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla sugar until light and creamy; now add the orange puree and the Greek yogurt and mix well. Bit by bit sift the flour with baking powder and bicarbonate of soda over the mixture and mix until all is incorporated in the mixture.
  • Beat the egg whites until cloudy (you have to be able to turn the bowl upside down without the egg white gliding out). Carefully fold the egg whites into the mixture.
  • Pour the mixture in the form and bake for about one hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • When the tart is cooling down, melt 200 grams of pure chocolate ‘ au bain-marie’ with half a spoon of butter and poor it over the tart. Let the chocolate cool down in the fridge.