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Getting Ready for Easter: Chocolate & Ginger Easter Egg Tart

Easter is less than 5 days away and I am SO excited – not just for the super long weekend – but because we can celebrate the victory that we have over death and sin through Jesus’ death and resurrection – and it’s a celebration of a new life that everyone can have through Jesus! So yes! I’m REALLY excited 😀 We often celebrate Good Friday and Easter as a solemn reminder (well, the church background that I come from does anyway), but I reckon Easter should be a joyous occasion, a celebration because our greatest enemy has been defeated, not by ourselves, but by our Saviour! What is there NOT to celebrate?

These past few years have been a steep learning curve spiritually because God has been reminding me about the centrality of the cross and how Jesus dying on the cross is not about me, but about Him and how He wants to glorify the Father’s name, and calls me to do the same. So it will be a special time and I’m definitely looking forward to it.

Now, I don’t really know where this tradition of eggs, chocolate and bunnies came from, and how it was suddenly connected to celebrating Easter, but a quick read from Wikipedia tells me that Easter eggs may have started from the traditions of when Christians were ‘celebrating’ Lent, they were not allowed to eat dairy (including eggs) so come Easter Sunday, they had to use up all their eggs (which they ate hard boiled at that time) as part of a Clean-Up day. Another view is that it could be from the symbolism created by the Catholic church where they dye their eggs red to represent the blood of Christ, and the shell of the egg represents the tomb and when they crack the egg open, it represents the new life in Jesus and his resurrection. I don’t know which is true, or if any are true and there are many other legends connected to this as well, which I found a fascinating read, but adds nothing to the meaning of Easter I think 😛

Chocolate Ginger Easter Egg Tart Chocolate Crust Pastry

So anyway, back to the tart – I chose to make this tart because as I was reading through the Masterchef Magazine, and this was the recipe that struck me because it uses ginger in dessert. Chinese usually do include ginger in their savouries and sometimes their sweets, because ginger, in itself, has nutritional qualities especially for confinement periods after giving birth! So, putting ginger into a dessert isn’t very unusual, but what was interesting was ginger in a western dessert. I tried to picture in my head what it would taste like, but because I didn’t normally like ginger, it was difficult for me not be biased against it. But I went against my own notions about eating ginger and went ahead and tried it anyway, because it looked so good in the magazine!

This is Marion Grasby’s recipe, and I whilst I followed the ingredients, our methods differed a little…this was how I did it last week!

Chocolate and Ginger Easter Egg Tart

  • Preparation Time: 2 hours
  • Setting Time: 2 hours
  • Serves: 10

Ingredients for Pastry:

  • 125g cold unsalted butter, chopped
  • 185 g (1 1/4 cup) Plain Flour
  • 25g (1/4 cup) Cocoa powder
  • 55g (1/3 cup) icing sugar
  • 2 egg yolks

Method

Line a 23cm tart pan and butter the sides well (especially when its not non-stick)

Combine the dry ingredients (butter, flour, cocoa powder, icing sugar) together in a food processor and blitz until it becomes like breadcrumbs. Then add in the 2 egg yolks and blitz together until it forms a dough. (I forgot to separate the above two steps, and blitzed everything together, which was fine, but it just didn’t mix that well, so I would recommend combining the dry ingredients first).

chocolate short crust pastry dry ingredients food processor

Just a tip I learnt about separating egg whites from yolks (which is probably old news for some), crack the egg horizontally  directly on the benchtop (not at an angle on a bowl like I used to). By doing that, you would get a perfect crack around the egg, making it easier to pry it open to take the yolk out. Awesome tip from Lifehacker!

Chocolate shortcrust pastry just formed food processor

Once the dough is formed, tip it out onto a clean counter top and form it together into a disc (round-ish) shape. Wrap it in cling wrap and then place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Then, pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees (celcius). After 30 minutes, take it out of the wrapper and if you are so inclined to roll it out, you can roll it out and then place it onto the prepared tart pan.

Another Tip: But if you want to do it the lazy easier way, try this method instead. I like this method better because shortcrust pastry can be really crumbly and it’s quite difficult to roll out without it crumbling everywhere. Place the whole piece of pastry on the tart pan (ideally you would have shaped it into a flat disc) and press and shape the pastry into the tart pan making sure that its spread evenly.

chocolate shortcrust pastry pressed in pan

Then, poke a few holes onto the pastry with a fork and place it back into the fridge for another 20 minutes. Then take it out of the fridge, place a piece of baking paper onto the pastry and fill it with pie weights or rice. Then bake it in the oven for about 15 -20 minutes until its cooked. Let the pastry cool down. While it cools, you can start on the filling.

Ingredients for Chocolate and Ginger Filling

  • 250ml (1cup) cream
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 350g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 125g glace ginger (sliced – if you like ginger, than bigger chunks, but if not, then dice into smaller pieces)
Glace ginger crystallized ginger sliced

In a saucepan, mix together cream, ground ginger and butter and stir with medium heat. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl…

Chopped chocolate heatproof bowl

…and just when the cream mixture starts to boil, pour the cream mixture onto the chocolate and stir until it completely melts. Stir in the glaced ginger and when mixed well, pour the filling into the cooled pastry tart.

chocolate ganache ginger glace mixture

Place the tart into the fridge and refrigerate for about 2 hours or until set. Then use Easter eggs to decorate it however you like! Just don’t be like me and use complementing chocolate flavours instead (i used mint chocolate and it didn’t really go together)

Marion Grasby's Chocolate and Ginger Easter Egg Tart Mint Chocolate Eggs

The ginger tart was…interesting. I didn’t like ginger that much, but in the chocolate tart it was not too bad – the chocolate seemed to mask the ‘bite’ that ginger has, but yet still has the taste. I realized how much ginger we had that night, and on top of it was more ginger in the dessert (that was totally coincidental). Those who loved ginger loved the tart, but those who didn’t mind it seemed to like it as well…but those that didn’t like ginger…hmm, I think they would have just preferred the chocolate part of it 🙂 I’m glad I tried to make it though, was an interesting experience and also it was a relatively simple tart to make. I have to say, the chocolate shortcrust pastry rocks..! I will definitely make it again the next time.

ps. How do you like our new theme?? I think we will stick with this for awhile!

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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in Cookbooks, Desserts, Sunday Night Theme

 

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Need a snack in a hurry? Chocolate Palmiers

The best thing since sliced bread…in my opinion? Frozen puff pastry!! You put anything on it, chuck it in the oven and it comes out tasting fantastic. You can even eat it on it’s own (like Gardenia). But on a half serious note, puff pastry makes life so much easier especially when it comes to making quick snacks or dessert. We had fellowship on Monday at BSF, so that means bringing something quick to share with everyone. And since I work full time, I needed something quick (and something sweet!) so I chose to make Chocolate Palmiers. It’s soooo easy, I guarantee it!

Hazelnut spread Nutella chocolate palmiers puff pastry

I got this idea from the Baking Cookbook introduced in the Crumpet post.

Ingredients
3 sheets of puff pastry
Nutella or any hazelnut spread (we used the cheaper version, Nutino :P)
Hazelnuts
Sugar

Method
First we had to prepare the ingredients, so we bought fresh hazelnuts from Angry Almonds – which I just found out, now trades as 2brothersfoods! – in Subiaco Station Street Markets (fantastic range!), then we roasted them in a tray using low heat (100 degrees) for about 15-20 minutes.

Whole-hazelnuts with skin

Turn up the oven heat to about 200 degrees. Then chop the roasted hazelnuts up into as fine or as rough as you want it. I like chunky bits, because I crunching into the nuts…I like to bite into ice cream too, which my husband considers a little weird. But that’s a story for another time.

Chopped hazelnuts Suntoku knife

Take the puff pastry out of the freezer and let it thaw. Then start spreading your hazelnut spread on it. I realized my spread wasn’t sticking because the surface was so smooth (and wet because of the condensation), so I spread it on the side where you peel the film off because it was a little drier. Then sprinkle the hazelnuts on top, as liberally or as stingy-ly as you like. What can I say, I like my nuts! (ok, that sounds wrong).

hazelnuts and hazelnut spread nutella

Then roll the puff pastry sides together until you get like a rolled up scroll – I like to roll it a bit tighter so that the tendency for it to unravel is less 😛 Then, when you have rolled it together, just put a little bit of water where the two ends meet so that it will stick.

Half rolled puff pastry with nutella and hazelnuts

Using a sharp knife, slice it up into about 1-1.5cm pieces and flatten it a little with a cake spreader (or anything that can be used to flatten it).

Chocolate hazelnut palmiers puff pastry

Then it’s as simple as sprinkling the sugar on top (once again, as liberal as you like) and then placing it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until it browns.

For best results, eat them immediately! But if you’re packing it for later, let it cool completely on a wire rack before putting it away, or it will get soggy (like some of mine did :() But there you go, guaranteed success with frozen puff pastry, and it’s such a simple thing to make too! So, if you’re so inclined to share, tell us what have you done with your frozen puff pastry?

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2011 in Desserts, Fast Foodies, Snacks

 

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It’s Finally Here!! Koko Black & Grill’d @ Claremont Quarter

We love our food a lot! And one of the reasons we love going to Melbourne is the yummy and wide array of food! One of our Melbourne finds is the chocolate boutique (?) I think they call themselves a “chocolate salon”, is Koko Black. Imagine our excitement and delight when we found out they were opening here! In Perth!! Even Canberra got theirs’ before we did 😦 Anyway, we set the day we would pay a visit and satisfy our Koko Black craving.

We found out that there was a Grill’d next to it, so we hatched a plan to head there for dinner after our usual Saturday night church service for dinner and then head over to Koko black for dessert.. awesome plan! 😀

Grill’d is one of the many burger franchises that have popped up in the recent years. Also another franchise that has recently made its way over from over East. They make really good burgers, from beef, to chicken, to lamb, to veggie burgers. We’ve had it on a few ocassions and have never been disappointed.

Grilld Claremont burger menu boards

The menu boards

Our burger choice for this trip was the Baa Baa Burger. We decided to share the burger because we knew we had to fit lots in out tummies that day! The burger was made from lamb mince, accompanied by salad, relish, avocado (yumm!), tasty cheese and their yummy herb mayo, all sandwiched in a panini bun. It was one awesome burger and fully satisfying.

We also go to Grill’d for their fat-cut chips, seasoned with sea salt and rosemary. They also sell dipping sauces to go with these. They have 3 choices of herbed mayo, tomato relish and sweet chilli mayo. The chips are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and the sea salt & rosemary seasoning makes it that extra bit special compared to your other burger joint chips.

Grilled chips with seas salt & rosemary

After dinner, we head over to Koko Black which is just opposite. The decor inside is contemporary, whimsical and very pretty. A glass-window panel in the shopfront, where you are greeted with an array of chocolate bunnies and eggs (easter is near y’know), to the large display cabinet of chocolates, We head in and there are table and chairs (with plenty more on the outside). I love the illustration on the wall that runs throughout the main walls of the shop, and its complemented by black wood panes and panelling, very tastefully done I must say!

Koko Black chocolate Perth Claremont

So we sit ourselves down and have a look at what’s on the menu, and there’s just so many chocolate-related things to choose from. We usually have the Ice Chocolate here which is yummy (it doesn’t JUST taste like chocolate milk) its rich and choclatey and oh so sinful! (There’s no pic just cos we were too excited to drink it before the camera had a chance! :D)

Koko black chocolate ice-crem Perth Claremont

A must try is also the Chocolate Moelleux with a Raspberry Espuma. Its served warm with a crisp outside and has a thick, gooey centre the raspberry espuma (foam) gives it a bit of acidity to cut through the richness.

Koko Black Chocolate fondant molten

We also tried the Mocha Tart which was really yummy as well. The Chocolate ganache filling wasn’t too sweet, and I love the crunchy coffee-bean bits that were served with it.

Koko Black Mocha Tart Perth Claremont

Other items on the menu we tried included the Panna Cotta, which was served in a small shot-glass. They have an array of petit pastries displayed in a glass cabinet you can choose from. They also sell 2 Perth exclusive chocolates – Stout Caramel, featuring Little Creatures’ Single Batch Oatmeal Stout and also the Truffle Caramel, with truffles from Manjimup being the key ingredient. They also have an array of beverage like Hot Chocolate, Affogato, and also St Ali’s (Melbourne) Coffee.

Koko Black Chocolate Perth Claremont Menu

Anti-clockwise from left: Panna Cotta, Belgian Hot Chocolate, Stout & Truffle Caramel Chocolates

All in all it was a great night and our tummies are now fully satisfied. Best of all is we don’t need to wait for months to get out Koko Black fix, or travel 3hrs by plane for it either! 🙂

Gri'lld on Urbanspoon

Koko Black on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Claremont, Perth Eateries

 

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San Churro Leederville (Takeaway)

20110324-053428.jpg

We have classes on Tuesday nights right in the middle of Leederville. There are so many restaurants etc there that we’ve decided to try a new restaurant when we can – but that night, I was just craving for something sweet and delicious.

In between learning about the importance of apologetics and the most asked questions about Christianity, me and hubby ducked out to get a coffee from San Churros which was just around the corner.

I ordered my usual – Hot and Cold – and hubby the Spanish mocha, to takeaway. I thought we wouldn’t get back in time (we had a 30 min break) but service was quick and our drinks were made in about 5 mins.

I love the hot and cold – it has delicious thick hot chocolate and topped with vanilla ice cream. The barista gave me a spoon for the ice cream but i much prefer to let the ice cream melt and drink it together. Hence the name right?! It was perfect and it hit the spot – just what i needed from a long day of work.

Hubby said that his mocha was good too, it was thick and with the right amount of coffee and chocolate 🙂  I envision that we will definitely be making more coffee breaks on class nights!

Chocolateria San Churro on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Perth Eateries

 

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